Too much paperwork and not enough outdoor work this week. It's been making me a little stir crazy so I took a fifteen minute break this afternoon and headed outside for a breath of air.
Before I got out the door, my co-worker glanced out the window to see a red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) munching on some tasty tid-bit. I grabbed the camera, fired up that optic zoom and snapped a picture through one very dirty window. The hawk was about 60 feet away -- I think I'm liking this optical zoom :-)
Oh, I know you wouldn't have been able to tell what it was if I hadn't told you, but I am still pleased with the clarity. Makes me think of wonderous possibilities!
Once outside, I happened upon this blue-tailed skink. It's either a five-lined skink or a southeastern five-lined skink...I'm inclined to think it's the southeastern (Eumeces inexpectus) because the head stripes and the middorsal stripe don't connect. Whichever it is, its tail will change color as it ages, losing that brilliant blue hue. There has been no shortage of skinks this year, they're everywhere.
This one was sunning about three feet away from the blue-tail.
It appears to be a female broadhead skink (Eumeces laticeps) and she seems to have had a hard life.
Nubbin...where's the tail?
Out by the gate, where a light burns each night, I found the remains of a bat's meal. There were numerous moth wings scattered around on the ground. This particular one appears to be from an Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis).
Down near the pond I found a cluster of groundnut (Apios americana) in bloom. The root is edible, but I've never tried it.
As I was heading back in to tackle more paperwork, I noticed a female Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans).
Worn and tattered, but still active, she was patrolling along the edge of the pond. Somehow, I found that inspiring.