Being a tourist in your own hometown.

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The view of Harbour Island from Riverwalk.  We sat outside and had lunch nearby.

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Vultures on top of the Arena where the Lightning hockey team plays.

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A cruise ship docked nearby.

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A view of Tampa from Riverwalk.

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Looking across the water at Harbour Island, Davis Island and south Tampa, it was a busy Sunday afternoon. The weather had finally cooled off and everyone was out having fun.

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Tampa General Hospital across the water.

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One of the most popular dogs of the afternoon.  I’m not sure what kind of dog this is but he looked bigger than a great dane.  He was very well-behaved and everyone was taking his picture.

The weekend before Thanksgiving was perfect. High of 65 degrees. We headed out to have lunch outside and then walked the Riverwalk path in downtown Tampa. The walking path is wide and runs from the port of Tampa to the museum across from the University of Tampa. There are stores, restaurants and lots of activities along the way. It was packed with people, tourist visiting, locals walking their dogs, jogging, biking and getting on boats. If you want to be outside in a downtown area, this is the place to be.

SkyWatch Friday

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End of summer colors

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These were all taken at the Florida Botanical Gardens in late October. Some things were just starting to bloom and some things were starting to look tired.  The purple coneflower were all at the end of their season but red berries were sprouting up everywhere and bananas were growing in the fruit garden. Of course there’s always something growing in central Florida.

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Busy morning on the trail.

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A wren hiding in the bushes. I think this is either a house or marsh wren.

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Cormorant fly-bys.

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Several limpkins were eating along the trail.

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So many limpkins have grown up right on the trail. They are not easily frightened.  In the first picture, I saw this big group of school kids heading down the trail and I didn’t think the limpkin was going to move. He didn’t. He just stood there like “You guys are in my way.” The kids eventually went around him one by one.

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A snowy egret and cormorant hanging around the dock.

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There were so many phoebes there. There was a constant echo of their call.

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Close enough.

All from my recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in central Florida.

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All birds, no bugs.

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Crazy parrots along the utility poles near the parking lot.

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Pretty faces of the pied grebes. That last one thought I couldn’t see him behind the reeds.

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Flashes of white flying by.

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A very young anhinga that must have been born at the preserve.  She must have been a late summer baby. She still had her pin feathers.  She was right along the boardwalk.

A few things at Largo Nature Preserve. It was quiet at the small park in late October.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

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Here comes the sun

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I knew it was going to be a good morning when I walked out on the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve at 8am and this was the view.

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I had not been out here since May so it was great to get out and walk around without it being terribly hot.

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The trails were quiet except for the birds making noise. The limpkins and phoebes were loud. It felt like a lot more moss had grown on trees.

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A very large bee hive right on the trail.

I only had my 300mm lens with me so all of these were taken with my Iphone.  That bee hive was so close that I would have only gotten an inch of it with my longer lens.  I’m looking forward to lots of long walks here this winter.

SkyWatch Friday

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Morning walk on the beach

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Young royal terns and sandwich terns were yelling at the parents to get them fish.

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Ghost crab on the beach.

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Sandwich terns showing off.

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Young black bellied plovers. I’m not sure if they were fighting or  playing.

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Ibis looking for snacks.

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A hawk flies by on the beach.

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A dolphin goes by out in the gulf.

The last of my Sanibel Island vacation pictures.

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Flying things at the Botanical Gardens

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A cat bird in the berry bushes.

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A young little blue heron in the lake. There is water under there.

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Tiny critters buzzing around.

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A house wren hanging on a Christmas decoration.

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This cute Carolina wren was giving me some attitude.

A few flying things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in late October.

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Flying rainbows

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I had heard there were painted buntings at Circle B Bar Reserve in early November. I hadn’t seen one in years so I headed out hoping to see one. I walked halfway down the trail and saw a flash of color fly into the bushes. I could barely see him hiding. I snapped the above in case that was the only sighting I would get.

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Farther down the trail, several people were taking pictures of this guy.  He was eating close to the trail but we had to shoot directly into the sun.

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A few minutes later, he moved outside of the bush but was still directly into the sun.

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I continued on and saw this guy fly into the bottom of a bush. He was very accommodating and posed nicely but didn’t stay long. Only for a few seconds.

It’s always fun to see these special birds.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

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It wouldn’t be November without a trip to Disney

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We always wait until school is back in and the weather has cooled off a little bit. Instead of going to a Disney theme park this year, we decided to spend  a few hours at Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney). It’s almost as big as a theme park but without the rides.  It’s a shopping and dining theme park.  We got there Saturday afternoon and spend a few hours walking around, looking in a few shops and people watching.  We had a great Italian dinner and then headed back to our hotel. It was extremely crowded but fun.  I was traveling light so I took all of these pictures with my Iphone.

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The Christmas decorations were just starting to go up. The little details are amazing.

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The sky was beautiful as the sun was going down. Yes, that’s a car floating in the lake. You can get in a car that drives down the driveway and then floats into the lake.

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Just one of the amazing deserts that you could buy in one of the many bakeries.

Happy Thanksgiving!

SkyWatch Friday

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Pretty in Pink

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I stopped by the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in late October.  The weather was still pretty hot. The gardens were still in full bloom.  Everywhere I turned there were splashes of pink in all different shades.

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