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csziggy

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 25,596

Journal Archives

THREE Randy Rainbow songs!





LOTS of pics from visit to Circle B Bar Reserve

Just south of Lakeland, Florida.

Barred Owls


Limpkin


Little Green Heron


Snowy Egret


Soft Shelled Turtle


Nesting Sandhill Crane


Woodstork


Snipe


Great Blue Heron eating Giant Siren Salamander

Paraprosdokians for today

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. (Winston Churchill loved them).

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you ...but it's still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up -- we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify.." I answered "a doctor."

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.



Now with link to images - trip that included some wonderful birding!

Photos at: Circle B Bar Reserve And Bartow, Florida

It was just a quick trip to Central Florida to visit my Mom. Since Mom has little endurance these days, we always do other activities while in this area. This week we returned to a favorite place, the Circle B Bar Reserve just south of Lakeland.

The first thing we learned on arrival, announced by loud squawks and honks, was that right now there are many limpkins ready to mate. Apparently limpkins have been increasing in numbers now that they have learned to eat the invasive apple snail. And a LOT of them love the marshy habitats at Circle B Bar Reserve for breeding.

Before we got to the limpkins, though, we joined a small crowd watching a pair of barred owls who were hanging out right next to the main parking and picnic area. They were hanging out on an oak tree branch, under the fronds of a sable palm.

As we headed down the Heron Hideout Trail which goes between two marshy areas, we saw, a baby alligator, a few roseate spoonbills, snowy egrets, glossy and white ibis, little green herons, little blue herons, tricolor herons, black vultures, anhingas, moorhens (also in breeding mode), and of course the limpkins. Farther down the trail were a group of three ducks. Most people thought it was a mama duck with two ducklings, but when I reviewed my photos I identified the larger duck as a female black-bellied whistling duck and the two smaller ducks as a pair (male and female) blue wing teal ducks.

Around the corner on Marsh Rabbit Trail, I stopped to watch a limpkin looking for snails, then my brother in law realized that the object near it was a very, very large soft shelled turtle. Farther along was a Eastern phoebe who posed nicely for some photos, a little green heron less than ten feet from me who totally ignored me taking his portrait, and the largest cooter turtle I have ever seen. Twenty to thirty feet off the trail was a sandhill crane sitting on her nest - apparently just before I got there she had turned her eggs and other birders thought she had three eggs in her nest!

At one point there is a viewing blind out over the water. From that point we could see a large (maybe eight feet long) alligator sunning itself on the end of a bit of land. From the other side of the blind, Humpy, the most famous of the Circle B Bar gators, came cruising up. Humpy is estimated to be 13-15 feet long and has an unusual humped back so he is very distinctive. January 15 he was seen walking across one of the reserve roads, amazing the hikers who were close to him (for video see my post: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181044662). Humpy sailed over and hung out in the water next to where the other gator was sitting.

When I walked down the ramp from the blind, I saw the most amazing thing of the day - a great blue heron had caught something and was trying to swallow it. It was probably a giant siren salamander and had to be at least three feet tall. It took the heron a long time to kill the thing thoroughly enough to swallow it -the heron tried more than once and then would beat on it some more before trying again. I got a great sequence of photos of the entire thing and will be sending copies to confirm what it was that the heron caught.

On the way back along that trail (it goes in a big loop, but I was too tired to make the entire length) the hardest bird to see in Florida - a snipe - was sitting just off the trail. Unusually he was in thin weeds in the full sun. I got some good shots of him, too.

While taking a rest break, I got to watch two limpkins fight over a nesting site, while having a great blue heron stroll along the road thirty feet away, a limpkin cross the trail intersection a little farther along, and a white ibis come ten feet away to change march areas. The birds in the reserve have little fear of humans and are used to crowds walking around their territory!

My final cool sighting at the reserve was a wood stock hanging out on the branch of a tree. Some boat tail grackles were hassling him and he kept spreading him wings to intimidate them.

This morning we were driving around Bartow (my hometown), just south of Lakeland, and we passed one of the lakes. There were hundreds of male black-belled whistling ducks around this small lake. They were roosting in trees, standing on roofs and on the fences of some of the houses around the lake, but most were just sitting around the shore of the lake. As with many Florida lakes there are Muscovy ducks and some white crested ducks that have been released. In addition, the lake was hosting white pelicans, anhingas, a great blue heron, a woodstork, some black vultures, and a single fulvous whistling duck.

And to improve on a great couple of days of birding, right outside our hotel window was a nest platform with a pair of ospreys getting their nest ready for breeding season!

Thanks for all the hearts!

Leaving for a few days - going down to visit my 96 year old Mom.

While I am gone I might visit this place - but the wildlife has me worried.

