Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Walk in the woods ..Florida Pan handle

Howdee all,

It is finally warming up here in Sunny Florida. The temp yesterday reached mid sixties and today will be a bit warmer. The best thing is that it is not soooooooo cold at night! This morning was 49 rather than in the 20s that it was for a few nights.
We don't have to run our furnace all night we are saving fuel.

So...our days have been spent checking out all the birdie spots from the Florida Birding Trail. What we have found is that it is not as birdie as mid to southern Florida......
We did get great views yesterday of the Bachmans Sparrow and Red-headed woodpeckers, as well as all the usual suspects.
I wasn't expecting to see the Woodpecker...I have been wanting to see one for a while...and I was fooling around with my MP3 player and decided to play the Red-headed woodpecker call to remind me what it sounded like.
The woodpecker heard the call and decided to call back....what fun.

We didn't have the scope with us so I didn't get any photos!

A few days ago we had a nice walk in the woods to a small gulf inlet. These are the photos below.
of our walk in the woods.

the woods were full of this lichen...

There are a half dozen species of ground lichens, or "reindeer moss" that sometimes carpet the sand in Florida scrubs. A lichen is not a single plant, but actually a combination of a fungus and an alga. Neither the fungus nor the alga can live alone, and the relationship is a type of symbiosis called obligate mutualism. Lichens are extremely slow-growing and very susceptible to air pollution. You won't find them in cities. Looking like puffy ground-clouds, gray lichens are Cladina evansii Lichens have no roots, obtaining moisture instead from the evening air and the dew. They are brittle and crunchy underfoot when dry, but soft as cotton balls when moist. Ground lichens are killed by fire and slow to repopulate. The longer a scrub has been without fire, the larger and more numerous are the lichens.

We walked to the inlet to look for birds...

Lots of Critter tracks...anyone know who this is?

and who makes this?

We stayed around to see if anyone would claim this home...but they must have been out for the day.

Another Lovely day in the Florida Panhandle.

I am sending some warmth up to you all in the freezing north lands...
Did you feel it?
Is the Ice melting?


  1. HI Dawn,

    Sounds like a great adventure. Yall really have a great way of life! I can't tell you how many times I have sat in my cube at work and flipped over to your blog and went arrrggggg, Dawn is having tooooo much fun! LOL

    I am pretty sure the tracks you asked about are Raccoon tracks! :)


  2. Dawn, Glad to see it is warming up . I love the raccoon tracks and the tubeworm burrows. I am beginning to investigate marine worms and other critters that live in or on the beach. It is research for a book idea. I want to connect the dots between these critters and the shorebirds I love to watch. I am enjoying your blog.

  3. Dawn, it sounds like it is so nice there! The photographs tell it all. Enjoy your time in Florida!

  4. It is warmer here and melting today, but it is a little early for this in Canada. Loved your walk and wish I could see a Red-headed woodpecker.

  5. Cool lichen. We have the same stuff growing on the side of Connell on the right as you leave our house. Never knew what it was or why it was there. Now I know but will soon forget once I met a new plant I like. Oh well.

  6. Beautiful sunsets, walks, scenery, birds - sounds like paradise there!

  7. Craig,
    LOL...I try to set aside a few days of for not having fun..tee hee..
    thanks for the ID on the tracks.

    Thanks for the ID on the tube worm burrows. I would be interested in hearing more of your book..I will keep in touch with your blog to find out more.

    Thanks you all...we are having a grand time.

  8. Looks like a great walk. I think those tracks are raccoon's too. We had one take our bird cake from the feeder last night.

    We had a warm day yesterday too--60s but a little cooler today.

  9. Dawn-- thanks for posting photos of the Cladina lichen; I was just telling a friend about it this very morning! Nice post, with lots of great photos...

    Looks like lots of good link browsing here too-- I'll be back to visit.

  10. The lichens are neat. I would love to be hiking there with you. It looks like a lovely place and the temps sound awesome..

  11. We were a little warmer for the weekend, but now we're getting spots of snow and sleet and hail. (Send more warmth! Haha!)

    Cute lichen puffs!

  12. I love all the cool things you find in the Florida woods Dawn. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  13. That tree looks like it is singing opera! I have only one question since you travel and live in close quarters. Does your husband snore? That's one reason it might be difficult.. I'm looking for reasons to talk myself out of thinking this is just the best lifestyle, ha!


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