On a recent trip down to Everglades City and the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve we saw this wonderful Barred Owl sitting in a tree along Jane's Scenic 11-mile Drive.
He watched us very closely with his huge eyes, but did not move from his perch on a tree limb by the side of the road.
Barred Owls eat small animals, reptiles and insects. I would hate to have him land on me with those claws.
The range of the Barred Owl is mostly east of the Mississippi River, but they are expanding their presence into the northwestern U.S. and Canada. Seeing such a beautiful bird is a real gift.
After our nature drive we went for lunch at the Havana Cafe, our favorite Cuban restaurant in Chokoloskee near Everglades City. Bill and his friend Mo shared a Cuban sandwich and Bill and I shared the special - grouper, black beans and rice. This place is fantastic. We ate outside but did not see any of the curly lizards we have seen there in the past. The waitress told us the hard frost killed most of them - but she has seen a few poke their heads out when it gets sunny and warm.