Tag Archives: Stuart FL

Haney Creek hawk walk

IMG_0119

A Northern Mockingbird draws attention to a sign at Haney Creek Park in Stuart, FL. I took a little walk there yesterday morning.

IMG_0134

There is a nice trail that loops through the woods. I thought I saw a strange lizard on this sign.

IMG_0135

It’s a toy, ha! But it did draw my attention to the name of the lichen along the trail: Reindeer Moss.

IMG_0138

Wikipedia…

 Cladonia rangiferina, also known as reindeer lichen (c.p. Sw. renlav), lat., is a light-colored, fruticose lichenbelonging to the family Cladoniaceae. It grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. Found primarily in areas of alpine tundra, it is extremely cold-hardy.

Other common names include reindeer moss, deer moss, and caribou moss, but these names may be misleading since it is not a moss. As the common names suggest, reindeer lichen is an important food for reindeer (caribou), and has economic importance as a result. Synonyms include Cladina rangiferina and Lichen rangiferinus.

IMG_0139

Reindeer lichen, like many lichens, is slow growing (3–11 mm per year) and may take decades to return once overgrazed, burned, trampled, or otherwise consumed.

Don’t step on it!

IMG_0142

Did you ever look at one particular dead tree and think, that’s a good spot for a bird, and then a bird swoops in and perches there?

IMG_0152

American Kestrel!

IMG_0154

 The American kestrel usually hunts in energy-conserving fashion by perching and scanning the ground for prey to ambush, though it also hunts from the air. It sometimes hovers in the air with rapid wing beats while homing in on prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers and other insects, lizards, mice, and small birds (e.g. sparrows). This broad diet has contributed to its wide success as a species.

IMG_0157

As you can see, my fascination with Dahoon holly continues.

IMG_0158

Nice little pop of color in the Florida autumn landscape, here at the edge of a seasonal wetland.

IMG_0160

Dahoon holly… Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Deer browse the young growth. Small mammals, turkey, quail, red-eyed vireos and other songbirds eat the fruits.

I’d plant it in my yard but it likes wetter soil.

IMG_0175

Coming in for a landing! Another raptor appeared on a nearby snag.

IMG_0176

Red-shouldered Hawk!

IMG_0182

I spotted this one in three different locations at Haney Creek during my walk.

IMG_0185

Nice red shoulder.

IMG_0187

I didn’t go this way. It’s just a view of the typical landscape.

IMG_0192

I was keeping an eye out for a Scrub Jay, since I saw one at Haney Creek once when I didn’t have my camera. This was just a regular old Blue Jay playing hide and seek with me.

IMG_0193

The jay is in a live oak tree. I see a tiny acorn.

IMG_0203

The third time I saw the Red-shouldered Hawk it had perched in a great spot for photos – sunlight behind me and on the bird, with dark clouds beyond.

IMG_0204

Its legs look so long.

IMG_0210IMG_0211IMG_0217

This pose made me think of Horus, the Egyptian falcon god of kings and skies.

horus.jpg

IMG_0224

What a beauty.

IMG_0227