My Florida backyard…

I think it was the painted bunting that did it.

There we were, in our car (because it was freezing!) driving around the Viera Wetlands, when we saw a volunteer with an enormous lens, photographing something on the ground. As we drove by, he pointed, excitedly.

We stopped the car, I rolled down my window and asked, “What is it?”
“Painted bunting,” he said. “A rare treat.”

And sure enough, there in the grass, playful and pretty as you please, was a painted bunting. But, alas, my husband’s camera, the good one, had run out of battery. Stupid camera. Stupid battery. All we had was my little Nikon CoolPix S70, the one Ashton Kutcher sent me years ago. (Well, that’s what the gift card read. I’m pretty sure it was from my hubs.)

So, I took some pictures as best I could. Here’s the painted bunting:

Can you see it? Try this one:

Better? No? How about now?

It’s there. Trust me. That red spot in the middle. That’s a painted bunting!

So, a few days later, a box arrived for me. Inside was a Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and an array of accoutrements. A funky little tripod, batteries, cards, lens cleaner, a bag, etc. etc. I charged that baby up and took some pictures. Look what I got!

At one of our bird feeders:

We think it’s the American goldfinch, because the bill doesn’t look dark enough for the lesser goldfinch.

And I got the best shots I’ve ever had of the red-shouldered hawk that sits atop the pine out front of the house every morning and calls out to his friends. I can even hear them answer.

He saw me!

I’m pretty sure he’s the red-shouldered variety, because of his call. It’s like “A yee, A yee, A yee.”

Here’s some other cool pics with my new camera, around the yard.

Orchid tree blossom
Bark of the elm tree (?)
[Drake elm]
Florida gray squirrel in the oak tree
Rusted decor
bark of an unidentified tree
[That’s got to be the Drake elm, too]
Bark of a pine tree of sorts. (Look, I don’t know my trees, okay?)
[Hubs says it’s a cedar]
New growth on one of those weird pine trees.
[Norfolk Island pine]

Okay, I’ll figure out what kind of trees those are and update this post later.

That’s all for now! Happy Groundhog day.

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