Category Archives: Florida Wildlife

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time. This post was originally written on another blog site several years ago. I thought it was cute and thought I would re-share on WordPress.

Shayna was a kitten (SPCA Suncoast alumni) back a few years ago. And, there were many firsts for her. It was fun watching her react to them. She discovered all kinds of weird and wonderful things; now, of course, they are simply the known and familiar so she sleeps through it all.

We always have a Sandhill Crane family or two around so every year we see them with their youngsters. The Sandhill Crane family includes Mom, Dad and 2 kids wandering around the Timber Greens golf course. One day, Shayna and the Sandhills got up close and personal. Maybe it’s not only beauty that is in the eye of the beholder? 

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time.

Shayna: Whoa, what are those really strange creatures? And why are they coming over here?

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Shayna: They are so weird looking.

Papa Sandhill Crane: She thinks WE’RE weird looking? Somebody get this kitten a mirror!

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Sandhill Cranes are about 3-4 feet tall when fully grown. The families stay together and usually have 2 babies. Mom and Dad split the child-rearing duties between them. Sandhill Cranes mate for life and if one dies or is killed crossing the busy roads around here, the other mourns for a few weeks by making very loud calls and wandering all over looking for the missing one. If a baby is lost/killed, the whole remaining family mourns.

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Babies are born with bright yellow feathers and after a couple of months go brown, then develop the gray coloration like their parents; except for the red spot on the head. That doesn’t show until they are 8-9 months old. They grow rapidly from tiny bundles of fluff, and babies stay with the parents until they can fly which takes about 8 or 9 months.

To search homes for sale, buzz over here.

Toni Weidman
Broker-associate
Florida Luxury Realty
727-237-0083

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

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Brooker Creek Preserve

Brooker Creek Preserve in Tarpon Springs, FL

Brooker Creek Preserve is at the very northern edge of Pinellas County and it is absolutely wonderful.  A nature spot of 8,700 acres that is the largest natural area in Pinellas County;  and consisting primarily of forested wetlands and pine flatwoods.

The Preserve is not a park but rather a wilderness area that provides both a refuge for plants and creatures; as well as an opportunity for people to explore the natural beauty of wild Florida in the midst of suburbia.

What Does Brooker Creek have?  You can hike on nature trails, wander around the various buildings that house information about the flora and fauna at the Preserve.  There are boardwalks and trails, 9 miles of equestrian trails, environmental education center, picnic areas, classrooms, a music pavilion, and auditorium. 

Children love it and there are all kinds of classes to take part in. There are guided tours, and guided hikes, annual events like the Wildflower Festival below.

Brooker Creek Preserve

We were there in October for the Wildflower Festival. There was a butterfly tent that was probably the best butterfly exhibit I have seen. The butterflies were very friendly! We even got to feed them.

Brooker Creek Preserve

To take a look at all that Brooker Creek Preserve has to offer, click here.  You will be amazed.

 

Brooker Creek map

Located at 3940 Keystone Road, east of East Lake Road, Tarpon Springs 34688,  it is easy to find. Their phone number is 727-453-6800. To download flyers and pamphlets about the park, click here.

Take the time to visit Brooker Creek Preserve; just the drive in is amazing.; you feel like you are returning to a bit of wilderness and Old Florida. The Preserve protects the Brooker Creek Watershed and is the only stream that enters Lake Tarpon and is a major factor in the water quality of it.

Toni Weidman
Broker-associate
727-237-0083
Florida Luxury Realty

 Brooker Creek Preserve

Curious Little Blue Herons

Curious Little Blue Herons  both in their actions and how they can walk on bushes.

Why are they Curious Little Blue Herons? Living on the golf course at Timber Greens means we get to see lots of creatures; gators, deer, hawks, and many different birds. The Pithalachascotee River runs in back of the golf course so we have water birds too. I call it my wildlife park. BTW, I don’t call them Little Blue Herons because of their size; that is how they are listed in my Peterson Field Guide (I think because of they are much smaller than Great Blue Herons).

This Little Blue Heron decided he wanted to come in and visit. He was checking out the glass light over our front door. Not much room up there but he managed. There were also some bees buzzing around which may have been his real object.

Curious Little Blue HeronsCurious Little Blue Herons

 

Little Blue Heron later was wandering around on a bush outside the window looking for lizard or bug snacks.  The bush surrounds our air conditioning unit and I was concerned that the unit would come on and scare the feathers off him; so I reset the temperature to keep it from coming on. He just wandered happily around: finally posing on the unit itself giving me a great photo op. He really enjoyed his time dancing around there although I didn’t see him find any snacks.

Little Blue Herons Are CuriousLittle Blue Herons stand about 24″ tall (Great Blues are about 4ft); they are a very pretty slate blue with deep maroon-brown necks, long bills that ware gray with black tips. They feed on fish, frogs, mice, insects and lizards. they are very territorial and chase each other away. They don’t eat seeds or bread.

Curious Little Blue Herons. They do make the oddest noise when they are chasing another bird like an egret or another  Little Blue Heron away from their territory. We’ve named this one Blue Crunky because he’s always chasing some other birds away and makes a crunking noise to scare them.

