Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sights in Stuart, FL

We're really not sure where the time goes these days.  A guy at work was getting all of these hugs and greetings and welcome backs so Nicole said, "was he on vacation?" No.  Apparently he had been out for two months having surgery.  Nicole could have sworn she saw him just a week ago! 

Anyway, time is flying by now that we are stationary for a bit.  Maybe it is just that we've become proficient at being less efficient.  We'll call it relaxing.

In between our proficient relaxation we've done some going, seeing and doing that did not involve Home Depot (both of us work there now, by the way).

The Intracoastal beach near our place was experiencing a very low tide.  Nicole spent time walking ankle deep and exploring the bottom which included a very large number of Hermit Crabs.

NOTE: The only camera available on this adventure was the one in the flip phone so due to low quality some photos may require interpretation or imagination.

                                           Purplish spots are tiny hermits.

                        They were leaving a neat pattern of trails everywhere.

                           Great idea gone bad?

Not sure if he was out exploring and couldn't get back to the water in time or maybe he was trying to molt.  It has been hot.  He dehydrated right in his shell and looked as if he had been trying to climb out to safety.

                       Another left high and dry. 

                          And some wet ones...


                      This one was a bit shy

                           but eventually made an appearance.

                                A flock of mostly Kildeer was hanging out.

                 There were other kinds of crabs too like tiny Horseshoe Crabs.

                                    They were quite determined travelers.

              Also they were quite small, covering only one and a half fingertips.

There were so many different kinds of shells and when turned
over to their non-algae side they were quite colorful.

       Nicole kept searching though in hopes of finding an empty one to take home.

Eventually, she found one that passed every test she could think of to ensure that it was sans inhabitant.  So, she put it in her bag of goodies and biked it on home.  When she got home she opened up her bag and she had a new friend staring at her.  The prized shell was not empty after all!  Looks like we were about to break the no pets rule for a night.

We set up a temporary home for our new friend and put some of our shell collection in there with him.  He was quite the character.  Peeking out now and then only to slam his shell down if we got to close.  When we weren't looking he would rearrange the shells in the tank and was always decorating. 

Did you know that hermit crabs really aren't hermits?  They are actually quite social and often live in colonies of up to 100 that sleep together.  Some groups have even been observed forming 'vacancy chains' which are essentially lines in order of largest to smallest and then swapping shells all at the same time (for safety).

It was a lot of fun having Jeeves in the house but we knew he was better off where he came from.  So, the next day he was returned whence he came.  It was a happy scene as two smaller hermits jumped right up on top and greeted him by crawling all over him.

                   Early afternoon Morning Glory

We've got a routine.  It involves relaxing in the morning and the evening and choosing to go out in the middle of the day.  Not the best as the temperatures are steadily rising to full summer steam.  But, it is what it is.  So, our trips are short and full of sun and the heat that comes with it.  But they are explorations regardless.

Here's some shots from a walk around our complex.  We were actually headed to the beach but got sidetracked walking around our place instead.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - American Redstart Bird (11)
                     What distracted us was a tree full of American Redstarts.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - American Redstart Bird (16)
    The females like this one and the males (like photo above) have splashes of color.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - American Redstart Bird (19)
                       They often sit in such a way as to display those colors.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - American Redstart Bird (23)
             Sometimes they don't even have to try.  The colors are just there.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - American Redstart Bird (21)
This one is a decorator.  He thought what this Bougainvillea needed was a splash of black and orange.

Since we do not regularly see them we assumed that the Redstarts were most likely passing through.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Black Throated Blue Warbler Bird (4)
They had a friend and a lifer for us mixed in with them - the Black Throated Blue Warbler.

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Black Throated Blue Warbler Bird (6)
                       A super cool sighting when you can get your sights on them!

Other sightings on this walk were...

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Downy Woodpecker Bird (3)
                                                   Downy Woodpeckers

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Gulf Fritilary Butterfly (2)
                                               Gulf Fritilary Butterfly

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Hairy Funnel Mushroom (1)
                                                       Hairy Funnels

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Northern Parula Bird (3)
                                                   Northern Parula

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - Red Bellied Woodpecker Bird
                              two Red-bellied Woodpeckers sharing a pole

2017-05-05 Florida, Stuart - White Peacock Butterfly (2)
                                             White Peacock Butterfly

            Brugmansia aka Angel's Trumpet Flowers

                                                    Resident Rabbit



                                      Fish Eagle bringing home the sushi

                                           lots of tadpoles in the lake


          As dusk approached a Yellow Crowned Night Heron followed us around.

                            We spotted some sizeable Magnolia flowers.


We were going to tell you about our visit to Possum Long Audubon Center just down the road from us but it seems we've probably already reached our photo quota for one post.

So, we'll just leave you with this....


Friday, May 5, 2017

Photo Crashing or Crosswalk Blocking?

You be the judge...

Stuart had quite the storm the other day while Nicole and Darlene were at their respective work locations.  The news boasted tornado and hail warnings.

We got neither.

What we did get was a lot of rain.  Darlene had Annie with her at Target and Nicole had ridden her bicycle.

When it came time to leave, there was a steady drizzle falling with sunshine breaking through in the direction of her travel.  So, Nicole made a break for it and motored toward home.

The rain remained steady even growing heavier at times despite the obvious sunshine peeking through the clouds.

As she approached one of her crosswalks there was a car blocking it and a lady hanging out of the window with her cellphone pointed in Nicole's direction.

In the event that you are unfamiliar with the rules of the road and the basics of sidewalk construction... cars are not supposed to block crosswalks and the five inch curb of the sidewalk dips to go in and out of a crosswalk so that bicycles and pedestrians have a smooth transition.

Despite the rain and Nicole staring at her, this lady just kept sitting there pointing her camera in Nicole's direction.  Eventually, she said, "there's a rainbow!"  As the rain continued to fall, Nicole acknowledged that she had seen it and hoped that this would push the lady forward and out of her way so that she could continue her wet ride home.

It didn't.

Instead the lady continued to hold her camera / phone up eventually stating... "You're in my photo."  This realization was enough for her to want to move her car forward thus clearing the crosswalk.

Nicole continued on her way, laughing hysterically and commenting out loud "And... you're in my crosswalk." 

This individual had not even realized she was blocking Nicole's path of travel and instead thought Nicole was somehow intentionally sitting in the rain blocking her photo.

Too funny.

In the driver's defense, it was a spectacular and complete double rainbow of which you could see the full complete arch and both the beginning and end.

          Home and a hot shower were at one end of the rainbow on this particular day.