yea! it's almost here.
the weather in north florida is warming up...
into the 80's during the day!
it's still nice and cool at night...cool enough
to open the windows and get some fresh air. good sleeping weather!
one sign of spring are the Redbud trees...
beautiful bright dark pink buds
and the Flat woods or Chickasaw Plum trees...
...AND the POLLEN!
giving everything a fine coat...here's my car window...
(i thought i'd be more creative than the usual 'wash me')
oOoi've been working a lot in the yard....
raking all the fallen leaves out of the flower beds...
and planting a few new plants...begonias, pansies, mums...
and some sunflower seeds!
it's so nice to see a little COLOR!!
spring. time to find a mate.
well, not me. i have a mate.
the other evening, just before dusk...
we could hear the familiar cries
coming from the back woods. screams actually.
pretty scary sounding. like a baby screaming its lungs out. we'd heard this sound before...
last year...and the year before...and when you hear it,
it makes your heart race. it sounds like someone's in trouble.
so we looked it up...thinking it might be an animal...hoping so, anyway. it was.
the female fox, the vixen. mating. wow! what a screamer!
after about 5 minutes of listening to her howls...
here she comes...out of the woods and into the backyard.
her tail held high. yikes! (i'm surprised she could even walk!)
anyway, she started wandering...and i ran to get the camera.
it's a little dark...already dusk...
and now...for more spring...love...
(an older picture...but thought it fit nicely here...) :)
two florida anoles.
well, we found a newly built nest in the weirdest of places!
sam was going to change the oil in my car. he popped the hood.
and there was a...mouse...staring at him...with a surprised look on her face.
she had built a nest under there...out of the fire wall insulation STUFF.
she had piles of crushed up acorns in various locations.
she went into hiding...under the motor somewhere...as soon as she saw sam.
well, at least none of the hoses or wires showed signs of being chewed.
we removed the nest, vacuumed up the acorn pieces...
and i sprinkled cayenne pepper under there.
(at least i heard this works to keep squirrels away)
anyway...as sam said...he hopes my car doesn't run HOT now! :)
of course, i couldn't help thinking...uh-oh...what if that little rodent
decides to come visit me INSIDE the car while i'm driving!
forget it...i don't even wanna think about that!
oOospring also brings out the BIRDS! they're baaaaack...
flocks of Robins pecking around the yard all day.
and the Cardinals!
and the Mockingbirds...florida's state bird.
we have a planter dish sitting on top of a tree stump,
that we keep filled with water for the squirrels and birds.
...and just before take off...
this little guy...hmmmm...not exactly sure what he is.
i've looked in my bird book, and online...
i think he's either a Gnat Catcher or a Kinglet. cute little guy either way.
spring...also means BUTTERFLIES! yeah!
i've been seeing them flutter through the yard...but there's not too much
blooming right now...so, unfortunately i haven't been able to get pictures yet!
BUT i took LOTS of pictures last year...
and if you need a butterfly fix...you can search my older posts... :)
sam spotted this grasshopper. so i ran for the camera...luckily it was still there.
i'm pretty sure it's a Slant Faced Grasshopper...
those big eyes, the slanted face, and the antennae, kind of front & forward on the head.
((added 3-29-11. thanks to Shawn...of...Stokes Animal Library .
for letting me know that this little guy is a southern green-striped grasshopper.
he may not look green...and he may not look striped...
but they look a lot like the 'slant faced', and they can be solid tan like this one!))
i mentioned in my last post...or maybe the one before that...
the nocturnal Orb Weaver has come out of hibernation...
or suspended animation...or just plain thawed out...
and has started weaving its web just after dusk.
they catch other insects and eat all night long...
only to take down their webs before dawn.
then they do it all over again the next night.
this Orb Weaver lives in a bell
on a wind chime
on the front porch....by day.
the other day, he/she didn't take down the whole web.
i'm still practicing with my night shots. this one's not too bad.
the Orb Weaver.
(i know, they're kinda creepy to many of you...
but just LOOK at those markings! wow!! so cool! he's beautiful!)
(sorry JP! :) )
well...on a more personal note...
i MIGHT have about 4 new clients! yay!
every monday, i drive to palatka...about 50 min drive...to see a few clients
who i used to see when massage was part of the Developmental Disabilities waiver.
but...due to cutbacks...a few years ago,
massage was just ONE of the services eliminated from this waiver!
to make a long story short...because believe me, i can go on and on about this...
as massage is SO beneficial to these people...
with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, Autism...and so on.
anyway...due to the eliminations...IF my clients could afford it...
they continued with their massage therapy...but now had to pay out of pocket.
soooo, i still see some of my clients from the waiver...but now they're private pay.
most live in Group Homes or assisted living in apartments.
the owner of one of the Group Homes i travel to...wants me to see
4...maybe 6 new clients, next time i go to Palatka...next monday!
so things are starting to look up...for me.
sam's still job hunting
and it's dwiving him cwazy! (no typo...i just felt like elmer fudd for a sec...)
this week, though, is a little slow...so i'll start to work on those deer jawbones.
i was thinking of maybe painting...drawing...on them rather than the pressed flowers.
maybe next time i get on here...i'll have something NEW to show...
in the meantime...one last picture. one of the Barred Owls.
they have stayed with us all winter.
this is the He-Owl i think!
take it easy. stay cool.
have a safe journey.
"You don't really suppose, do you,
that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck,
just for your sole benefit."
~Gandalf to Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien