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Last night went over to our very quaint Lake Mary Historical Museum, it has a doll show.  All dolls were on loan. They had wax dolls and others over 100 years old.  When I grew up, we had dolls like ‘Pitiful Pearl’, Shirley Temple, then on to Barbies, which were the most fun because of all the accessories. I remember having handmade clothes for my Barbies, I don’t know where my Mom bought them, only wish I still had them, I kept all my Barbie dolls and clothes and my mother gave them away while I was in college – bummer, I had wanted to save them for my Andrea. Oh well, that’s so almost 40 years ago – Never mind that psychological trauma, haha.
Here’s some pics.

That last one kind of looked ‘corpsey’.

This shows the bulk of the one room museum, it holds all the documentation for incorporating Lake Mary, Florida.  It was used as a social hall for many years.
Ever hear of Golliwogs? They were black, male dolls and it became acceptable around the 1930’2  for boys to have dolls, but now they are called Gollys because golliwog has become an unacceptable racial term. I never knew these things.  All I know is, little boys have little killing machines like GI Joe and metro sexual Ken to balance GI Joe’s aggressive behavior.  Though I don’t remember my brother having a Ken at all.  I know my young boys liked Stretch Armstrong so they could pull his arms and legs and punch him.     My boys were more into video games and outdoor sports.
They had a lot of Barbies, I didn’t even know they beamed Barbie up to be with Captain Kirk and Spock.   The exhibit is fun, the museum interesting, so go have a look if you are near Country Club and Lake Mary Blvd.  Call them for their hours, they have odd opening times.   These are really old.  

Now to wildlife, lots this morning, maybe because the storms are coming in later today. So many blackbirds, crows, cardinals. It sounds beautiful out there with the doors open.
Here’s a view:
The crow up on the branch was all alone until another joined it up there, they kissed   Then stood together looking south.   Then went to separate branches
then parted, hopefully on friendly terms.
The male heron was busy getting branches again, I enjoy watching his ability of manuvering them around the big branches up in the tree. He brings them to his wife and she shapes them in the nest.     He them moves upward again and again.   

He passes it off and she in true female genetic glue, makes the nest a home.   Look how large it has become.
So that’s it for the am, gotta go before it gets stormy. Kids are coming for weekend.
Here’s a few more pics.   
And this ballsy little grackle who walked right in the porch despite the cat and ate cat food as if to laugh right in Frankie’s face.
What a sense of humor these birds have!  That’s why I have to take their pictures…

I have been in and out most of the day. When I came home at 3pm, the Mama and Papa crane were lounging  on my yard. Mama was yawning as she sat, the male stood on one leg nearby,   nothing unusual about that — the baby was not with them.   BUT,  I noticed that when the male walked, he was noticeable limping, his right leg has been hurt. That has me worried. Wonder what happened?

In the video, the male was not doing his dance to full capacity, no jumping in the air, his is clearly hobbling on his right leg.
Have not seen the fox today, but did see my adorable mailbox mocking bird.

The weather is miserable cold for Florida, only 50’s today, that sucks!  But did manage to suffer through it by going to lunch with Leslie, my friend who is a film writer.  She’s always in the midst of publishing something.  We ate at Toojays – That’s me taking a pic – I like Toojay’s desserts, give me Napoleans or a black and white cookies – yum!
The herons were both on the tree when I went out to fish.   And my heron was down waiting for me at the lake.  There was nothing biting, too cold!  I stayed out there a half hour, but it grew too cold as the sun drifted away.  I have already seen raccoons out there tonight.  I am sitting in my house with 73 degree heat on and a t-shirt beneath my long sleeve sweater and my jacket draped over my shoulders, what a softie!
Will be wondering about my Papa heron, hope it is something that will heal itself quickly, stay posted. HEY, have you seen this?    

7309woodyscreamsatblackbird-1res I have very busy birds around here. In the morning, one very bossy woodpecker who thinks he owns the yard, comes to eat . He has a wife and a couple little “Woodys” up in the hole. The babies are demanding a lot of attention lately.

