As we enter the last week we will be here for this season, I’m relishing all that nature has to offer us right in our own back yard. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many species of animals live in close proximity to one other – most times amicably. Different kinds of songbirds frequent the feeders without concern for the other. Admittedly, certain birds can be more feisty and chase the more docile away, but basically it’s ok. But – there are dangers that lurk, and sometimes I wonder about the tension that exists for most species – just to exist. Birds, rodents, and squirrels worry about raptors. Fish worry about ospreys and human fishermen. And, all small animals worry about the alligator.

I don’t think they worry in the sense that humans worry. They are programmed to take the precautions that they do, so it comes naturally. It’s not “worry” or any kind of “intellect” or “thought” which which causes their actions. They simply do what their instinct tells them to do with no human emotions attached. Maybe there is an advantage in not knowing the ramifications to their life. They just … “live” … as God intended. (Might we learn a little from this way of being?) However, from the human vantage point, life is hard in nature. And, it’s hard for me to watch as I sometimes project my human emotions onto animals in the wild. I wonder what the percentage is of baby animals in the wild which actually make it to adulthood? It’s different for every species, I know…

Yesterday when we were talking with our neighbor, he told us that last year the ospreys lost a baby which fell out of the nest located across the lagoon from us. The crows are relentless in pursuit of nesting ospreys – tormenting the parents, and working hard to get the eggs – as well as – I think – the babies. According to our neighbor, it was a crow that caused the accident – and they happened to be looking when it happened.

In reading about bluebirds, I was astounded at the predators which can invade bluebird nests – house sparrows, snakes, squirrels, and even cats. I now realize that having my bluebird box attached on a tree rather than a pole is dangerous as it allows more easy access to predators to climb up and get inside. Today these thoughts came to mind when inspecting the bluebird nest area. I noticed on the grass not far from the box some evidence of “something unidentifiable” that appeared dead. It was so small and there were no feathers, nor did it appear to be the right color, but I still wondered if it was a bluebird baby, mainly because of the proximity to the bluebird box. Clearly I am very inexperienced! However, not long after the father bluebird came to the box and I could – again – hear the little bluebirds inside. Maybe it was only one baby? Maybe it was something else? But – I just don’t know.

With all this in mind, my 365 photos will include many parts of nature that live close by to me:

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365 photo #119 – the alligator. I am always watchful when I’m walking not far from the lagoon edge. I’m always looking for a gator head pointed at the shoreline – or watchful that one is silently sunning itself not far from the edge. They are so quiet and still when lying there that sometimes you don’t realize he’s there until you’re quite near. With that in mind, I noticed one on the bank before I went outside the other day. I did go out – but snapped the photo from the safety of the patio – with my 100-400 lens!
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365 photo #120 — the magnolias are out! However, the squirrels love them. As fast as they bloom the squirrels get the blooms and drop them to the ground. I guess they like the seeds therein. So – this tree never covered with these white blooms, but they come out – one at a time – and leave just as quickly

Bonus photos:

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1. Click to see this photo larger, so you can really see the osprey, as he was quite far away. The crow was bothering him – and when he left this perch, he flew with the crow taunting him – in hot pursuit!
2. A gecko on the side of the bluebird box. I flicked him off as I do not want him to get inside. Not sure he’s a danger – but didn’t want him there anyway.
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365 photo #121. We are in a drought now, so we have our sprinkler system scheduled to come on in different spots periodically throughout the day. Just after the sprinklers stopped on these leaves in the front yard, I took a photo of the droplets.

Bonus photos:

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1. Mrs. Bluebird posing for the camera on top of the bluebird box
2. one random leaf – changing color.

I’m not caught up yet, but yesterday I took a sunrise photo walk along Folly Field Beach, and I think I’ll devote an entire entry to that… So — til next time…!

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