Vacation Photos IV: Wonders

Of course, the best part of vacation is to see something wondrous. This rock formation is situated on the edge of a cliff. People are advised not to tickle it.

Waterfalls are abundant in the mountains, but not so much in the flat lands of Texas. This one is called Dry Run, so it was a wonder that it was full of water.

While watching the Perseid Meteor Shower and seeing quite a few meteors, including a blue one, the Moon lined up with a contrail and made its own spectacular show.

And yes, we visited big cities, historical sites and famous museums, but it is always nature that gets my attention.


Vacation Photos: III Plants

I am always fascinated with the ability of plants to find all kinds of places to grow. This lucky grass landed in a bag of peat moss. The question is, was the hole already there or did the plant make it?

Princess Pine looks like a sweet little Christmas tree. It is a club moss and was widely harvested for holiday wreaths and has become more rare.

I found a tiny little orchid with a flower the size of the tip of my pinky finger. I could not pinpoint the name of the plant as my plant identifier never seems to be correct.

Growing among last year’s leaves was a perfectly round ball of moss. The color and shape were amazing.

If my northern readers can identify any of the fungi, critters or plants, I would appreciate hearing from you.


Vacation Photos II: Green Critters

During my trip, I came across a trio of green critters that agreed to pose for photos. One frog posed for me in a pond showing off its webbed feet.

I was also able to get a shot of a frog on land, highlighting its green head.

A very green insect visited me on two different days, although I can’t be totally sure if it is the same individual. On the first day, it landed on my arm and hung out for awhile and the second day it landed on the table for lunch and a photo.

The final photo was a surprise visit by a Northern Leopard Frog. It is listed as a species of special concern. I was lucky to see one.


Vacation Photos I: Fungi

I spent my vacation in the northeast Appalachian Mountains visiting family and friends that we haven’t been with during the pandemic. No matter where I visit, I can always find interesting nature to photograph. This post highlights the fungi that caught my eye. Sorry, I haven’t researched the fungi names.

The shelf fungus is working on a tree stump. The colors are always so pretty on these.

This fungus called for a second look. The color and shape definitely looked like something else, but upon closer examination (yup, I did get down to take a good look and it didn’t smell) I concluded it was fungus.

An interesting white fungus was a tasty treat for crawling and flying creatures.


Turtle Visit

Box turtles continue to visit the Automatic Garden. I’m not totally sure why the turtles come, but it may be the leaf litter that I allow to gather under the trees and the fact that this is the highest land in the area. I found this one heading into one of my flower beds. I got a really good shot that showed a small round hole on the left side of the shell.

I had another run in with the same turtle, identified by the same hole in the shell, as it was heading down the driveway to the street.

I quickly grabbed some gloves and redirected the turtle.

And yet on another day I found it again.

This time the turtle was cooperative and posed for a picture.


Tuckered Out

I found this mama squirrel completely tuckered out on a high tree branch.

She curled up as she slept.

The power nap was soon over.

The squirrel freshened up and went on her way.


Skink Lizard – Not Dead

I noticed this Five-Line Skink on my “GROW” rock and snapped a photo. The next day the Skink seemed to be in the exact same spot and position. I thought it had died and gave it a poke. It was not dead at all and apparently the lizard just liked that spot on the stone.


Frick and Frack

My favorite little birds, Frick and Frack the Carolina Wrens, are at it again. The pair is determined to build a nest on my back porch. On this day I was sipping my coffee when they appeared. Not to disturb them, I snapped the photos with my cell phone and are not the best quality.

Frick showed up with a beak full of nesting material landing on the rain gauge in the bed next to the porch

The bird could clearly see me on the porch and moved in closer.

Frick then decided to try a stealth move and head under the grill. But I was still there on my chair.

Meanwhile, Frack came in from the other direction and landed on a chair across the table from me. I am still there.

Nonetheless, the Wren headed over to the plant that was chosen for their nest and added the nesting material. Unfortunately, the Peace Plant was given to me for the birth of my last child and I do not want to give up watering it, so it had to be moved.

I set up an alternative nesting site with a bird bottle. But the Carolina Wrens showed no interest and were gone for awhile. I thought I had discouraged them from building on the porch.

Suddenly, Frick and Frack were back, quickly built a nest in another plant with the help of a third wren (can’t figure that one out) and laid eggs.

The wrens are sitting on the nest which is located near the busy backdoor.

Unfortunately, there was a sad ending to the story. One morning when I checked the nest, all the eggs were gone. Some animal found the nest and ate the eggs. Yes it is the “circle of life”, but it is hard to witness.

*This happened about a month ago and it was difficult to write the unhappy ending. Of course, this is how nature works.


Love Those Lizards

We got it covered.

Visiting the desert.


So Tiny

How nice would it be to spend the day on a yellow bloom? A tiny baby brown anole enjoyed the sunshine on Bartram’s Oenothera grandifloria.