DSC05154res The woodpecker is the first at the stump in the morning when I put birdseed and old bread out. He doesn’t fool around, he doesn’t mind my close ups anymore, even poses for the camera.  The female comes after he gets his bites first.  52809redbelliedwpA-1res Last year they nested in one of the bird boxes, this year they have moved to one of the dead trees still standing.  They seem quite ambitious and move from hole to hole each time they lay eggs.  The babies are now loud and hungry and demanding. Their little heads are out peeping loudly for more food. DSC06283resDSC06298res

At one point they lived in another lower hole, now they have “moved on up” to the second from the top. Next year it might be the top.
DSC06143res The crow loves to harass the woodpecker, the mockingbirds and blue jays then harass the crows, it’s a vicious cycle all day long. When the other birds are chasing each, that’s when the doves and squirrels sneak in. DSC05921res

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It’s great seeing these birds perpetuate their generations inside my dead trees. They bring a three ring circus each day for my amusement, I train them well, don’t I…  7109mockingbirdchasescrow2res

Where is it? They keep promising rain and once again in the same pattern for the third year, it seems to rain all around us, but not here.
51409waterlevel-1_editedIf you look at the photo with the water gauge, you can see we have lost all the inches of water since Fay last August. The top of the other small meter is showing. The level is down about 30 inches and each day that sun sucks away about an inch more. The sky will cloud up and look like impending doom above us. 51409stormclouds-1_edited It looks mean and ready to strike, but moves along, just drifts away to storm on someone else. I love a great thunderstorm, all that juice built up in the atmosphere brewing away with lightning to heat it and thunder to give it drama. I was eating lunch with my friend Leslie today in Lake Mary at Toojays where there is no recession.  It’s about 4 miles from my house and as I left the restaurant, droplets began to fall and about 2 miles from the house, it was raining very steadily until I get about two blocks from home and the look was there, but no rain. I went inside and framed a couple pics for an art show and no rain still.  Finally we got a few drops about 4pm, but not enough to even cover the driveway completely.  That meant of course I could go fishing since there was no lightening threat. Too bad the fish were as scare as the rain. All I had were the two pesky turtles that have been bugging me for this past week.    51409turtle&Ringo-1_edited They are bold and chase my bait all over the lake wherever I stand.  Ringo the cat was not sure if he should go after it or not, but decided the slimy shelled red-eared slider wasn’t worth the bother.
The birds too seemed on edge today, they were busy going after each other at the stump. Chasing each other off.  51409blackbird&woodpecker-1_edited 51409trioofbirds-1_edited It was entertaining.
Later, around 7pm, a young raccoon came to the porch. The cats did not care for him, infact, Frankie, the female tried to fight with him, the raccoon did not want to fight thank goodness.

51409Frank&raccoon-1_edited Then Church gave him the staredown  51409Church&raccoonB-1_edited and he finally left.  The night sky changed 51409sunset-1_edited and it looked like a very calming end to the evening. Cross your fingers for tomorrow and for my buddy Beda who just got a new rain barrel who anxiously awaits it filling up. And one last thing, here’s a sight I came across walking a couple days ago,  51409armadillo-1_edited-1 it was a three legged armadillo, he was walking faster than me!

Here it is at 7 weeks and it is going to be the biggest crane I can think of – it is growing like a corn stalk in July!
So I will let the photos speak for themselves
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50309mamababy-7wks_edited-1 5303cranefamilyb-1_edited-1

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okay, how is this scenerio? Last night I was fishing with the mother heron. I had not seen the baby all day, nor had my neighbor and the young heron usually only stays in a 4 yard radius near to it’s tree with the family nest and because it has not been able to use it’s wings yet, it nests in the Norfolk pine on my property, but last night and the night before, it did not climb up there at night, so…listen to this…Last night I had the mother heron standing in the weeds next to me and there was a huge racket that came out of the family nest. It was so loud and boisterous, the female flew back home and that is a first, usually nothing at all disturbs her when I fish. Last night she heard all the noise and flew up to the nest. I went inside and got my binoculars and saw that both babies were up there versus the one sibling that has remained. Could it be the baby has found flight and went back home? It sounded like a reunion last night as there was all kinds of noises going on. The mother was up there flapping her wings and the babies big heads were bobbing up and down with their wings spread out also. I did not think there were 3 babies originally, it seemed like two were in that nest to begin with. Can someone tell me if one baby did fly down out of the nest, could it possibly go back there if it found how to use its’ wings? Why couldn’t it?  The babies, which actually are almost as large as the mother, were bobbing and screaming and wings were expanding and contracting, it was much louder than the normal, “feed me” noise they make. Anyway, I would like to think the baby heron had learned to use his wings and flew back home.

