This post is dedicated to my mother. Her birthday is June 21st and this is our tenth year without her lovely presence. The roses below are from the rose bush a dear friend gave me in memory of my father - our mother loved roses and flowers in general. She also loved nature, gardening, birds, wildlife, wildflowers, travelling, dogs, cats, her grandchildren, her children and visiting us here at our home. Which was also her home because anywhere she went, she made everyone feel like they were at home.
In an earlier post I showed a picture of my backyard and mentioned that one of the key selling points for our home is its location next to a protected wetland.
This may conjure up images of alligators and other swamp creatures climbing the fences to our yard and swarming all over it. Just as I might imagine wolves circling houses in Wyoming.
Not so. This is what climbs the fence.
Vines. Lots and lots of vines. Some are called Potato Vines because they have "fruit" hanging from them that resemble potatoes.
There's a bunch of other species of vines back there that my good friend CG could probably name, but all I know is they are hard to tame!
And believe me, we and our neighbors, have waged a war against them to keep them at bay. See how it is moving onto the roof of our lovely shed? (Or shall I call it our "vintage" shed? LOL)
Here's the back side view of the invasion, way down there in this photo.
"Protected Wetland" does not necessarily mean that the ground is wet or swampy.
It is a term used by environmentalists, attorneys and legislators to protect property,
rich with wildlife and native plants, from development.
Other than lots of birds, some snakes (every yard has those), some interesting turtle encounters and some exotic plant life, the scariest thing we usually find in our yard are these strange wild cows that like to graze back there...
...or roll around in a fit of bovine delight.
Sometimes we spot a Darcy slinking amongst the palms...
You can see how we have cleared about ten feet back from the fence. By doing that the "jungle" is kept more easily at bay. It took us several years to figure this out, but it finally sunk in and now instead of fighting the "jungle", we enjoy it more.
Look at these strange plants growing back there.
After the hurricanes in 2004 many different plants/weeds started showing up in our yards and back in our jungle. I even had a stalk of corn for some reason!
The most wonderful thing about this protected wetland area is that no building will ever be allowed back there. And that makes for a very private space and makes our yard seem bigger.
I've seen Bald Eagles perched on some of the naked trees and lately there has been a family of hawks or eagles circling the woods and perching on these bare branches.
Of course the day I took my pictures they were no where in sight, you will just have to take my word and the word of about 20 neighbors who hear the screeches all day just as I have recently.
These Live Oaks hang over our house and provide a wonderful playground for the squirrels. Piliated woodpeckers and smaller woodpeckers love to work on the trunks of these trees.
One night while sitting out back we were treated to the almost silent whoosh of two Barred Owls flying from the woods to perch in the oak above our patio.
So, no gator sightings in 23 years unless you count Mr. T, Me and The Writer who all graduated from UF, home of the Florida Gators!
Now, I have two questions.
First, is there a friend or family member in the area who would like to adopt my Stag Horn Fern?
Her name is Bananas (the peels are good for them) and she has her own stand - just requires shade and water if it doesn't rain. Bananas started from a small "horn" a friend gave me about ten years ago and has flourished under the oak trees.
Second, tell me about your "backyard" and what impressions people from other areas may have of where you live!
Darcy, Grandkitty, out!