Being a tourist in my own town

St Petersburg in Florida is known for having some interesting museums. There’s a Dali, a Chihuly, a Holocaust and the Fine Arts Museum. I have been to all of them at one time or another. A new museum opened up this spring and I finally got a chance to visit it while my sister was visiting over Thanksgiving Weekend. Tom James, of Raymond James Financial, opened The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art. It’s one of Florida’s largest private art collections, consisting of close to 3,000 works of art and includes original paintings, sculptures and graphics. You are allowed to take pictures so below are some of my favorites.

This is only a small sampling of what’s in the museum. If you’re ever in the Tampa bay area and it’s too hot to be outside, I would recommend this place.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Here’s to hoping for baby ladybugs!

A few fun things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The beautiful silk floss tree that blooms in the fall. I always forget about it the rest of the year since it’s just full of green leaves. I forget about the pink flowers and am always surprised and amazed when I see this tree in late October. This was towards the end of the bloom and the ground was covered in the pink flowers.

Not many birds. A local red belled woodpecker and a wood duck couple.

The above was hanging on a tree in the woods at the gardens. Kind of creepy but also cool.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

A lost opportunity

Above is an eagle’s nest from 2 years ago at the horse farm near my house. Last winter they nested in a high utility tower instead of this nest. They had taken over an old osprey nest in the tower. I had heard that they were back working on this nest in mid-November so I stopped by the day after a nasty storm had come through the area. When I got to the spot at the farm, the tree was completely empty and the nest was gone.

Here it was on the ground next to the tree. The entire nest had come crashing down and broke apart. It broke my heart to see it on the ground in pieces. I was wondering if this old couple would have it in them to rebuild this nest again or just go back to the utility tower. There wasn’t much of the old tree left.

After walking around the farm for a few minutes, an eagle flies over my head with some nesting material in it. I think this must have been his first visit to the nest this morning.

The mate flew in as well. They seemed confused. Where was their nest? What happened to the tree? The eagle dropped the nesting material and they both took off. At this point, they haven’t returned to the nest to rebuild. I’m assuming they are now back up in the high utility tower close by.

Coming home from Utah

As we were heading to the airport in Salt Lake City, we noticed there was snow on the top of the mountain. It must have snowed up there the last night we were there. I was snapping these with my phone as Brett was driving.

On the way home I had a window seat. It was cool to fly over the snow. Bye, bye Salt City. I’ll definitely be back again.

Heading back in to Tampa late that night.

SkyWatch Friday

Carrying a heavy load

Someone was feeding the wildlife peanuts from their car in the parking lot at Chesnut Park recently. Several titmouse came down to the ground to get the peanuts. They were all able to get that big load up in the tree to snack on.

 

Squirrels were taking off with the loot as well.

One titmouse was showing off his prize up in the tree.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

All the usual wildlife at Chesnut Park

I saw a hawk sitting on the pole holding up the volleyball net.  A few minutes later it started to rain. I ducked under cover but he just sat there through the quick shower.

All of the usual birds were at Chesnut Park in early November, including the female common yellowthroat warbler.

Two different female American redstarts came out of hiding for a few seconds.

I think this is a female painted bunting, which is fairly rare to see at this park.

Other critters at the park including that alligator in the top picture with a huge fish hanging out of his mouth.