CONFESSIONS OF AN ARMCHAIR NATURALIST
Revised 1-30-17

This was by no means an exhaustive study of the natural scene in one suburban Pensacola third of an acre.  There is so much more in and on the ground and in the trees.  Plants and insects are greatly under represented.  The photography sometimes suffers under the effort to make enlargements.  I didn't have a camera handy the day a mangy coyote was passing through.  I also couldn't expose the moles or their tunnels.  The same is true of insects.  I only scratched the surface with plant life and didn't include photos of everything I've seen. I occasionally observed large hawks and bald eagles flying over. I saw what I believe were deer tracks.  Great blue herons and little green herons made infrequent flights toward nearby water.  Night is always a photography problem.  Opossums didn't photograph well and most snakes are secretive until dark.  I think I heard owls but can't prove it.




Thrasher nest...the adults will defend their nests and I've seen them in other locations attack snakes, dogs and humans.



Scattered in this collection are photos of hapless squirrels who robbed bird feeders that were
built atop a makeshift bluebirds nest,  The birds were aggressive and fur literally flew!
























Kingbird

















These two, female and male, were fierce defenders of their nest.





The cardinal chased off the tufted titmouse and the bluejay chased the cardinal.





You wondered where little cardinals came from?































  Rufous-sided Towhee



Stare down



















Papa bluebird attacks!



The House Finch is a western bird that has been introduced to eastern states.






My little chickadee!  It was learning to fly when a mocking bird literally knocked it out of the air.







A flight of white pelicans







OK, if birds are so smart why does this one move his lips (or beak) when he reads the sign on my tree.



Love birds





The brown headed cowbird doesn't build a nest.  It lays its eggs in another species bird nest and those parent birds  hatch and raise the young who compete with the others for food.











Lizards have ears.







Black racer photos...and they can really race!



I was alerted by the loud chattering of birds and found what they were alarmed about!







A legless lizard!





Skink





Another legless lizard


Looking to attract a mate!



I wonder if he was first attracted by the hose!

































Ants bite!

























A Sphinx Catepillar



A stealthy long legged spider and prey—a fly.







The nickle is for size comparison.













A unwanted visitor...the Norway rat.  They spread disease and damage houses—even starting fires by chewing wires.





















Fairie ring








Magnolia seed pod.





It's the subtropics...anything grows anywhere!







A giant oak resembles an elephant.



Like I said, anything grows anywhere!





The soccer ball is for size comparison.














Mating fruit flies.



Grasshopper



Wooly worm





Snail





An orb spider.




















Stinkhorn or Stinky Squid mushroom
Don't eat wild mushrooms or even allow dogs to eat them  unless you are a trained edible mushroom expert.  The secret to locating safe mushrooms is simple.  Look for neatly wrapped mushrooms in the produce section at Publix or canned products.  Anything else is foolish.



Animal Control took the animal but didn't know what disease was involved.






It's Florida and things really do grow here.  A tree seed found its way to some composting leaf litter.  Birds and squirrels store nuts and seeds here as well as anywhere else.  They just seem to grow faster.