The mother stayed up there for at least twenty minutes, then flew back down to the weeds in the water again. I asked her point blank if that was the baby that had ‘flown the coup’, but she didn’t say, she only stared at the water waiting for the sound of the fish slapping the water as I pull them in. I think there is a story to be told in that nest!

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I got all excited late this morning as I was ready to run out, I noticed sandhill cranes walking up to the stump, walking as if they knew that bird seed was always there. I was so excited thinking finally the new baby is coming by for its first official visit. But upon looking at the pair, there was no baby and their color was not rusty and the male had a distinct shape to his head and a very crisp red top that was different from Papa crane.
4209newcranemale1a This males red head was ‘humpier’ than papa crane. Trust me on this, there is a difference.
The pair stayed here all afternoon, taking time to sit in the shade
of the camphor tree and then at around 5pm, they got up and began to play and toss weeds about as they did their silly dancing.

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They played for about fifteen minutes and then started their trumpeting. Loud and clear they trumpeted across the lake. I went inside and shortly after that my son told me we had 4 cranes in the yard. All the shouting had brought in the Mama and papa crane, without their baby. The new cranes looked unsure of what to do and the male moved away and left the female to deal with the locals.
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My rusty cranes then chased off the new couple and when they knew the cranes were gone, they trumpeted their victory and took off and flew back to their nest where I suppose they left the baby.
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Maybe they did not like the idea that another couple would try and move in during their absence. It
amazes me how territorial these birds become and yet, they still have not brought the new baby by. In fact
they did not even touch any of the bird seed on the stump, they came, kicked ass and left, all in a matter of about
ten minutes.  It makes me wonder if they think that since they have lived here so long, they can claim the whole
neighborhood as their own? Nothing bird brained about that!

This morning Elvis and Carbs were yakking it up and then the Pekin twins swam over . They get so excited one or both of them layed an egg as there was one on shore and one in the water. dsc00681 I brought them both up to see what happens in 3 days, the candle test to see if they are fertile.
dsc00691 I doubt they are. Somehow, Carbs and Elvis seem to like each other more than they like the girls.
On my way to check out the crane progress, I noted one of the baby heron’s folks way up in the nest. (I had binoculars with me). I wondered if they had found the baby.  So I hurried to look at the crane, and Mama crane was sitting on the nest and indulged me as she stood and rolled the egg and sat back down.
resizenestingcrane Back home I went and walked into the backyard and who did I see peering over the seawall at the neighbors but the baby heron. He looks well, but still confused.
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Tonight I hope he is still there as his mother will come down and I hope she will spot him. You can see he wants to get down to the water, but there is a 4 foot drop to the shoreline. If only he would walk over to my yard it has a natural slope down to the waters edge.  The baby could catch minnows then like this small gray heron. resizesmallheron

This morning while I was watching for the new baby sandhill crane to hatch, the baby great heron decided to try his wings for the first time and came down to a camilla bush.

100_0561 The poor little guy stayed there from about 8am, until he figured out where the ground was at 5pm!

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He wandered around the ground, but didn’t have a clue how to get back up to his pine tree nest over 100 feet up! He has been trying to figure out his wings, how they took him down and yet, won’t lift him up.  dsc00452

The heron walked around for hours looking for the nest. It remained silent. Hasn’t made much noise. While I fished it was still looking and the funny thing was, his mother was down with me and never noticed her wandering bird.
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At 7:30pm, the baby heron climbed up into my norfolk pine. I suppose he knew it had to find a place to sleep.   dsc00511

I could hear a racket up in the nest when the parents noticed their baby gone. I saw one heron take off flying. I wish I could speak ‘heronese’ to tell them where the baby was. But last I saw tonight. He was in the safety of the norfolk pine. I know it will be a long scary night for it. It is old enough to fledge, but they also say being young and immature, have a 70% survivor rate. I hope this little one makes it!  I’ll let you know if I see it in the morning light. I hate thinking it is so very scared all alone….ahhhh

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