I Lichen It!

Checked out a new-to-me park over the weekend, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. I spent a few warm, but enjoyable, hours wandering the 245 acres. The upside to a hot and muggy day? I didn’t have much company on the trails!

I intend to return with my big camera soon, as the one on my phone just couldn’t capture all the magic. Interestingly, shooting within the limits of that camera changed my viewpoint.

With this shift in focus, some objects resembled abstract works of art. Like the tapestry of various, colorful lichens interwoven on these tree trunks. Nature is amazing!

Showy Nature

Since most fireworks shows have been cancelled thought you’d appreciate this bright and cheery substitute. Have a safe and happy Independence Day, y’all!

Not a R.O.U.S.

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Walsingham Park, Largo, Florida July 2020

This Hispid Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus) was so intently feasting on greens that I was able to get a few good shots.

Measuring about 10 inches long (with tail) this is an average-sized member of the vast rodent family. My fellow Princess Bride enthusiasts will understand the title of this post. For those of you who haven’t seen (and memorized) the movie, I suggest you do so forthwith!

I’ll leave you with this PSA:

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Eat your veggies. They’re good for you!

 

Tender Terrapin

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Turtle Snout, Walsingham Park, Largo, Florida June 2020

I recently spotted this distinctive snorkel-shaped snout poking out of duckweed on a freshwater pond. A quick internet search pointed me to a Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox). The species name derives from Greek and means tender, in reference to the leathery carapace.

I would’ve liked to have seen the rest of its body but it used the age-old strategy of freezing in place and outwaited me. Yeah, for those of you who know me I’m sure this comes as no surprise, patience is a virtue. It’s just not one of mine.

Off Target

Like Cupid aiming for my heart. Apparently, Cupid needs to head back to the archery range for some practice. This is gonna take awhile…

Bird for the Win!

This scene was quieter than I would have expected but the dancing and flashing of the Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) certainly caught my attention. The coiled up object near the center of the frame is a snake.

Based on the brief glimpse I caught of it quickly slithering away later, I am guessing the bird was harassing a Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus).

In case anyone is keeping score: Thrasher 1, Racer 0. And yes, I know, I need to work on my videography skills!