Monday, June 11, 2012

Better Off Without Radar?

Kissimmee River State Park, Okeechobee, Florida

Sunday started out with sunshine and blue skies, and it stayed that way all day long but the evening was another story.  It appears the front has finally moved away from Florida, and we’re getting back to our normal summer rain pattern, which usually  means afternoon showers most every day.

It was 94 degrees yesterday, the humidity was high, and the prairie breezes were gone. 

So….we took a few drives around the preserve, but mostly stayed inside where it was cool.  We finished season 2   of “24.”    Wow….what a season it was!

On one of our wildlife drives, we saw this Crested Caracara and what I believe to be it’s baby. 

Crested Caracara

They had found something in the road they were feasting on.

Crested Caracara juvinile

Driving around the main campground roads always brings lots of wildlife photo ops.


During the day, Al noticed a pair of Carolina Wrens hanging around the motor home.  That can only mean one thing! 

They are making a nest (usually 3-4) and it will be in some crazy place.   The male makes 3 or 4 nests  and the female gets to choose the one she likes best.  We found one nest in a soft side cooler that had a small opening.

We found the second nest here.


Underneath the bicycle cover….here


It’s amazing how quickly they can get a nest built. 

We saw them scurrying around underneath the motor home, so we feel sure there is one there too, but we  haven’t been able to find it yet.  We don’t want them causing a fire hazard, and we certainly don’t want to kill any baby birds when we move.  I don’t think we’re going to be here long enough for any eggs to hatch, so that’s not a worry.  We’ll keep looking.

Carolina Wrens are such amazing little birds and are one of our favorites, but you really have to watch them.  If you see a Carolina Wren around, you can usually assume they are building a nest.  They have several batches each summer.  They are amazingly good parents. 

I got a comment on my blog post yesterday from a couple who is staying here at the campground.  She belongs to the “Friends of Kissimmee Preserve State Park.”   We  hope to get together with them.  I’m sure she will be a wealth of information on this amazing preserve.  I’m trying to determine if she has a blog.  I’ll link it when I find out for sure.

We met them briefly last night when we were taking our “before sunset”  drive around the park. 

They had stopped to take some photographs of the lightning.  They probably got some amazing shots because there was a  lot of lightning.

We  also got a few interesting photos on the way home.


In the picture below, if you look close you can see several blurry objects.  They are Common Nighthawks.   We must have seen hundreds of them on the drive home last night.   They were feeding on flying insects.  It was amazing.  There was so many  of them, and they were blasting around all along the road.   We were driving about 5 mph and if we had gone any faster one of them would surely have hit the car.  We decided to close the windows in case one flew into the car!   They were zooming everywhere!



The picture below is what they look like.


It’s amazing how many deer are in the preserve.  You do not get far before you see deer and turkey…and rabbits.

3 bucks


As it got dark, we started seeing lots of lightning all around us.  Then came the thunder and rain.    It really wasn’t that bad, but I’m such a coward when there is a storm.    I do not like storms and I especially do not like lightning, so I was getting pretty nervous.   I kept checking the radar on my phone, and it looked  ugly.  I use the  Weatherbug app for my phone and I kept getting alerts of dangerous lightning, and possible heavy winds and rain.  

We watched Tv and I tried not to worry.  The weather got a little better, so Al went to bed.  Of course there is no sleep for me during a bad storm, so stayed awake until it all passed.  Al wouldn’t have been sleeping if it had been any worse.  Misery likes company, you know.

I don’t know when I got to be such a coward during storms.  When I was young, I never thought any thing about them.  Of course when I was young I lived in a concrete block house instead of a motor home, and we didn’t know we were getting a storm until it was on top of us.  I probably slept through most of them.

I think I either need to quit watching the weather, or start drinking more alcohol.  Technology is a wonderful thing, but every time I pull up the radar and see all that ugly red stuff coming my way, I just get more nervous.

It was after 1 am when the storms finally quit and I got to sleep. 

This morning, the sun was out and it was fairly cool.   We survived another storm.


  1. never mind the either or need to quit watching the weather AND drink more I also hate nice of the feathery husband to provide so many homes/nests for the misses to choose from...cute cute -great pictures...

  2. I'm just the opposite of you. I love storms. I love to sit and watch them. Especially the lightning. Now if I start counting between the lightning and the thunder and I can only get to two, then I don't like it so much.

    Does the weatherbug app have the maps? I don't know how you can see them on even an iphone. The screen seems SO small.

  3. We had some wrens build a nest in our hitch! I do not like storms either....grew up in tornado alley!

  4. I've turned into a big coward since I've gotten older. I hate, hate storms. In fact Jim and I were just talking about this the other night. He thinks it all started when the kid became a teenager and put us through hell. I just worry about everything any more.

  5. I had no idea that part of Florida had so much wildlife! I suppose it's because I'm busy doing the "Orlando thing". Looks terrific.

  6. What a cool bird, the caracara. I had never heard of those! Eldy is the worrier during storms, and I'm the one that always is able to go to sleep, thinking maybe the worst will pass over elsewhere. Now, if the coach was a rockin' and a reelin', we'd be sitting up at night together! :-) Glad the really bad weather is done for now....I couldn't believe there was 20 inches of rain in the panhandle area! Wow....

  7. I think I either need to quit watching the weather, or start drinking more alcohol.

    The radar patterns scare me more than the storm does. Annie's suggestion: why choose?

  8. Like Sherry, I enjoy storms as long as the wind doesn't get too crazy. Great photos!

  9. I too love storms. Nothing is more soothing to me than to listen to the rain hit the roof of the motor home. I like to watch the lightning dance across the sky. Your pics of the birds are wonderful. I have never heard of most of them. We have the whipperwill here and they are something like the little hawk that you show. Don't drink too much, if the weather gets real bad you do need to be able to move. LOL

  10. Amazing all the wildlife surrounding you. Too bad you have to move the Carolina Wrens nests from you stuff. Wonder if the male ever gets tired of building them?

  11. Lots of great bird pics! I've never heard of most of them but then I'm not really a bird guy.

  12. I am so enjoying your blog and photos from this location. I absolutely love the serenity and quiet of being in nature as you are now.

    One question, is it relatively "safe" walking in the prairie, ie gators, snakes, etc. we camp with our two dogs so besides a concern for human safety we also have concern for pet safety.

    It is definitely gorgeous scenery!

    1. Susan, I don't think they allow dogs out on the prairie trails, but the main roads are loaded with wildlife and the dogs should be safe there. However, Al did find a mama gator and yet babies in a ditch off the side of the road. So....I'd be extra careful. These gators are not fed like in some areas so they are afraid of man and keep their distance. Gators have been known to go after dogs, so you might want to be cautious where you walk the dogs...stay away from wet areas. I think its safe for people...otherwise I wouldn't be out there either.

  13. I enjoy watching and listening to storms. The sound of rain on the roof puts me to sleep. I gess from growing up in a house with a tin roof. Can't count how many nest i have removed from the campers (THE Berry's RV TRAVELS )Darren like the pictures.

  14. I know what you experienced with the nighthawk air show -- when we were parked outside Big Bend last year in Lajitas, it was a nightly event that we looked forward to -- AMAZING! Thanks for bringing back that memory! Love the bird photos too.


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