Meeting some real snowbirds – Sebring, FL

With our cruise vacation over, we’re back to our “normal” travel life.  This winter will be spent here in Florida, enjoying the sunshine and warmth – or so we were led to believeBear in Florida. But upon arriving back home the weather was a bit more brisk than we had hoped.  Oh well, maybe it will warm up a bit as we continue toward the southern end of the state.

As we were preparing to depart the Orlando area, we heard a noise behind Betsy and went out to see our friend the bear again, strutting out of our site after helping himself to our bird feeder.  Our neighbor came by to tell us that he had very carefully sucked all of the food out of it one day while we were gone. Hmmm.

Making our way closer to the southern tip of Florida, we first stopped for a week at Sebring and visited my niece.  Although we hadn’t seen any birds near our site while setting up here, I put my feeder out just in case.  To my surprise we began getting daily visits, not from small birds but from three really big ones – Sandhill Cranes!  Now these are some real snowbirds!

Sandhill Crane
It doesn’t take long for this guy to empty the feeder!

The trio came by looking for food every day at around noon.  Of course, I was ecstatic to see them on their first visit.  But on the following days they began pecking on things (like our car!) and we soon realized they are actually a nuisance here.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane
Hey lady, I can stand on one leg – can you?

The Buttonwood Bay RV Resort (Steve’s review here) is large and lush, with natural surroundings and lots of on-site activities.  Since we just arrived from a vacation, we’re mostly just taking it easy at this stop.  Fortunately, the resort has 2.5 miles of paths through and around it, so we were able to walk and bike every day to burn off some of the calories from that cruise food.  It was during one of these treks that we discovered a lake behind the resort that was teeming with various birds.  Steve and I enjoyed hanging out there, people watching, bird watching and sunset watching!

Buttonwood Bay RV Resort

It always puts a smile on my face to see birds I haven’t come across before, such as the two shorebirds below – a Limpkin and a Wood Stork.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork

During another walk on the path we encountered this huge spider.  Steve put his hand behind it to show how big it was.  Yikes!

Big spider

Many guests (people snowbirds) at the park gathered here in the evenings with their friends to witness the setting sun.

Buttonwood RV Resort

Buttonwood RV Resort



  1. We saw the Wood Stork in the Everglades. They don’t look like their body parts go together. That head doesn’t fit!

    Love the reflection sunset photo!

  2. What a great place to hang out! Awesome photos of the birds and what a cool spider…even though I don’t really like them! Nice to have such a beautiful walk/bike path.

  3. Show off….LOL….great close up of the sandhill crane. I can’t believe how close they’ll get. Love your bird photos as always, keep the spider 🙂

    • No no spider for me either that was scary enough. Ohh thank you Ingrid, Im still jealous you see those Whooping Cranes in TX. Our Sandhill cranes in FL are not timid at all, at one point I thought it was gonna attack me when I got too close.

  4. Great pictures MonaLiza! The cactus blossom is beautiful when you see it up close like that.
    Aren’t those wood stocks prehistoric looking? A friend here in Florida has a flock of them searching her lawn every morning – its like Jurassic Park…..

    • Thank you Sue. I would like to see a flock of those Wood Stork with ugly heads. ha ha ha, that must be something to behold. I took three close up shot of the cactus blossom and that one is the keeper, really beautiful.

  5. Love the bird pics! But that spider totally creeped me out, yikes! Gave me the chills just looking at the picture. I just finally got caught up on a couple of months of your postings and I enjoyed them so much. You two really know how to get the most out of every place you visit! Your pictures are amazing!

    • Thank you and you probably can imagine how many pictures I took! We are lucky that despite having no plans of going anywhere on this spot, nature was really close by. I know your stay in San Diego seems to quickly pass by.

  6. What a great spot you found, as always! Love those cranes, didn’t realize they could be a nuisance! Scary spider pic, reminded me of the whip spiders we saw in Palau! Can’t wait to hear about the fridge transplant…..

  7. Can’t believe you saw the bear again! They do like bird feeders, in Colorado in certain areas you’re not allowed to put out bird feeders so bears don’t get accustomed to being near people. Love your Limpkin shot, don’t see many of those. The spider is horrifying! And I love the comment…we just got back from vacation so we’re just taking it easy…made me smile.

  8. I have never seen either a Limpkin or a Wood Stork so thanks for sharing those great photos. I am so envious that you and Ingrid are seeing Sandhill Cranes. Hopefully one day I will also. I do agree with Ingrid, you can keep that spider. It is one insect I am definitely not too crazy about!

    Love your new header! 🙂

    • I know that in your trek down here in the southwest/east you will meet your Sandhill Crane. I got lucky in positioning my camera to get a close up of that prickly pear blossom, thank you. I can just imagine how beautiful the desert in AZ would look like when the cacti are in bloom.

      • Since I lived in AZ for many years, I can testify to the desert’s beauty when the cacti are in bloom. I am anxious to see some Sandhill Crane again. We did see them in Yellowstone but never more than a couple and only from a distance typically.

  9. All I can say is Steve is brave!! The spider picture was very beautiful!! Your expressive language with good pictures keep getting better!!

  10. Freaky spider! I love the cute birds eating all your seeds and the bear too. We have had warm weather and no rain in December and January. I’ve been going to Santa Cruz. I’m taking my 4 year old grandson Liam there on Friday. Keep having fun!!

  11. Any more Polar Vortexes, you might be heading to the Keys? I think Steve has more guts than me with that size of spider 🙂 Happy travels!

  12. Great Sandhill Crane pics. You beat me to it. I have a few to post from our Florida trip. I also have a photo of that same spider but there is no way himself would put his hand anywhere near it. Come to think of it, nor would I. I used a telephoto setting so I wouldn’t have to get too close!

  13. Yikes! That spider scared me a bit. 😀 Nice placing of the photos. From birds to scary spider and then to beautiful water views. Those birds have sexy long legs. Ahihihi Ooops 😆

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