The Song of a Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird Eggs

Three Northern Mockingbird Eggds

I have the pleasure to have a Northern Mockingbird nest in my backyard garden. The pair has made a nest in a small shrub next to the garden gazebo. I hope to capture progressive photos without disturbing the nest as much as possible. These birds are fantastic imitators of many birds, sounds, other animals, and even car alarms. They live up to their names very well. Spring is definitely here! ♥ Read more facts about these wonderful birds by going to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. Send me some feedback and your own experiences. Enjoy!

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Welcome, Mallard Ducks!

Mallard Duck

A Mallard Duck in Sunny Florida!

Fabulous Duo

Mallard Ducks enjoying a warm day in Florida

I work at a University in southern Florida and I enjoy taking walks around campus during lunch time. There are several man-made ponds and many species of birds have taken the place to hang out too. Mallard ducks have made themselves very comfortable there and that is fine with me. For the first time, after several attempts, I was able to take some photos a bit closer. I was so happy to capture this pair.

It is amazing how the male Mallard changes its appearance for mating season! Go to the The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and read more about this wonderful creature. Enjoy nature … it is a great gift!

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A Monarch’s Gift

Female Monarch Butterfly

A female Monarch butterfly laying eggs on its host plant, the Milkweed.

Butterflies are amazing! The sooner the weather warms they become very active mating and spreading their off-springs throughout the wild and into welcoming gardens. I love sitting under the shade of my patio umbrella with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The chirping of birds and cooing of mourning doves add the perfect sound into the morning breeze (muffling the sound of traffic on the other side of the fence).

Suddenly, I see a small fluttering shadow passing over the umbrella. I wonder if it was a butterfly. Sure enough! There comes a Monarch butterfly … a female. She scans my garden looking for her favorite plant, the Milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica). And she finds it!

The above image shows the Monarch laying her eggs. They lay single eggs throughout the plant and can be found on the seed pods or under the leaves. As I took the photo, I was happy to see that a caterpillar (to the right of the image) is resting under a leave preparing for growth and on its way to transformation.

I am hooked on Monarchs and learning every day about their amazing life cycle and migration. If you want to learn more about these wonderful creatures, check out the Monarch Watch site. They have plenty of information for beginners as well as experienced Monarch watchers. You will find educational articles, research, blog, resources, and photos.

I look forward to photo-capturing many other butterflies this spring and summer. Iced tea anyone?

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For the Love of Orchids

 

IMG_2710

Enjoy this orchid flower! Although the Orchid tree, also known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, is not too welcome in the landscapes of Florida … I love the tree!  The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council actually identifies this tree as Category 1 on the list of invasive plants. It is native to Viet Nam, southeast China, and northern India.

I was honored to be invited to a friend’s home in Boynton Beach, Florida, and take photos of the orchid tree in bloom about three weeks ago.  It was stunning … it was beautiful! The striking deep lavender color with a splash of coral red tones in the middle was a view to love.  My camera could not stop shooting! Sadly, it is no longer in bloom, but I look forward to the next season and discover other colors; red or white.

Let’s see what my camera captures next time.

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The Birth of a Strawberry

Strawberry Dream

The birth of a strawberry. I LOVE strawberries! Strawberries are such an excellent source of antioxidents and vitamin C. Go forward and a make a healthy smoothy. Check out this link for a delicious smoothy for breakfast or lunch. I know … I tried it. Thanks, Vanessa! Try it and send me a feed-back!

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Strawberry Dream

Strawberry

A new growth of a soon-to-be red, delicious strawberry!


Here I would state … the birth of a scrumptious strawberry.   I love taking photos during morning hours.  I believe it is the true personality of nature! This is the birth and development of a single strawberry.  Don’t you just love it?! Look at the center of the flower … it is a strawberry!  I love them!  I must mention that strawberries are an excellent source of antioxitents and vitamin C. If you love them, try making a delicious smoothy for breakfast or lunch, or any time you wish.  I tried a recipe from  Vanessa Higgins … Strawberry Almond Smoothie.  It is absolutely wonderful! I actually prefer almond milk over cow’s milk … much better for my tummy. jhttp://localfoods.about.com/od/spring/r/StrawberrySmoot.htm Check this link and try it.  Please give me feed-back.

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More Garden Delights

My garden is growing and becoming more delightful. By the amounts of caterpillars and butterflies visiting the various types of flowers, we can say that spring is here … in Florida. Although not as cold as the northern states, we did get some nasty cold days affecting many of the tropical plants. Check my creation of photo slides in Smilebox. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the soothing views of the garden.

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