Monday, December 12, 2011

In Our Own Backyard

Our lanai looks out on a preserve with woods on the other side. The other day, Bill saw this young coyote walking just on the edge of the woods. I grabbed my camera and headed out to get some pictures.

He spotted me as I inched closer - but didn't run into the thick brush until after I got some good shots. I was still quite a distance away from him and close enough to the house to run back in if he looked aggressive. (He didn't) We can hear them howl and scream in the evenings, but we've only seen them during the day a couple of times.

Another sighting on the OTOW property. This guy was along the side of a dirt/sand road back by a cattle farm. He was large - 5 or 6 feet long and quite stocky. I could be wrong, but my online research has led me to identify this guy as a Florida Pine Snake - a rather rare snake - "of special concern" by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Whenever I moved, he stuck his forked tongue out at me and shook his tail. He had no rattles. Bill stayed in the car as I checked him out closer.

Further down the road we visited with some woodpeckers. This is a common Downy (or maybe it's a Hairy) Woodpecker.

And this, of course, is a beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker.

One of the more common birds here on campus is this Chipping Sparrow.

We always enjoy the hawks! This Red-tailed Hawk was flying overhead trying to get the attention of another hawk in the area. I hope they didn't see our Pine Snake!

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