Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Second Look: Wednesday 4/6/16

I took my bike on its first field trip today. It was so much fun to be riding again, even though it was only to the library.  It took me 5 minutes to get there but a little longer to come home since it was a tad windy and there is a couple of inclines (I hesitate to call them hills but really, they are Florida hills!) on the way home. Also, I had been tasked by Susan to take pictures from my bike.

Now, you have to understand that I live in a small rural town, which is getting bigger because of all the developments on the outskirts, but the downtown is small and is cut in half by a major roadway that many many trucks take.  In order to go to the library, I have to go alongside that road so I will spare you the sights:  commercial development, trash on the side of the road from all the truckers that park there to go to McDonald's or Hardee's and then just pitch their trash out the window (grrrr), pretty much nothing pretty to see.

However, I live very close to the lake that is downtown so I can ride my bike alongside it for part of the way and this is where most of these pictures were taken.

It's really not a large lake, but we do have some waterski competitions on it from time to time and a few people ride their jetskis during the summer. It makes a lot of noise.  Thankfully the fishermen that mostly use the lake are much more quiet. This picture isn't well focused because I was actually riding along while taking the photo on my phone.

Past the playground, there is a small "park" that the city tries to landscape.  I liked that red bush.  I think those are bougainvilleas.  

The lakeside has a border of "bushes" that have bright yellow flowers on them right now.  They are called long-staled seedboxes (Ludwigia arcuata).

There are also a lot of these flowers alongside the lake shore. They are lance-leaved arrowhead (sagittaria lancifolia).

This is pink purslane or "rose moss" (portulaca pilosa)

I was trying to take a picture of this black bird that was resting on the boat dock, but he flew off when I turned on my camera. I can't tell what kind of bird it is, there are several that are very similar in my Birds of Florida field guide.
There were 2 empty shells at the edge of the water at the boat ramp.

I believe the shells are from Florida Apple Snails (pomacea paludosa)

There were tons of little fish swimming in the shallow water near the boat ramp. I'm not sure what kind they are.

Even though this is downtown, we live in a rural area... these cows are in a pasture just on the other side of the lake. Sometimes we can hear them moo from our house!

Those white ibises were walking by the playground, looking for bugs in the grass.

This one wasn't near my house or garden... 

I was very surprised to spot those ducks right by the lake, nestled under some trees! They don't look like wild ducks...  I wonder if they escaped from someone's farm. Our city regulations do not allow us to keep ducks or chickens (or any other farm animals) in town...

Last year I had spotted bananas growing on those banana trees.  The lakeshore doesn't belong to the homeowners who live across the road from it, according to city records, so I believe it's public property. Still, I never did go to harvest the bananas. Today I didn't see any on the trees.

My pretty bike at the library!

I love those!  This is Common Spiderwort (tradescantia ohiensis). They grow on the side of the very busy and ugly road so they made that portion of my short ride more enjoyable :)
 That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed my bike ride with me :)


  1. What pretty countryside and great photographs! Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed going on your bike ride with you!

    1. It's not all that pretty IRL but taking individual pictures lets you appreciate the beauty that lurks within!

  2. You rose to the challenge and blew away all my expectations. What gorgeous photos. I'm in awe of where you live, and I wonder if there was any way I could capture the "beauty" of where I live. I doubt it. For beginners, I don't have a beautiful lakefront. Well done Nathalie.

    The common spiderwort is a plant I have put into my flower beds. I have some blue and white. It is a prolific spreader that I have to keep under control, so I can see where it could grow wild with abandon. It is very pretty. Again, I really enjoy the photos of wildlife you have found, as well as the close-ups of native plants. I love going with you on these outings, and glad for the opportunity to tag along. I might just take up the challenge of finding the beauty where I live.

    1. I was thinking "gotta take interesting photos for Susan!" all the way so I'm glad you enjoyed them, lol. As I told Bless, the lakefront really isn't that pretty at first glance, but that second glance is really what makes you appreciate it. I admit that I like driving alongside it sometimes just to admire the water and the reflection of the light (we get gorgeous sunsets since the road is on the east side of the lake). It is a treat to have it so close to our house so we can admire it whenever we want. Just a shame that it's so hot most of the year that we rarely walk. I'm hoping to continue spending more time outside re-discovering the natural beauty of the area. Also it helps me learn to look at the details and be more observant. I tend to be very oblivious and focused on my own thoughts, which makes me miss a whole bunch of things that might be enjoyable and even useful.


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