2009 Critters in Central Florida
The small blue heron (Egretta caerulea) and the roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)were found enjoying the waters in May. The spoonbill moves his head back and forth in the water, seining for food while the heron merely sits patiently waiting for his food to swim by. A tiny honey bee seeks the sweetness offered by the blossom on a magnolia tree by the 8th tee.
Many white ibis (Eudocimus albus) find the country club lifestyle enjoyable. They fly, they bathe, they eat, they sleep and they never leave the course until their summer vacation ends.They are a strange bird. On the ground they seem clumsy. In the air they are just gorgeous. For dinner, they will probe the mud for crustacaens, frogs or insects. Yum!
It's June and the young raccoon was digging for food. It was most unusual to see a young creature such as this out by himself. The raccoons are out day and night on the golf course, which seems to act as a protective preserve.
In October, two sandhill cranes chased this raccoon across the 18th fairway. He found refuge in the palm by the green.
August 18, the Muscovy ducks come and go, but while at the golf course, they prefer the waters off the 2nd green. You can walk right up to them and take a picture. They aren't particular. They are a bit on the unattractive side and look mean enough so you wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley. However, they have the most adorable ducklings.
The cute little dragonfly was on top of the hedge on the 2nd tee. We have much larger dragonflies than this little guy, but they never seem to land anywhere.
Two days later, as we came off the 7th green and drove around to the 8th tee, we found this guy out sunning. I believe the black snake is one of the good guys and I don't mind seeing them around. Not even when I find one in my courtyard.
This winged creature on the left was on our back patio screen. What doesn't show in this picture is the lizard waiting to snatch it's next meal. From other pictures on the web, this could be a cicada (Tibicen species).
The red-tailed hawk, from the same family as the osprey, was in Winter Springs and he is sitting on a basketball hoop. He was oblivious to my husband taking his picture August 20th.
At left, the ibis is by the water off the 2nd tee. I never realized what a very round eye they have until I saw these pictures.
At right, this could be a great white heron. He comes and goes, but he's a lovely bird with a lot of patience when he's waiting for his dinner to come along. I watched him for a couple minutes and he didn't move.
I googled this guy and he could be a paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus). It's very hard to identify most of these insects because the pictures on the web don't always look like yours. And, it's the same with the Audubon books I consulted. To further confuse matters, what's in the books doesn't always look like what's on the web. Adults forage for nectar, their source of energy, and for caterpillars to feed the larvae (young). They are natural enemies of many garden insect pests.
Leafcutter bee (Megachile.sp)
Sweat bee (Agapostemon.spp.)
Other pictures can be found at this website. It took several days to find the name of this pretty boy.
The back two stripes appear to be blue, and since the rest of the original picture shows true colors, I have to assume they do have a bluish aspect to them. So, unlike Kermit, he really isn't totally green. He is very tiny, the center of that flower measures about 1/4 inch and the fly is not quite 1/2 inch in length. The second picture is of the same insect on a rocket red crape myrtle.
This dragonfly is also so tiny I had a hard time finding him with the lens, and was totally surprised to find this shot when I downloaded today's pictures.