Sunday, October 5, 2014

Jackpot Bike Ride Today

It's been a LO-O-N-G hot, humid summer down here in Bradenton...Hotter than normal, more humid than normal, and drier than normal. Sparky has been the lazy one in the family. She hasn't been out on her bike since mid summer, when things started to cook....In the pool once in awhile doing exercises but not as much as she should have been.

So-o-o-o-o....a cool front came in last night..We're talking the temperature was just around 60 degrees this morning when Sparky got up. Woo hoo! Time to get her bike out and get going! Not a cloud in the sky...And here's the very first thing she saw coming out of the back of the subdivision, near Jiggs Landing, the little preserve and waterway to the Braden River. She hadn't even gone half a mile on the bike when she heard lots of high pitched screeching. Hey, that sounded like a bald eagle cry! Not one, but TWO up high in a branch just across the street!

A great start! Headed down the road to Jiggs Landing...Not much going on there but a dragonfly who paused long enough for a photo...Did you know a dragonfly with its four wings can fly as fast as 30 m.p.h.? That 90% of young adult dragonflies get eaten by predators? That they have almost 360 degree field of vision? And, dragonflies are great mosquito eaters!

And a little while later, Sparky spotted this black bellied whistling duck on the left and another family of ducks keeping it company....

A few miles later and it was a great blue heron catching and eating something, not sure what!
Then, a great white heron or egret stalking some fish....Does anybody know how you tell the difference between the two?
Turn around another bend and another pond, and lo and behold.....A tricolor heron doing some fish stalking, too.

And the best saved for last, Sparky's favorite, a lone roseate spoonbill cruising around the golf course right down the fairway. Then he decided to head for the water.....

A fine day for a bike ride, indeed!  Not a cloud in the sky and temps will be moderate this coming week....YAY! About time! Sparky will be heading back out more regularly now, on her bike. She's got to get back to exercising on a regular basis!  See you later!


  1. That's a great egret. The white morph of the great blue heron is generally only found near the Everglades, is bigger than an egret, and has pale legs. Your bird has black legs, hence, an egret. :)

  2. Wow I don't know how you did any pedaling with all those birds to stop and photograph. Your neighborhood is better than a lot of parks.

  3. Great White Herons are also in the Keys. We saw a lot of them there last winter. There is a huge area called the Great White Heron Refuge. Just look for the yellow legs.

    Glad its cooled down a little. We have loved being away from Florida's miserable summer weather. Not looking forward to going back.

  4. How lucky to see the bald eagles. I miss seeing the ones we had on the lake in SC. I hear the same sort of screeching here at my Mom's house, but it's usually a red tailed hawk :)