Sunday, June 7, 2015

WorkKamping At Your Parent’s House (Part 2)

We’re not going to lie.  We worked pretty darn hard and squeezed a bunch into one months’ time.  But we also had some fun and enjoyed some ‘vacation’ time too.

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One of the first things that we did was give Annie a proper bath (her first  in three years).
The above shot is a before / after.  That frackin’ dust was just not letting go despite all of the rain (our usual method of washing the van) we had been through.  And when Nicole’s folks asked, “Didn’t the van used to be blue?” we knew that it was probably time.

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Of course our ‘down time’ included looking at a lot of critters and foliage.  Like this cute little Adult Breeding Western Palm Warbler (one of several new-to-us-since-we’ve-started-paying-attention birds).

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Speaking of foliage, the Palm Warbler was just one of many
who were attracted to the blooming Aloe Plant in the front yard.

                            Lots to be excited about.  They’re pretty.


In the ‘something that doesn’t happen every day’ category... We were outside finishing up the painting on a portion of the house.  Nicole had just finished rolling and Darlene trimming and Nicole’s mom had come out to see how it was going.  As we were standing in front of one of the walls and windows talking this red blur goes whizzing by our heads and smacks into the window.  Most likely the new owner of a pretty intense headache, the cardinal then flew away into the trees to recuperate.

     The still wet coat of paint and the air all around us were decorated red and black.


While out stalking flower and bug close-ups one day, Nicole notices something dangling from under a leaf.  Not sure if her eyes were deceiving her she got closer and took a macro shot.

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Still not sure what she was looking at but pretty sure it was ‘something’, she did some investigating.  These are the egg sacks of the Green Lacewing.  To give you and idea of size, the seven of them hanging here cover the length of 1/2” total.  Nicole continued to return to see if she could witness hatching but it appeared that it had already taken place.

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This is a photo of a Green Lacewing that we saw in Texas on our way to FLA.  The larvae of these (nicknamed Aphid Lions due to their voracious appetite) are highly sought after to control garden pests like aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies and other slow moving insects.  The larvae pierces their prey and sucks out the body juices.  Yummy!

                     We also saw this cool looking dude or dudette

                                   and a Great Crested Flycatcher.

                       We spent some afternoons

                       and evenings... by the pool.

One evening as the sun was setting a Common Loon paid a visit.

There was really no telling who the surprise ‘critter’ visitor of the day would be.  One morning, Nicole’s folks were out on the porch reading the paper when they heard splashing in the pool.  Knowing it was many moons before Nicole and Darlene’s rising time, they ruled out human activity and investigated to find a duck enjoying an early morning swim.

One afternoon, the resident Green Heron (who had lost a favorite
perching spot on the mooring line of the neighbors sailboat) decided
that poolside was an equally delightful option.

As for working, well.... ‘someone’ was always watching...


                                    Northern Curly Tail Lizards

                                         The Neighbor’s Cat

                                     We had a few fly-overs.

        Others just went on about their business and required discovering.


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  Tiny Plume Moth digging in to some microscopic flowers.

    Well wha’dya know... it’s a Common Glaphyria Moth.

A group of Northern Rough-winged Swallows was nesting nearby.


While we were there, the competition for the Purple Martin condo was fierce.

              The final occupant (during our stay) was the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

The Northern Curly Tail Lizard was brought to FLA by Fish and Wildlife Services in the 1940’s to control sugar cane pests.  They and the Bahamian Curly Tail now run rampant.

Nicole used to use these in her Mud Pies when she was a kid.  We didn’t have any mud pies while we were at her parent’s house but we did have lots of tasty deserts and good food too!

                           There were so many different kinds of lizards.

                   We won’t show you all of them.

                        But this curious critter was just the cutest.


                           Male House Finch looking a bit yellow.


                         Bougainvillea Flame Vine Combo Platter

Well, we are now months behind on our blogging so we really ought to let the sun set on our tales of time in FLA and get to moving on down the road (in a literary sense, we’ve already done it physically).  It was a wonderful month with family and although we worked a lot, we played some too.

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                                                  Until then...