Baby boom at the lake

On my walk around Crescent Lake park in mid-August, I saw the above muscovy duck with babies. One was all yellow. It’s not uncommon for them to have all yellow ducks but usually as they grow up they start to get a lot of brown feathers in.  This one was old enough to have brown feathers. He was really pretty.

The babies were resting in the grass.

Later on the other side of the lake I saw a family all sleeping huddled together under a tree. They were close to the sidewalk but the foot traffic was not disturbing them.

Another section of the lake had babies trying to cross the road. It was funny to watch them jump off the curb one by one. That seemed like such a big jump to them.

Of course they got right in the middle of the street and the babies plopped down on the road. Someone walked over and shooed them to the sidewalk since cars tend to go fast around this curve.

They all made it over to the sidewalk. Even in late summer, it’s a baby boom at the lake.

Summer storms in the backyard

Pictured above are some of the shots I took from the front yard and the backyard during the month of August. Usually taken late in the day or right before dark. The skies always light up this time of year with so many storms coming through. If the sun peeks out right before sunset then the clouds turn a bright orange. These were all taken with my phone and just cropped up a little.

In the above picture you can see the silhouette of an osprey on top of my neighbor’s sailboat. She’s been back again, sleeping there and then leaving at first light in the morning.

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Hot and muggy at the botanical gardens

I found a green heron hiding in the bushes.

I think this is a 5 lined skink. I don’t see them often.

Butterflies were everywhere back in early August.

The butterfly garden was pretty overgrown at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in early August. It was hot and muggy. After walking around the gardens for a while I thought I would just go hang out here and take butterfly pictures but after a few minutes and shots, it was just too hot so I headed home.

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A beautiful morning out

Bees and berries at Crescent Lake Park.

I found the otter again but this time he was very elusive. I got a quick peek and then he disappeared for good.

This gull should have been over at the beach. Somehow he managed to snag a small fish at the lake.

I was standing under some trees looking for the otter and heard some noise over my head. I looked up and found two juvenile anhingas looking down at me. They must be late babies. There was a tiny nest that they had outgrown but they were still too young to fly yet. Mom was sitting high up in the next tree.

After leaving Crescent Lake Park, I made the quick drive over to North Shore beach near downtown St. Pete. Someone had recently painted the small concrete pier.

Another beautiful day at the bay.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my sister Debbie!

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A quick walk around Lake Morton

I found some very young mute swans preening at Lake Morton at the end of July. These young adults were born early this year and were acting like they own the place.

Juvenile male wood ducks. Just starting to get their male colors in.

I also found some female wood ducks.

This cute little limpkin family stole my heart. Both babies were staying close to Mom.

Just being out at Sand Key Park

A nice warm windy day in late July. The beach wasn’t crowded early in the morning. Plus there was a storm heading our way so most people probably were staying home this morning. The wind was blasting but the sun was out early before the clouds moved in at lunchtime.

Looking across the channel at Clearwater Beach. Most of the tourist were over there.

I walked over to the fishing piers that sit near the bridge and found a few birds waiting for handouts from the people fishing.

A typical scene looking across at Clearwater beach. The pirate ship passed under the bridge but turned around just outside the channel and headed back into the intercoastal waterway. I’m assuming they stayed inside the intercoastal this morning since the water was choppy. There were a few people on it but I’m sure not nearly as crowded as past summers.

This looks like fun but you would need a lot of upper body strength on a windy day like this was. They stayed inside the channel as well.

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Seeing spots

I got to Chesnut Park early one Saturday morning in August not expecting to see anything but there it was. The cutest thing with spots.

I stood next to my car for a while watching baby and Mom feeding near the back parking lot. All of a sudden something catches Mom’s eye.

I turned around and the young male with only one antler was walking up. I’ve been seeing him a lot recently, calling him Unicorn. I’m assuming the other side of his antlers will grow in as he gets older. He didn’t get too close to Mom and baby.

The baby was cute as usual, staying close to Mom and copying her.

After walking around the park for a while, I saw them again on the other side of the lake. The baby tried to nurse for a second but Mom kept moving.

Eventually they started heading towards the back woods so I headed home. What is it about baby deer that’s so exciting? The same for dolphins and manatees or even hummingbirds?

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A hot morning at Bok Tower Gardens

I love the flowers at Bok Tower Gardens. For some reason they look so pretty here.

I didn’t see many birds on this walk. Above is a juvenile red bellied woodpecker and close by was a parent. The little brown one is a young fuzzy Carolina wren hiding in a palm tree.

The sun coming through the lizard’s throat.

There were several eastern tiger swallowtails flying around.

The view of the top of the carillon tower from the vegetable garden.

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Lots of little birdies on the beach

There were a few marbled godwits at Fort Desoto Park.

Least terns

I think this is a juvenile sandpiper.

Lots of plovers running around including the Wilson’s plover in the first picture and piping plovers with orange legs.

Sleeping sanderlings

Soon the skimmers will be gone. They are rare to see in the winter at the park.

A new tourist attraction

For my Sunday night walk in late July, I decided to go to the new Pier in downtown St. Pete. Brett went with me since he wanted to see it as well. We parked far away behind the Vinoy hotel and tried to stay away from the crowds as we walked around the yacht basin. It was a beautiful night to be out and everyone had the same idea.

The netting over an open field before the pier changes color at night.

Looking down at the pier from the elevated platform. We didn’t walk past this point since the pier building at the end looked very crowded.  There are restaurants at the end but you had to have a reservation to go in and masks were required. We thought we would save that for another time.

A pano of the area taken with my phone.

There’s a small public beach right next to the pier.

Looking back at downtown St. Pete, the sun was just starting to go down.

Some of the artwork around the pier area. It was a fun walk and I plan to get back there during the week after work hoping it won’t be so crowded.

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