Welcome to the Daily Bucket.  This is the place to record observations of any natural phenomena you might have encountered during your day to day activities.  Tadpoles in the neighborhood pond, the arrival of Chimney Swift, an unexpected meteor shower, the last flowers of autumn.  All potential contents of the bucket.

Please contribute and please tell us where, to a reasonable approximation, you are.

Tallahassee, Florida.  Today has been quite an eventful day, especially as all that follows was observed from inside the house or on the screened porch.

As I was preparing to exit the bathroom this AM I noticed (looking across the den, past the stairs, and out the window on the far side of the house) an object on the surface of the water of the lake off in the distance.  Said object looked familiar and appeared to be moving in a suspiciously linear fashion.  Grabbing the bins from the stair railing post I confirmed my suspicions.  It was an American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, probably 4-5 feet long.  I was able to alert my wife and get her out to see it before it disappeared from view behind some trees.  No time for a photo and too far in any event.

This is the third time I've seen an Alligator from the house and the first one I've seen in the lake at all in over a year.  Low water levels seem to have kept them elsewhere.  Good to see one back although they are hunted on the lake.  I'm tempted to add it to my yard bird list, as crocodilians are the closest living relatives of birds, but I suspect that bwren and my arch rival in Wisconsin would object.

This afternoon I received a phone call from my father, wishing me many happy returns on the anniversary of my birth.  As I was talking a Swallow-tailed Kite floated by!  Definitely a new yard bird and one I've been waiting to get for 3.5 years.

A bit late I discovered a genuine Swallowtail butterfly in the screened porch.  Our cat was fascinated - it was after all considerably larger than a hummingbird.  I caught it and removed it outdoors.  I tried holding it by a leg to avoid wing damage but it promptly shed the leg and flew off.

So that's my report.  July 28, 2012 - Alligator, Swallow-tailed Kite and humungous Swallowtail (I'll ID it more specifically for billybush's diary tomorrow).

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