Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

We had a lot of fun looking up just before we left our home in Florida. There is a big ficus (a member of the banyan family) tree in front of screened lanai. I get great joy lying on the couch and looking up into its branches. This year was especially fun because the tree was given a MAJOR pruning to control root growth – they have huge invasive root systems. The tree was introduced to southern Florida to soak up the water so the land could be developed.

Mocking Bird singing songs to me.

Mocking Bird singing songs to me.

The trimming made the tree look funny but it increased my ability to see birds that flew in.

A couple of blue jays making a lot of racket.

A couple of blue jays making a lot of racket.

I would sit and work my crossword puzzle in the morning while I watched and listened for birds. When I saw one I grabbed my camera and quietly went out, standing under the almost bare limbs looking up, thru my lens, moving carefully around trying to get a good shot. I saw some woodpeckers, but they are harder to photograph because they are smaller, they are skittish, and they move so quickly.

birds 019

bird in tree 020

For a period of time in February we heard a lot of pecking by a woodpecker. I would go out with my camera and look up. I moved around the sound trying to pinpoint where exactly it was coming from but there was nothing there. My ears could see something that didn’t exist.

One day I was looking up and realized where the noise was coming from. The woodpecker was inside a hole pecking out a nest.


Two-story nest?

Can you imagine the wear and tear on their tiny beaks from doing all that pounding. And the holes are so perfect – do they draw a circle with a compass? Then we began to see the mama and papa going in and out of the hole so we knew there were babies, or soon would be babies.

birds 030

I think this is papa bird.

Just a couple of days before we left we could hear the babies chirping for food between visits from the new mom & dad. Jim even saw a little head peek out momentarily. I was hoping we would see them leave the nest before we left our nest but it didn’t happen. What fun we had watching all the bird activity by looking up into our bare tree.

I checked out some other entries and there are some good ones. Check them out for yourself at:



43 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

  1. Beautiful birds. I think that this is the first time I saw a mockingbird picture outside of books. And it is significant for me because I just read and commented on a a blog about To Kill a Mockingbird. 🙂


    • Great, Imelda. They aren’t a noticeable bird like a jay or a cardinal but oh do they ever have a beautiful voice. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books. I just reread it a while back.


  2. what a lovely tale about your tree and the birds you watched … well done with the pics pat …. we don’t have woodpeckers here so it is very interesting for me!


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    • Thanks, Amy. I was excited about getting Papa. Funny that I normally would have been upset by having almost all the foliage cut from this beautiful tree – but now I am upset that it will all be back by next winter. The birds will still be there but the light won’t be as good and there are too many leaves in the way to get good shots. I sure had fun this year.


  6. I just love these pics!And what wonderful birdwatching opportunities you have.Have to have a brilliant camera too for these bird shots.The freshly pecked hole is very intriguing.


    • I have had so much fun and learned so much about nature since I got my new camera. Photography has made me more aware of our wonderful world. I’m so glad you visited and enjoyed this post.


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