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After the Rain on Wednesday

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More rain today, very heavy at times, but we do need it. After it stopped I went out with Max and the camera, and the first thing I spotted was this Mourning Dove up in a tree. It seemed to be grooming itself after the storm.

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Mourning Dove, looking a little better.

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One more of the dove.

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Nearby a squirrel was running up a tree branch, but it froze when it saw me.

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It was motionless for a couple of minutes.

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And then it turned to look around before going on up the branch.

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Raindrops on branches and vines.

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Raindrops on a leaf.

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Geese and Ducks on Tuesday

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Canada geese swimming in a pond.

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The goose farthest to the left has a white spot on top of its head–I don’t think I’ve ever noticed one like that before.

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I’ve seen this Muscovy duck swimming with its wings raised like this several times, but never got a photo before.

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One more of the duck.

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Back at home, here’s Max following a trail in the backyard.

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Baby Osprey on Monday

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Things didn’t look promising for a baby osprey sighting at the first nest today. The female osprey was sitting up with her wings slightly open, but no sign of babies around her.

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I went on over to the second nest which is in a different area of the community college campus, on top of a tall light pole like the first nest. At first it looked a lot like the first nest–a single adult bird in sight which I think was a female also. But wait–what are those pointy bits poking out to the right of her leg?

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It was the open bill of a young bird under/beside her.

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Baby ospreys have orange eyes which turn yellow as they mature. You can see one of the orange eyes on this little one, partially blocked by a stick.

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A better look at the baby’s face and orange eye. The shadows from the mother’s body make it look a bit darker, almost red.

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Mother osprey and her little one. There may have been more than one baby in the huge nest, but this was the only one I spotted.

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One more of the osprey and her baby.

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Two for Sunday

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There was an oak tree on the fence line in our front yard for years. The trunk was mostly in the neighbor’s yard, but it had grown through the fence and tree branches hung over both yards. A couple of years ago we had the tree taken down, but the remains of the stump are still embedded in the fence. Now there are mushrooms/fungi growing on what’s left of the trunk.

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It was exactly 1 year ago today that our sweet Sophie passed away. She was a beautiful, happy, loving girl and we still miss her every day. Here is one of my favorite photos of her–taking a nap on my robe, with her head on her hedgehog toy.

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Saturday Assortment

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Basil growing nicely, looking healthy and sturdy.

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A big male brown anole on a rake handle. I think he’s the same anole that’s been around the back door–he has that partially regrown tail.

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He was brave enough to sit still for photos instead of running away. He bobbed his head at me and showed off his dewlap–but with a blade of grass across his face.

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I shifted my position and tried again, and he was very agreeable about doing more dewlap displays. (I made the mistake of posting the same anole photo twice–it’s corrected now, and here’s the big guy with a clearer view of his face.)

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More gloriosa lilies are open on the plant in the front yard. This is what a newly opened bud looks likes–lots of yellow, with petals angled downward and just the tips of the petals lifting up.

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Fully open lily, with petals showing more red and curving upward.

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And this one is a fading lily, dark red petals hanging down.

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One more gloriosa lily today–a shot from awhile back. It’s a beautifully shaped lily, and its petals make it easy to see why it’s sometimes called a flame lily. I entered the photo in the Wild Amelia Nature Festival’s annual nature photography contest this year. Today they announced the contest winners, and I was surprised and delighted to learn that this photo took first place in the Flora category on the Advanced level!

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Osprey and Kingbirds on Friday

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The female osprey was in her nest as usual this afternoon. Look at the size of this nest–and she felt it needed yet another stick the other day.

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So mama osprey was sitting in her nest when suddenly two smaller birds appeared and began dive-bombing the nest.

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It turns out they were Eastern Kingbirds, and this behavior is called mobbing. They were harassing the osprey but not hurting her.

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The kingbirds flew off after a few minutes and the osprey looked down at me. She looks as if she’s irritated that I didn’t do anything to help out.

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No babies in sight today, but I took several photos of the female osprey.

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Looking very regal here.

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She posed for a side view.

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One more of the osprey.

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Lizard and Lily on Thursday

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We usually have a couple of brown anoles living on and around our back screen door every year. This anole was on the screen this afternoon–we’ll have to see if he stays around. He’ll be easy to recognize because he lost part of his tail at some point and a new section has grown back, making the end of his tail look a bit narrower and different from the rest of it.

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The first gloriosa lily of the year, blooming in the front yard. We have three more gloriosa lily plants growing in the backyard near the fence, but no flowers back there yet.

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And a lily bud–more flowers will be coming along.

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