Frantic Peterhead farmer Bruce Grubb and gun cops cower from tiger for an hour

Frantic Peterhead farmer Bruce Grubb and gun cops cower from tiger for an hour — only to discover it is a cuddly toy
Bruce had invited pals round for a housewarming after moving into the farm three weeks ago when the drama unfolded

Exclusive
By Stuart Patterson
5th February 2018, 10:57 pm
Updated: 6th February 2018, 9:41 am

Worried Bruce Grubb, 24, who reported the fearsome big cat lurking on his farm near Peterhead, said: “I got the fright of my life.”



He called in armed officers when he spotted the striped creature crouched on a ramp in the animals’ barn.

When police arrived, they stayed safely inside their vehicles during a tense hour-long stand-off as they tried to work out how best to tackle the beast.

But Bruce began to grow suspicious when the ‘tiger’ didn’t move.

More: https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/2191615/peterhead-farmer-bruce-grubb-tiger-police-cuddly-toy-stand-off/

OOPS! From 2017

The Women's Marches may have been the largest demonstration in US history
By Sarah Frostenson Updated Jan 31, 2017, 11:11am EST

Crowd estimates from Women’s Marches on Saturday now tally over 4 million and political scientists think we may have just witnessed the largest day of demonstrations in American history.

According to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, marches held in more than 600 US cities were attended by at least 4.2 million people.

“Even using a conservative estimate, it was the single largest day for a demonstration in the US,” Chenoweth, an expert on political protests and civil resistance, told us.

Every state in America hosted a Women’s March, as you can see in the map above. The events ranged from tiny gatherings in small town squares to throngs of more than 500,000 people clogging streets in cities like Washington, DC, and Los Angeles.

More: https://www.vox.com/2017/1/22/14350808/womens-marches-largest-demonstration-us-history-map


They also offer a link to a spreadsheet which is still collecting data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xa0iLqYKz8x9Yc_rfhtmSOJQ2EGgeUVjvV4A8LsIaxY/edit#gid=0

Question about applying for passports for my husband and myself

One of the sections ask for travel plans - specific dates and countries to be visited.

We're planning to take a short cruise, maybe this year, and then probably in 2019 visit the British Isles. But we have no idea when either trip will be.

The short cruise will be to the Bahamas and I don't even know if we need passports to get off the ship for the one day it will be there. Just in case, we won't book the cruise until we have our passports in hand and it's not worth it to us to ask for expedited handling.

It's way to early to even guess at the dates for the 2019 trip - the cruise line I would like to take doesn't even have all their dates posted yet.

So do you have to fill in that section even if you just want a passport for future trips?

Coffee or not? The choice to have coffee in the mornings is nigh

It's been nine days since my last operation and it is still a struggle to eat. My digestive system is working but not up to normal. My appetite has not really returned - I get hungry but feel full after very little food.

That's fine - I am using this opportunity to lose weight and stop some of my bad eating habits. So far I have lost about twelve pounds and if I keep this up I will be at a third of my total weight loss goal by the end of the year.

So far I have not gone back to having coffee in the mornings. Before the operation I HAD to have at least one fourteen ounce cup every morning. That was a cut back but gave me enough caffeine to get going.

It's been long enough that the caffeine withdrawal is over and done. I still crave that pick me up in the morning but don't have that addict's pull for it.

Maybe it is the time to cut my caffeine ties? I could still have the occasional coffee but it sure would save me a lot of time every morning to just not have that daily cup.

What do ya'll think?

Out of the hospital again - minus a kidney and a hernia!

Wednesday I had my second set of procedures - left kidney removed via hand assisted laparoscopic surgery and mid-line hernia repair. The healing from this compared to the TAVR (trans arterial valve repair) will be much slower. For one thing, I had my first solid food this morning, if half a cup of thin oatmeal counts as solid food.

I have two small incisions on my left and a 6" vertical incision right across my belly button. The big incision is a little sore, but not really painful.

The mass on my kidney was a stage 1 cancer - completely enclosed in the kidney with no signs of spreading. The five year survival rate is 81% and we will do follow up imaging to make sure there is not additional signs of cancer.

The hernia was worse than the doctor thought - couple of loops of intestine were pushed through. Eventually they could have become damaged and blocked which can be very serious. Now instead of my tummy pooching out, it goes way in. I'll have to get used to my new figure!

I came home today and have slept most of the day. Now eating my third meal since the surgery.

Now for the bad news - my sister called after I was out of surgery Wednesday. Mom was in so much pain Tuesday her caretaker took her to the emergency room. The pain was caused by three collapsed or shattered vertebrae. Along with the spine problem, on the X-ray they saw tumors scattered across her body, the worst in her liver. She is now in hospice at home. Since she is a 96 year old woman with worsening Alzheimers, any treatment other than palliative care would just be a cruelty.
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