Practice shots of diving pelicans

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On a recent trip to Fort Desoto I was standing on the fishing pier watching the pelicans diving for fish. They are so hard to get as they crash into the water. It happens fast. I was able to get a handful of shots of them going down but all of my pictures of them hitting the water are just big splashes.

SkyWatch Friday

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The usual stuff near my neighborhood

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Lots of ring neck ducks floating in the channel near my neighborhood. The all brown ones are the females and the ones with black heads and gray bodies are the males.

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Alligators are everywhere.

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I hadn’t seen a horned grebe in a long time. This one was all alone across the channel.

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Two more alligators in the grass.

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Another “Funny Faces at the Zoo” post

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I always see red bellied woodpeckers up in the trees at the zoo.

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Everyone loves the little meerkat “clowns”.

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The marabou stork is back on the nest.  Last spring she had 2 babies. She doesn’t look too happy about having to sit there for weeks.

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The front of an Okapi.

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The back of an Okapi.

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“There’s a piece straw hanging in front of my eye. Maybe I can reach it with my tongue” says the giraffe.

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A hooded merganser snoozing over the manatee pool.

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Injured manatees recouping at the zoo manatee hospital.

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He seemed so serious in the first picture so I asked him to smile.

A few funny things at Lowry Park zoo.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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After the storm

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We had a big storm come through the area on Friday and then next morning I headed out to Fort Desoto. It was low tide and the beach was full of things we don’t see that often. Lots of live shells. We mostly see broken ones.

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I think this crab took over this empty conch shell.

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This starfish was missing a few limbs.

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The beach was full of these.  They were all empty though.

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Horseshoe crabs were on the beach.

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Another critter taking up residence in an empty shell.

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The beach was full of the above.  Some kind of sea plant?  Looks like corn on the cob husks to me.

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A beautiful cool morning at Fort Desoto Park.

Shine the Divine

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Best friends playing.

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Mpumi is 3 years old and Mavi is 2 and a half years old.  They have different mothers but Dad is the same.

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I was there a few days before Christmas one morning and was able to watch them play for a while. Both babies were running around and playing. Everyone was having so much fun watching them.

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The impalas have free run of the elephant exhibit and for the first time I  noticed that one of them was missing a foot. Asked one of the volunteers about it and she said that she was born without it and has not had any problems. She was running around with the other impalas.

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The eagles are back on the nest!

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Just a few pictures of the eagles near my house. I finally saw them both on the nest recently. One was on the nest and the other was sitting on top of the dead tree the nest is in. I’m hoping they are getting ready for eggs or there may already be eggs on the nest. I’ll keep you posted.

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The loud peacocks that live on the farm where the eagle’s nest is were looking at me like I was crazy.  They were thinking “That crazy lady is back with her black box on her face”.

SkyWatch Friday

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Not a new duck but a rare one.

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I had only seen one Goldeneye from across a big lake and only had one blurry picture of it. I could barely tell what it looked like. When I heard that two of them were floating around in a channel right near my house I had dropped everything, grabbed my camera and headed out. I walked for a while looking through all of the ring neck, grebes, scaups and mallards until I saw them.  These guys are pretty rare around here. There was one last February in the area that was very skittish and stayed far away. These two were floating down the channel without really paying any attention to me.

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More fowl than fish.

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One of the two black neck swans at the lake.

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Posing for pictures.

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The red-headed duck is back for the winter.

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He was hanging around the ring neck ducks. I haven’t seen a female one with him.

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He’s a handsome one. I hate that he doesn’t have a mate.

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There’s a handful of white pelicans that hang out at this lake during the winter.  They stick together and don’t come running for a handout when people come to feed the ducks.

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Such a pretty face.

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Settling down for an afternoon nap.

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Coots have cool feet.

I’ve been stopping by Lake Morton in Lakeland after my walk at Circle B Bar Reserve lately. Since it’s only 10 minutes away, it’s a quick walk around the lake before I head back to Tampa. The small lake is full of fowl! Ducks, geese, swans, white pelicans, coots, ibis, great blue herons and lots of different gulls.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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A weekend in the backyard

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Ibis on our dock. Taken through the bedroom window.

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A great blue heron hanging out in our neighbor’s yard.

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A little blue heron in our other neighbor’s yard.

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The osprey on our neighbor’s sailboat mast. It was a windy day and he was have trouble staying up on that high mast.

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Later I saw him on our neighbor’s palm tree. Taken through the bedroom window.

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Various things in the backyard.

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Later the osprey was back on the sailboat right before sunset.

Just a few things from the yard on a recent weekend.

Shine the Divine

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Hanging with the gang in the woods

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I was heading toward the back boardwalk which starts up ahead on the left when I saw the deer walking around. Luckily there was no one else there that early to spook them so I sat down on the trail and watched them for a few minutes. The above was taken with my phone.

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They continued to graze and hang out but they kept their eye on me. I sat and watched for about 10 minutes then decided it was time to get moving so I got up and walked right by them and headed on to the boardwalk. It was kind of fun being one of the gang for a few minutes.

Saturday's Critters

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