Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Beach, Varmints and the like

Can you spot one in this tree? 50 points if you can :o)

This is my favorite time of year! Yes, just last week I was warming my footsies by the fire and today the windows are open for maximum bird singing volume. It happens just like that, overnight and Spring is banging down the door! March truly comes in like a lion 'round these parts and this year, she's early. The breeze is loud and fresh from the sea, just a stone's throw away and the smell of jasmine fills my home(I buy Claratin in bulk). Azaleas bloom in their gaudiest fuchsia attire.
I listen every night for the frog, toad and crickets choir but it's still too early and not quite hot enough. I've spotted two bald eagles already in the past couple weeks and there are ospreys constantly flying overheard clutching fish. And dammit, I never have the luck to have my new camera handy when this happens! I'm going to have to start keeping it in my pocket all the time.
I have some huge feathers I found last year and I haven't figured out a good art project to include them in(suggestions welcomed). They are all over the place. I have yet to encounter the juvenile alligator, who, I saw last year, all summer lounging near the pool, no joke! There's a lake near the pool which separates my neighborhood from a shishifoo golf course and Mr.Alligator sunned himself on that side, the mossy bank closest to the pool, probably trying to get a view of all the bikini action. I have a feeling he might have been relocated. He was pretty small but large enough to scare the sugar out of me. Strangely, I'll miss seeing him.
I wish I had a bird feeder. This is the first place I've ever lived where it was impossible to put one out. I want to get a window feeder, if I can remember next time I'm at the hardware store. I have a sort of awe for cardinals. My Grandmother loved them so much and I can't see or hear one with out thinking of her. I am the worst person on Earth in the morning so my long morning walks with Peanut are the best way to start a day. The little birds around here make 'electronic' sounding songs. The squirrels ignore us as they bounce about, digging here and there. Peanut wants to eat them. Actually there's one who lives near the pool that has learned how beg and steal food-that's him up there. I made friends with him last Spring. Snakes are all over the place too(eek). Sometimes I think they exist just to freak me out and get in fights with Peanut. I found a mini turtle last year by the lake who was stuck in some tall grass. Right after I took this picture he stuck his little head out and tried to bite me. I forgave him for not wanting to be my friend and put him down close to the water where I think he was trying to go.
There's a secret beach I can't wait to ride my bike to where there are shark teeth galore. Sharks! Their eggs wash up onto the shore so I'm scared to death of swimming there. MrPea isn't.
He surfs there too. Usually, I just have a picnic or a book when I go by myself.
The birds of prey don't even bother to fly away with their catch, they land right there on the shore and dig in, I love it. I'm still not officially allowed to ride my bike for just a couple more weeks(the damn anemia dammit!) but I can't wait because I don't want to miss the dolphins. I can see them all year long here but in April and May they migrate back to the north. You can see hundreds upon hundreds of them and you can see from the size of the fins, the babies!!! I heard my brother, who is I swear, MrCaptainSwimTeam, once say you can hear them if you swim out far enough. I'm not a good enough swimmer, plus I'm scared to death of sharks so I'll take his word for it.
I LOVE the hot, humid summer and flipflops and summer dresses and loud, angry, afternoon thunderstorms but this is my favorite, happiest time of year....sick or not! I intend not to waste a millisecond of it and enjoy it.

*I've been reading CrossCreek again, for the millionth gazillionth time can you tell? Most of these pictures were taken last year with my cell phone and I can't wait to take some good ones with my new camera. Keep your fingers crossed for me so I can get on my bike and ride to the secret beach again! When summer is here I'll be bragging about how summer is my favorite. I do that every season.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love this post because I am also an extreme nature lover and you really brought it all to life.

Great shots. I'm trying to figure out which coast you live on - it looks like Southern California. When I lived in San Diego, I couldn't believe that there were flowers year round. Jasmine at the beach and azaleas, hibiscus and frangipani everywhere.

When I lived in the frozen northland, I kept bird feeders. The cardinals and blue jays, which didn't migrate south in winter, were such bright spots against a white landscape.

MsLittlePea said...

I'm in Fl-I grew up here. I wish I lived in California. I luv California I spent a while in SanJose during the dotcom explosion. I was one of those people who are there for 2 days and wanted to stay permanently. But it's not so bad here, I'll stay awhile.

Courtney said...

I'm thinking a move to FL is in order -- Dan hates humidity, though. :(
My aunt and uncle, and Dan's brother and his wife live in San Jose. I like it there, but I prefer Monterey. I'd move to FL just for the shark teeth, though.

Is it a raccoon?

Laurie said...

That settles it, I'm moving to FL with Courtney. HWDDD and Dan can stay in humidity-free Montana.

ellie bee said...

I can't wait until spring break! My kids and I will be in St Augustine--I just LOVE me a good beach! Your spot looks lovely--I am totally green with envy....

super des said...

It looks like a red panda. Do you have those in FL?

For the record, I spent 25 years in CA and now I'm in NY. Far less Nature here.

Thailand Gal said...

You took those pictures with a cell phone???? Wow! Who would have thought?

Love the pictures.. and the beautiful surroundings there.



Hel said...

Thank you. I loved the post, the excitement of spring, the flowers the squirrels, the secret beach - I want it all. Oh and the dolphins too.

Here we are heading into autumn, which is one of my favourite seasons because it evokes so many memories of times gone by.

Shanshu said...

Yeah...there's still snow on the ground where I live. And it's cold and I am still wearing my warm leather coat.

I miss flowers. And grass. And the sun.

Madge said...

There was a thunderstorm in my corner of FL today - complete with lots of rain. My flowers were so happy. :)

MsLittlePea said...

Courtney-yep, it's a racoon! I love shark teeth. I feel like I found a treasure every time I find one.

Laurie-You should!You should!! Humidity makes a lot of bad hair days though. Just a warning!

Ellie-I love St.Augustine. You guys will have such a good time.

Des-I knew you were a California girl. I remember you mentioned that on your blog before.I love California-I love it here but if I had to move California would be my first choice(after Hawaii)

Chani-thanks glad you liked them. Yeah, that phone takes decent pictures but I have a new camera so I don't use it much anymore.

Hel-Yeah I remember you mentioned Autumn was coming over there-I bet it's beautiful where you are.

Shanshu-I'm sorry about that. At least you can be one of those cool people who wear leather though...right?

Madge-yeah, they kept saying it was going to storm here the other day but it never did. I'm jealous of your flowers.

Blondie said...

I love the pics--makes me crave spring. Alas, I'm stuck in the Midwest where we will still have winter for 6 more months.