Monday, October 28, 2013


This is the "before" shot of our lanai.

Last week, Tina and her granddaughter came over and took down the vertical blinds, removed all the windows, window frames, door, ceiling fan and heating/air conditioning unit.

 She hauled them away and will use the materials to build a lanai on her house. Wow is she a hard worker!

We were left with a partially screened in porch.

Later in the week the crew arrived to complete the demolition.

This guy has really interesting hair. It looks like the wind is blowing it - doesn't it? Well, there isn't even a gentle breeze. That's the way it's styled and it doesn't move. He looks like a cross between Ty Pennington and Fabio. I'll try to get a better shot.

Demolition is almost complete. The next day they poured the new cement slab.

The old tile was removed over the weekend (what a job!!!! - I was completely exhausted watching them!) and today they started construction.

The first of the new walls!

Meanwhile, Bill is smoking a pork roast.

It's been noisy around here today - but the smells have been marvelous!! I can't wait until dinner.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Shalom Park Revisited

Yesterday when Bill and I went to Shalom Park to walk, I didn't take my camera and the birds were everywhere. They posed for pictures in the perfect setting with the perfect light. Today, I took my camera hoping for a repeat - but, of course, you know the result. No birds. Nada. I was bummed so we went out for breakfast. The Pub here on campus has an amazing bowl of gluten free oatmeal for just $3.00! After getting our flu shots at the local WalGreens, we decided to try the park again.

Right away, Bill spotted this beautiful Brown Thrasher on the ground right in front of us. I didn't see him because I was busy looking up in the trees. Thank goodness he stayed around while I got the camera ready.

He really blends in with the landscape.

The spider webs were amazing. This spider was HUGE.

This was one of the shots I missed yesterday - except yesterday, the Cardinal was much closer and, I'm sure, redder.

Yesterday two Carolina Wrens played on a tree branch right in front of me. It was the shot of the day - like the fish that got away. Today, I had to settle for one in the bush.

I think this cute Eastern Phoebe felt sorry for me and let me get his picture. As you can see, we finally saw a few birds - but not like yesterday.

Back at the compound, one of the retention ponds on the golf course has attracted several Lesser Yellowlegs and an occasional egret. I also saw my first Meadowlark of the season, but he eluded the camera.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shalom Park

The day was cool and overcast with a light mist - perfect for power walking but terrible for pictures. I was glad I had my camera anyway.

 Our beautiful and melodic Mockingbirds never fail me. They are always posing for pictures.

This little guy was so cute.

The best part of the day (besides spending time with Bill) was watching two Pileated Woodpeckers flit back and forth among the moss laden trees.

Ducks heading south.

The mossy trees add interest. The two birds were constantly calling to each other with their distinctive Woody Woodpecker call.

I certainly do enjoy these huge birds!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ocala Sunset

This was the view last night from our lanai as we sat and ate dinner. 

The colors never last very long but they are beautiful while they are here.

We really enjoy our lanai or Florida room but soon we will enjoy it even more. 

The plan is to remove the existing structure and build a new, larger, more permanent room. The two windows in this picture are the kitchen on the left and the guest bath on the right. Both will be under the new roof - the kitchen opened up and the bath closed off (it's in the tub area - so it won't matter).  The bush will be moved to the front yard.

This is the current view from the other side. This patio will be screened in with a "birdcage." The lanai roof will be raised 12-inches so we have more head room inside to accommodate new ceiling fans. The window air/heat unit will be replaced with a mini-split heat pump so we will have a thermostat instead of an on/off switch. The current structure will be recycled. The roof is heading out to horse country for new stalls and all the windows and the door will be part of a new room in another part of town.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

He's Back!

Our Fox Squirrel has returned! We have seen him at the feeders every day this past week. Last year we had one with a very short tail, but we have not seen him this year..... yet.

The Fox Squirrels are welcome at our feeders. They are polite and eat only one seed at a time, do not shake the feeders to empty them and only take what they can eat. The Grey Squirrels??? Not so much.

I love this cute little Tufted Titmouse!

I thought we had lots of House Finches in Colorado - but we may have even more here!!

We have plenty of Bluebirds! I'm sure this is a juvenile. Cute!

This must be the proud Papa.

This Red-tailed Hawk spends his days in the trees beyond our backyard - sitting and looking for dinner....

While we were watching him he flew down onto the golf course. We knew he had something - but what?

When he flew back to his tree we could clearly see the snake in his talons.

Bill says he wants to build an RC squirrel to tease the hawk. Wouldn't that be cool!!??