Mandy is a survivor

Mandy is a champion Australian Shepherd and was rescued when she was 9 months old. Mandy was beaten and abused if she barked or wanted to play. Her previous owner gave her limited food and water, and no toys. A neighbor convinced the man to give Mandy a chance at freedom. Bob Halczyn’s puppy needed a playmate, so when the puppy's trainer told him Mandy’s story, he knew he had to make room for her … [Read more...]

Water play

Eddy Miranda, from Asbel Creek in Land O’ Lakes, took this diving dolphin shot off Anclote Key in the Tarpon Springs area. Miranda also captured this photo of an underwater manatee in Homossassa Springs. … [Read more...]

A slithering reptile

Sandra Vann, of Lutz, saw this yellow rat snake crawling up a tree and snapped the photo from the boardwalk at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa. Reptiles are cold-blooded animals that raise their body temperature by lying in the sun or lower it by crawling into the shade. … [Read more...]

Spoonbills ‘feel’ for their prey

Sandra Vann, of Lutz, snapped a photo of this Roseate Spoonbill at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa. Some consider the spoonbill to be a gorgeous bird, at a distance, but bizarre up-close. Spoonbills feed in shallow waters, walking forward slowly while they swing their heads from side to side, sifting the muck with their wide flat bill, detecting prey by feel. … [Read more...]

A skillful mimic

Sharon Thompson caught this mockingbird on a roof in Country Walk, down the street from where she lives, in Wesley Chapel. A mockingbird is ‘a skillful mimic and incorporates memorized phrases as part of its song.’ The bird can have dozens of songs in its repertoire, including an imitation of a frog or cricket. In just an hour of singing time, one mockingbird reportedly imitated 55 species of … [Read more...]

Miss Princess rules

One of five kittens in an alley cat’s litter, little Miss Princess is aptly named. Besides her gorgeous emerald green eyes, she is confident, serene and has a regal demeanor. Miss Princess loves to be outdoors and she reigns over all she sees. Curt Kibbe, of San Antonio, is her proud owner. … [Read more...]

Grabbing a bite to eat

This red-shouldered hawk had been perched up on the trampoline in Kanasha Reyes’ backyard in Land O’ Lakes for a few days. Evidently, the hawk was spotting prey and ultimately was rewarded by catching a lizard. … [Read more...]

Zebra finches call Lutz home

Zedd (in the back) is the older of the two, and is bossy and a boisterous singer. Zuko has a mutated gene and is actually a Penguin Zebra Finch. The pampered pair feels right at home in Lutz with Meagan Rathman-Urena. … [Read more...]

Squirrels are everywhere…

…in Florida, from the coastal area to the inland. They are incredibly agile climbers and jumpers. Bird enthusiasts know that a squirrel can empty out a feeder in a matter of minutes! This squirrel doesn’t seem to mind Keith Taylor, of Wesley Chapel, snapping a photo during its snack time. … [Read more...]

Poised to play

Charlie is a Lhasa mix and is 1 ½ years old. He enjoys playing with his owners’ grandson, Carter. He also loves the water and chasing lizards. Charlie lives with his family, Jim and Cheryl Cole, in Land O’ Lakes … [Read more...]