Florida Vacation

A couple weeks ago I was in Florida for family vacation. We had some days with good weather:
Arrival

Some bad weather:
Storm

And a great sunrise (the one morning I actually got up early enough to see it):
Dawn

Overall it was a great week, even if the water was too calm for boogie boarding most of the week but too murky for snorkeling (presumably due to the dredging they were doing for beach replenishment).

It turns out the birds were the most interesting part of the week (at least when I had my camera out), especially the heron that would perch on the boardwalk of our house or one nearby to preen itself after the rain. Before I get to that, here’s the one good picture I got of a Black Skimmer:
skimmer

And here are the best of the pictures I took of the neighborhood Great Blue Heron:

Weekend Adventures

We hiked up Mt Herman this Saturday (the back side, less strenuous than the route I’ve taken the last couple of times). I got a few decent pictures of the flowers in the field by the parking lot at the base:
Flower 1

Flower 2

We hung out (literally, I brought a hammock) near the top to eat lunch. This ground squirrel was really interested in what we had to eat but wasn’t willing to come anywhere near us and vanished any time we moved:
Ground Squirrel

Obligatory picture of Pike’s Peak:
Pike's Peak

Second hike of the weekend was up Seven Bridges in North Cheyenne Canyon. The trail follows a stream up the valley, so there were a number of water falls. I don’t know how much farther the trail goes, but we turned back at the seventh bridge.
Waterfalls

Found this one in my yard. Hummingbirds like red flowers, right? It took a week for the level to go down noticeably, but now my hummingbird feeder is empty. I’m wondering if there were strong winds Saturday that dumped it out.
Yard Flowers

I don’t know why, but when I was taking a picture of her Talore looked straight at me and meowed. Picture came out perfect:
Complaining Talore

Shedding Season

Ah, summer, the time of the year when all the hair falls off my cats…

This is the second round (first was two or three weeks earlier and got at least this much) for Talore. The first round got more off, but she clearly wasn’t done. Actually, I suspect she could use more brushing, though the spots where the brush catches are getting kind of sparse so I’ll have to be careful if I try again.
Talore Brushing

Dash really doesn’t like being brushed, but after I’d followed him around for ten minutes or so he kind of gave up trying to escape. There’s certainly more loose hair to remove but hopefully he’ll be way more comfortable with the heat now.
Dash Brushing