Let’s Take A Lovely Look At Some Back Yard Nature

Let’s Take A Lovely Look At Some Back Yard Nature –

 

 

This charming look at nature comes to us from The See Through Canoe Company. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

Close up of a baby Opossum

Although I live in the city, I don’t live downtown, and there is a lot of cool nature right in my backyard. I live on the intracoastal waterway in Florida and have a mangrove marsh preserve for my backyard and a small creek. So in addition to being fortunate enough to see a lot of marine animals like dolphins, manatees, cownose rays etc., I also see some cool yard nature.Running of the Ducklings. They Want Their Seed.

Running of the Ducklings. They Want Their Seed.

When the ducks come to the back door and quack for food, I come out with a cup of food and lead them to a sheltered spot to eat so they won’t be an easy meal for a hawk or crow. A

The night crew on bug patrol

These are a few of the critters that do a lot to keep the bug population down. We have a hanging light outside our front door, but I also took a bunch of led strip light scraps and made a light that sits at ground level and shines directly on the wall so that’s where the bugs land, and the frogs, toads, lizards & geckos can get to them easily. Frogs don’t chew their food, it is swallowed whole. Lizards will usually crush their food to kill it, but don’t really “chew” it.

Cownose rays flapping along

Although there were a few hundred individuals in this group of cownose rays, they often gather in much larger groups of tens of thousands.

Snug as a bug in a rug

Raccoon taking a nap high up in a hollowed out tree.

The Cuban Anole may have hit an evolutionary “dead end” & is no longer evolving

This guy was living in one of the bird houses in my yard for a few years. I’m pretty sure he died this year because now a new lizard has moved into the house.

Sleeping Otter

This is the Otter that lives in the small creek next to my house. She uses a concrete slab beneath a small foot bridge as her den. Almost every year she has a new pup.

Hugger : That friend that always wants a hug when they see you

I see this particular manatee about 8 times a year. About half of the time that I see her, she comes up and tries to hold on to the canoe or just floats next to it. Manatees already have a very mellow nature, but this one really stands out from the rest when it comes to being mellow.

Peanut Butter Jar and a trash connoisseur (aka trash panda)

As I was about to rinse out a jar of peanut butter to put in the recycle bin, it occurred to me that I should put it outside and let some lucky squirrel clean it. However, before the squirrels found it, this Raccoon did.

Bug Patrol outside the front door. A gecko can stick to anything but Teflon

Another cool fact, a Gecko’s color vision is 350 times more sensitive to low light than ours. There are usually 3 of these outside the front door all night. I switched from using a hanging light outside the door to one that is close to the wall so the Geckos would have easier access to the bugs that gather at the light at night. They end up eating a lot of ants and mosquitos.

The Ibis and its bug probing bill

This is a white Ibis. They are very common in south Florida and are often seen working lawns and fields in groups of 2 to 14. They stick their bills in the ground probing for bugs and move twigs and leaves around. Sometimes they forage in lines so they don’t each cover the same ground.

How the long chase began

I put some extra food out for the birds today as a way to help counter balance the additional stress of all the people shooting off fireworks. This squirrel was hording all the food at the base of the feeder until he made the other squirrel angry and got chased off.

I hear Screech Owls a lot, and was really excited to finally get a good look at one when it landed on the bird feeder

I hear these Screech Owls all the time in the yard, but I rarely get to see them, and have never really gotten a good look at one of them until a couple nights ago. I was surprised that he stayed there long enough for me to grab the camera. He seemed surprisingly indifferent to my presence as I took his picture.

So you want to be a hummingbird…

This is a Blue Jay. They are found on the entire eastern half of the U.S. Many birds can hover for a few seconds, and some longer than others of course. I’ve come to learn this by watching the birds at the feeder. I have a suet feeder mounted on the bottom of a wooden platform so the birds have to either hover to get the food, or hang upside down. I do this so the birds will eat the bird seed in the other feeder and leave the suet for the woodpeckers, but the birds like the suet so much they will hover for it. If I put the suet on the top side of the feeder and make it more easily accessible, the birds eat it too fast. I go through 3 pounds/blocks of suet per day if I make it easy to get too.
For a few weeks every year this red bellied woodpecker bangs on the bedroom window early in the morning, fortunately I’m already awake when he does this.

Florida Sandhill Crane with fledgling imitating its parent

Small lizards having a big fight

These guys were going at it like this in my driveway for about 5 minutes before they went their separate ways.

Snake in the bakery

I found this little ringneck snake right outside my front door. I had to grab it before the dog did. Since it was a chilly day, I got an ornament from the x-mas tree and put it outside the front door where I had found him and let him stay in the “bakery” to warm up.
Here he is again showing the colorful underside.

Florida Soft Shell Turtle

I found this guy right outside my front door. He must have just recently hatched and hadn’t made it to water yet. His shell was really dry so I put him in a container with some clean water and took him to and good spot to release him in a small creek a few hundred feet away. The quarter is for a size reference.
This is a baby snapping turtle. Snapping turtles are found throughout most of the US. It’s not very common to find them when they are still small & cute like this though. This one was literally on my doorstep when I came home from running errands. Growing up, I always wanted to find one, now that I stopped caring as an adult…. one just appears on my doorstep. 🙂 I carried it to a nearby marsh and let it go in an area that I don’t see many Herons or other birds that would eat him.

When it’s not Duck season OR Rabbit season they get along

Sharing a meal.

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