The kids and I were playing in the backyard when we noticed two noisy hawks circling above. So yes, I ran to get my camera and a good thing I did! These two hawks would swoop towards each other and then grab onto each other's legs, then they would start to drop from the sky (difficult for them to fly) and soon one would let go of the other. They did this over and over. My guess is that it was a territorial fight, a fight over food (but I could not see a kill in their talons), or maybe a parent teaching their young? Anyways, what a cool event to witness!
    Cooper's Hawk  
    I believe this is a Cooper's Hawk but could be mistaken. This Hawk was making such a racket that we could hear him inside. Not sure on what the noise was we went out to check it out. We this hawk across our street and he hung out long enough for me to grab my camera and take some neat photos! I wonder if he is the one that swoops down and picks on the Cardinals at our backyard feeder?!?!
    Swallow-Tailed Kite  
     This is a Swallow-Tailed Kite. I noticed them a few years ago near our home and have been waiting to get a good photo of them. They are beautiful to watch soaring above. I have seen them in groups of 3-8 soaring in the air and perching on tall trees. In my research I found they feed mostly on snakes and they live in wooded river swamps and pine lands. 
     Cedar Waxwing
     A photo of a Cedar Waxwing. I noticed a huge flock of birds gathering in our trees (in autumn) that I had not noticed before. I finally got a good shot and looked up the bird in my Bird Guide Book (Peterson Field Guides: Birds of Eastern and Central North American). 
     Web Art
     Watching a neat looking spider fix it's web!
    Ducks on Lake Houston
     Two ducks enjoying Lake Houston (we were visiting a park near our house).
     Green Tree Frog
     This green tree frog loved to relax on my aloe plant at our old home.
     Tree Frog
    This brown tree frog, I found hanging out on our bird feeder! It was the first tree frog that was not all green. Through my observations on the tree frogs around our house, I am coming to the conclusion that they change their skin color to their surroundings. Next step is for me to research to see if my observation is correct. If you know about these tree frogs let me know, we did not have them in South Dakota! **UPDATE: So I believe this is a Grey Tree Frog. So I found out that green tree frogs do not change their skin color to match their surroundings. I love that I have a variety of tree frogs living around my house. 
    I found this LARGE caterpillar munching on my tomato plant at our new home. That is my husband's hand to try to show how big this guy was! I believe he is a tomato hornworm and they cause damage to tomato plants. My garden was about done for the season so I left him alone. 
    Below are some of my favorite photos I took of the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. 
    Hummingbird  Ruby Throat
    Below is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird. She must have flown into our window, because I found
    her floating in our dogs water dish. I picked her up and saw that she was okay....just very wet!
    We took her into the sun so she could dry off. After about 3 mins she flapped her wings (real fast)
    to see if she was ready to fly. Then a few moments afterwards she flew off!
    (If you ever find an injured animal please let your family know first! Your parents will let you know what you should do. Some animals can be upset if they are hurt or sick. You do not want upset them more or have them get upset with you.)
    Hummingbird Migration Information from http://hummingbirdworld.com/h/migrate.htm .
    Ruby-throated Hummingbirds normally spend the winter in Central America. From March through May they migrate north, some through the eastern two thirds of Texas, some apparently through Cuba and Florida, and some apparently directly across the Gulf of Mexico.
    Birds reach the southern Gulf coast in late February and early March. Later migrants fly to breeding grounds further north. The farther north they are going the later they travel. Arrival time on the breeding grounds tends to not occur until food plants are blooming. Departure time also corresponds with the end of the blooming season for food plants. Fall migration lasts from late July until late October in the southern states. Be sure to look at the excellent Migration Maps in Lanny Chambers' Hummingbirds! site (external link).
    Ruby Throated Humming Bird (Female)