I think my Curious Little Blue Heron is a cute guy. He has been around for several years now. The reason I think he’s a he is that I have never seen any Little Blues running around after him.

Toni Weidman
Broker Associate
Florida Luxury Realty
www.toniweidman.com
727-237-0083

To search homes for sale, click here

Thank you for reading: Curious Little Blue Herons

Sunday In John Chesnut Park

Sunday In John Chesnut Park in Palm Harbor, FL

John Chesnut Park is one of the nicest parks in our area. We always enjoy a day there.  Yesterday, our classic car club – AACA-Richey Region had it’s annual picnic there. We had a great time as usual and there was plenty to eat. I did a blog about the park a couple of years back showing another alligator swimming down the boat ramp. Click here to see it.

John Chesnut Park is in Pinellas County just a little south of the Pasco-Pinellas line on the eastern end of Lake Tarpon. It is a beautiful park and we had a visit from a friendly gator who was swimming by.

Sunday In John Chesnut Park

 He was enjoying Sunday In John Chesnut Park too.

The park has a wonderful picnic area with covered benches and a grill at each spot.

Sunday In John Chesnut Park

 We had a great time with our AACA-Richey Region buddies.

Pinellas parks are free to park but they do charge a small fee to reserve a shelter for picnics and parties. So be sure to plan ahead for a Sunday In John Chesnut Park. (even a Saturday).

BTW, there is a car show scheduled next Saturday: April 25 at John Chesnut Park. We’re going, of course.

Toni Weidman GRI
Broker-associate
FLorida Luxury Realty
727-237-0083

to search homes for sale, click here.

Save a Life: Adopt A Shelter Pet.

Enjoy a Sunday In John Chesnut Park

Sandhill Crane Babies – It Must Be Spring

Sandhill Crane Babies – It Must Be Spring

Every year, our resident Sandhill Crane couple brings their babies around for us to admire and enjoy.

 We know it’s the same couple because they bring their babies to our back door for our admiration and approval, and wait for the seeds to come out. This year’s new crop of babies is very cute. They were born about two weeks ago and have already grown so much bigger.

 Sandhill Crane Babies – It Must Be Spring

Sandhill Crane Babies - It Must Be Spring

Sandhills mate for life, they have one or two babies. Sadly the babies don’t always make it especially if Spring turns back to something cold and nasty. Of course, every year, I hope for the best for these little ones.

Sandhill Crane Babies - It Must Be Spring

They are fun to watch with those spiky little legs and not much in the way of feathers. They have to really run to keep up with Mom and Dad’s long strides.  The cranes raise them for about 9-10 months.

Enjoy this Florida moment!

 Toni Weidman 
Broker-associate
To search homes for sale, click here.
Florida Luxury Realty
727-237-0083

Save A Life; Adopt A Shelter Pet

 Sandhill Crane Babies – It Must Be Spring

Cardinal In Timber Greens

Cardinal In Timber Greens.  Our little palm tree in front of our home office window in New Port Richey, FL is host to many creatures at various times. Lately we have had a pretty visitor who I think may have a nest in the bush on the other side of our walkway.  She sits in the tree and seems to be taking a break: The palm tree must be her get-away place.

Cardinal in Timber Greens
I know everyone loves the male Cardinals but I think the lady Cardinals are just as pretty as their bright red male companions. The girls (being girls)  have soft pink accents and a suede-like look to their brown feathers.  We have lots of cardinals around here and always have a new family being trained by their parents to hunt for food at our feeders.

I’ve said it before but living in Timber Greens is like living in a wildlife park. And I just love it here.  It is a golf community and is a 55+ community. Of course, you don’t have to be over 55 to play here. Click here for the website.

Homes range from $170,000 to $260,000. There are also duplex style villas that are beautiful with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and 2 car garages. And, there are also row-style villas available too.  The clubhouse and pool are fantastic and the many activities and clubhouse dinners are very popular. Did I mention Timber Greens is gated and we have two guards on duty 24/7.

Call me for further information on beautiful Timber Greens.

Toni Weidman
Broker-associate
Re/Max Sunset Realty

727-237-0083

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Save A Life – Adopt a shelter pet.

Ribbon Snake -What Is It

Ribbon Snake -What Is It.  Actually the full name is Southern Ribbon Snake and they can be found all over Florida. Not to worry, they are non-venomous and they eat lots of bugs. Please don’t kill them, just let them pass and enjoy life.

Ribbon Snake -What Is It
Ribbon snakes are actually a different form of the Garter snake. Only they are lighter in color, slimmer in shape, and have a white or blue colored stripe on each side.

This one was outside my kitchen window, watching a bug on my plant. It was a windy day and the tree branch kept moving so I couldn’t get a clear shot of his face. But he wandered off into the grass.

We live on the edge of a woods so we see different creatures come and go. I believe they are all part of nature and have a purpose. I’m not afraid of these guys or the black snakes but maybe seeing an Anacoda I might be.

Toni Weidman
Broker associate
Toni AR ProfileFlorida Luxury Realty, Trinity FL
727-237-0083

To search homes for sale (with or without Ribbon Snakes) click here.

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Ribbon Snake -What Is It