Saturday, June 24, 2017

Night Blooming in the Early Morning

Been having some trouble with our offline blog platform.  Hopefully, as of this writing it is fixed enough to be able to create and post as usual.

Although the surfboards remain high and dry, we finally got the boogie boards in the water.  And, yes, we went in with them.  It was Darlene's first time and she did quite well considering we didn't have much to work with in the powerful surf category.  On the other hand, it was yet another experience that demonstrated just how good we've become at relaxing.  We were both wiped after only a short session!

There is a Night-blooming Cereus in our neighborhood.  Actually, there are several but we only really see the one on a regular basis because it is both near where we park Annie and something we pass when we ride the bikes to work.

These cacti are supposed to bloom in the evening and cater to night time pollinators like bats and sphinx moths.  We've passed this cactus at night and seen nothing.  Yet, in the afternoon we see dead blooms. 

            They fall off leaving their rip cords behind.

                                                                What is going on?

An early morning walk the other day revealed the answer.

                    Our night-blooming cactus is more of an early morning sort of guy.



                             He subscribes to the "Let's give bees a chance" motto.

Other sightings on early morning or late afternoon wanderings around the complexes include...


This specimen is believed to be Chlorophyllum molybdites,
the green-spored parasol.  One of its other common names
is 'Vomiter' in case you were wondering about its edibleness.

                         A beautiful Tri-colored Heron displaying all three colors.

                                                      Mama wood duck and babe

      Although we've seen plenty of cattle egrets, we have never gotten a photo until now.

                            Another first.  The first sighting of a Least Tern.  Lifer!

                            And, here's our first decent photo of an African Agama.

         Curcuma also known as Tumeric or Hidden Lily

                                                               Hidden Green Heron

                                                  Orchard Weaver doing its thing.

            Another first... the Roseate Skimmer.  Like neon lights flying over the pond.

                              More bright pink in the blooms of the Dilang-baka cactus.

Speaking of pink... remember the pineapple photos in our last post.  We did not realize that
pineapples actually bloom flowers at each little bit before they grow.  Isn't that awesome!

                                                                    Hey, check it out!

                                                  Our little tadpoles are growing up.

                                                                   Aren't they cute.

At first it seemed we'd discovered a rare tree dwelling onion.

But they are the bulbs of Encyclia tampensis, the Tampa
Butterfly Orchid.

They look like the Chinese Crown Orchids we posted about
previous only these have a smooth 'tongue' and five petals.
The Chinese Crowns had a ruffled tongue and three petals.

                              no comment needed.... this little flower speaks for itself

We'll round this post out with a few shots of Delonix regia, a.k.a Royal Poinciana, a.k.a
The Flame of the Forest.  Aptly named, it was on fire!

                                                                 A beautiful display


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Puzzle Solved!

We just finished our second 1000 piece photo montage. 

By the end we were seeing red. 

Considering we only pay .99 cents at the thrift store for these challenges, we've been fortunate that out of 2000 pieces there have only been two missing.  That keeps in the 99 theme with a percentage of .999.  We're getting ready to start our third so we'll see where our percentages end up after this one.

We don't see her all that much these days, so when we do, Annie makes sure to get her licks in and let us know that those little motor bikes of ours aren't really so special after all!

A while back one of the bushings on our windshield wipers gave out after 28 years of faithful service.  We had considered going ahead and doing all of them but being crunched for time we opted to only replace that one.  Then a few months later, another went out.  As we were replacing it, the rain was beginning to pour down.  So, once again, we decided to only replace that one.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago when on our way home from the beach in the rain.... bushing #3 gave out.  This time, we finished off all bushing with new and fingers crossed should be good in the rain for another 28 years. 

                                  Weekday Traffic

Our resident Yellow-crowned Night Heron hanging by the pond.

Suppose these guys were looking tasty.

                      One of our flashier swimmers.

We see more blooms each day.
Like these Rhoeo spathecea flowers,

also known as Moses In The Craddle which is a bit more
obvious in this shot.
This Shell Ginger plant is new for us and quite pretty.

The aptly named Firecracker.


Did you know that Pineapple plants are a bromeliad?

Not something we expected to see in our neighborhood.
            We were transported to Hawaii for a moment.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Possum Long Audubon Nature Preserve

Located just a short motor-bike down the road from us this preserve includes almost 5-acres of urban forest and sloughs that are slowly being rehabilitated to their natural states.

It seems we are (intentionally or not) working hard to build up our heat tolerance and on this day once again chose to make the outing smack dab in the middle of the day. 

Needless to say, it was quite warm but we trampled around and took in what we could before the lure of creating our own breeze by motor-biking became too strong to resist.

Two Juvenile Red Shouldered Hawks highlighted the day.
They did their best to hide but we still spotted them several times throughout our visit.
The Bromeliads were still showing some color.

Possibly in the trumpet creeper family.  Still investigating.
  We spotted this tiny Eulophia graminea (Chinese Crown) orchid.
While delicate and pretty, it is unfortunately an invasive and one of the newest invasives we’ve seen to date having first been discovered in 2007 in Miami. 

Nicole doesn’t really have a mushroom bucket list per se but she does have several that she’d like to see.  Seeing them though is purely haphazard for us.  The Clathrus ruber aka Latticed Stinkhorn is one she’s been interested in so she was pretty excited when Darlene found one on this walk.  It was on the way out but it still goes down as a much desired lifer.

more bloomin’ bromeliads
Two Great Southern White Butterflies Blending In

We found a nice shade tree just as one of the Red Shouldered Hawks did.
A bit of a size differential. Would you believe that this Red Bellied Woodpecker was aggressively defending her nest and had no fear of the monstrous beast next to her?

Gloriosa rothschildiana
Gloriosa Lily
That’s all for now...