Hurricane Ian

It’s Tuesday morning and Hurricane Ian is on it’s way to pay us a visit. This morning the track is showing a direct hit with a category 3. Our house is just under 20 minutes from the water so we were not too worried about storm surge but we were worried about flooding from a lot of rain and wind damage. Everything is ready to go and now we wait until Thursday morning when it’s due to hit. I decided to get out of the house for a walk to calm my nerves. It was already dark and dreary at the Dunedin marina but it had cooled off. The big boats were still there but most of the little boats that can go on a trailer were gone.

People live on both of these sailboats and their dingys were still there. I hope they get into town by Wednesday morning.

These little boats were still there but I’m sure someone was coming to haul them away or tie them down.

The water was super calm and I could several dolphins swimming out in the water.

I was able to catch this quick video of a dolphin feeding along the rocks right in front of me. I don’t usually see them this close to the marina.

Update – it’s now after lunch on Wednesday and Ian is hitting near the Fort Myers area, much farther south of us. We are still due to get heavy rain and flooding later tonight as the other side of the Hurricane skirts past us.  We are saying prayers for those south of us. They will need a lot of help in the coming days.

SkyWatch Friday

Eagles, owls and deer, Oh my.

 

My first eagle sighting of the season. He was hanging out near the restrooms at Chesnut Park. He didn’t stay long, taking off towards the lake. It was mid-August. I didn’t realize they come back that early.

I had heard there was an owl sitting at the end of the boardwalk so I quickly walked down to the end thinking he would probably be gone by then or I wouldn’t be able to find him. There he was, sitting almost eye level. He sat there for a while as I snapped a ton of pictures. He was checking out critters on the ground and I was hoping he would swoop down and catch something but that didn’t happen.

I was walking on the back boardwalk and came across a Mom and her baby. As the Mom was feeding the baby was walking around and walked over to it’s sibling.

I had found the twins. It was interesting to see them both licking each other.

After walking around for a while I came back to the back boardwalk and one of the babies was still sitting there with the sun coming through the swamp. The other twin and Mom were feeding behind some trees.

Little critters buzzing around

It was early August when I visited Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of birds there since fall migration hadn’t started yet but I was ready for a road trip. There were a lot of other flying critters though so I had a fun morning torturing myself trying to get pictures of little things buzzing around.

I found this spiny orb weaver with a bee in his web.

Inspire Me Monday

The backyard in early August

On the back door after a storm. I couldn’t help but get out my macro lens and shoot this through the door. I’m not sure what it is but it was cool looking.

Every few days I see an armadillo in the backyard.

I was driving into the neighborhood right before dark and I saw the turkeys out on the golf course. I had my camera in the car so I pulled over to get a few shots. After a couple of shots they all started to fly over my car and up into the trees. I would have never thought of turkeys in trees but apparently they sleep in them. It makes sense since it can keep them away from the coyotes.

I had to take a few shots of the squirrels flirting in the backyard.

A few days after seeing the turkeys in the tree, I saw them crossing the fairway in the backyard. I snapped the above through the window before running outside.

I walked out on the golf course since there wasn’t anyone coming through late that day. I had my 400mm lens so I was still pretty far away but they kept their eye on me. This must be the same family with one adult and 6 babies. I think the adult might be the one with the gray head, always keeping her head up and an eye on the others.

Sunset walk

A sunset walk on the Dunedin causeway in early August.

It had been raining most nights so it was nice to see the sun for a while (although the rain is usually good in the summer since it cools down the heat). The causeway was packed for a Wednesday night so I was trying to get some shots in without so many people. Here it almost looks like I had the place to myself but that wasn’t the case.

Almost the end.

Turning around, the rain was coming from the mainland quickly but the sun cast a glow on the clouds.

One last look before heading home.

SkyWatch Friday

All grown up

I stopped by Lake Morton in Lakeland in early August on my way back from Bok Tower Gardens. I wasn’t expecting to see much since it was August and hot. Right away I found some of the young swans that were born earlier in the spring.

They were busy preening and ignored me.

There were several adult gray swans (I’ve heard they are kids of the mute and black swans).

There were also some juvenile wood ducks swimming close by.

Bathing beauties!

Fawn season had begun.

Someone has been feeding the deer at Chesnut Park. More than usual anyway. This is the first time I’ve gotten out of my car and the deer walk right up to me looking for a handout. I took the above with my phone as she was too close to get with my camera. I held out my hands and showed her I didn’t have anything and she started grazing in front of me.

This cardinal had a mangled leg but could still fly. He looked a little rough but he could be molting. He was eating some of the seed someone had left on the boardwalk.

I can’t resist a chickadee.

It was mid-August and this was the first migrating bird I had seen. I have not seen prothonotary warblers here at this park before so this was a treat. I know we call this “fall” migration but it won’t feel like fall here for several more months.

I briefly saw a Mom with her baby. They were heading into the woods as more people were coming into the park.

Leaving the park, I took a detour through a nearby neighborhood. I saw some deer in someone’s front yard. They were staring at the door. I’m assuming they are being fed there.

Chasing the clouds

The clouds started to move in on my early morning walk at the Dunedin marina. The wind had cooled the air down so I wasn’t in a hurry to get home.

I could see it raining far out in the gulf. I decided to head south down the beach to see what storms I could find.

I stopped at Sand Key Park, just south of Clearwater Beach. The sun was out over the beach but a nasty storm was heading inland quickly. I didn’t see any lightning but here that can change in a second so I didn’t stay long. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any rainbows.

Heading back over the mainland, the storms stayed right behind me.

SkyWatch Friday

I stopped at the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home. The clouds were just rolling in here.

 

On the beach in late July

Out on the beach at Fort Desoto in July, I found a few birds including a laughing gull, a semi palmated plover and a sanderling.

The marbled godwits were busy feeding.

A reddish egret flies in from across the lagoon.

Out on the fishing pier, the birds were lined up waiting for someone to drop their bait fish.

This great egret was looking a little rough. I’m thinking he’s molting.

A cormorant busy preening on the light post.

A ship heading out for a long voyage.