Sun comes up over Tarpon Springs

It was early October and we had a nice break in the heat so I headed out for a walk at the Tarpon Springs sponge docks. I like walking here early in the morning before the workers and tourist are out on the sidewalks. It feels like a different place when it’s quiet, almost like I can feel the history of the street.

Some of the old boats along the water.

The above boat was built in 1935 and was used for sponge diving until 1943. It was then used as a rescue boat for the Navy during World War 2. After the war it went back to being a sponge boat until it was retired in the early 80’s.

A view of the working part of the docks.

More shots away from the tourist area.

One of my favorite houses along the bayou. It was built in 1885 by one of the founding fathers of Tarpon Springs. It is still a private home and was last sold in 2010. I would love to see the inside but it’s probably already been updated.

The sun coming through the crooked tree at Craig Park along the bayou.

Inspire Me Monday

 

In the yard

In mid-October I had some migrating birds stop by the backyard. Black and white warblers were common here last winter but this was the first time seeing house finches in the backyard.

I saw my first ever worm eating warbler in the backyard. Over the years I had heard of one being reported twice in the Tampa Bay area but I could never find them. I was pretty excited to see him bouncing around near the bird bath. He stayed close under the big palm leaves on the ground and then later disappeared.

Common birds to the backyard are catbirds (I get a lot of them in the winter) and red bellied woodpeckers.

A house finch with just a little red on his head stopped by the feeder.

I’ve had an almost grown baby coming through the backyard alone. When I first saw her in mid October, you could still see the spots on her hind legs.She was all alone. I don’t know what happened to her Mom but I was thinking she was old enough to be on her own.

For several weeks she would come by every afternoon and hang out in the back, feeding and napping. I took all of these through the window because I was afraid I would spook her if I went outside. She saw me in the window though. She would take a quick nap up against my neighbor’s oak tree.

Our hibiscus bush in the front yard has been blooming for a few weeks. I took this with my phone.

Sightseeing in Atlanta

It was a little weird standing under Georgia 400 during our trip to Atlanta in early November. We found this small park that runs along the Chattahoochee River as we were heading north to have lunch with a friend. After lunch we stopped by the park and got out and walked around. It was loud standing under the major highway that is at least 4-5 lanes going each direction. I have driven on this highway a million times when I lived here but never thought to stand underneath it.

Most of the trees were in bright colored leaves with just a few still with green leaves. If you follow the trail that leads away from the highway it starts to get quieter. We didn’t go too far since we still had a lot to do that afternoon but it was a nice quick stop.

The next morning I headed out early for a walk around Piedmont Park before going to the Botanical Gardens. I love this spot on the lake in the middle of the park where the buildings reflect off the water. The park was busy and there was a movie being filmed in one corner of the park. I couldn’t get close enough to see what was going on though.

The trees here were just starting to turn colors.

SkyWatch Friday

Out in the neighborhood

I caught this squirrel sitting on a small palm tree outside our window. He had his cheeks full of fuzz from the tree and I was able to snap the top shot. When he took his paws and folded the fuzz up I was happy to get more shots. He was so cute. He jumped from the palm tree over to the oak tree and took off up the tree. I can see a half built nest up there but it’s really not nesting season since it’s getting colder (I know they nest all year round here in central Florida but it’s rare to see them starting a family in early November.)

In early October I caught one of my neighborhood eagles eating something on top of the light pole. I’ve been seeing the couple often cruising around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen them hanging on the nest that they used last year yet.

Birds near the eagles nest include several loggerhead shrikes and some young starlings.

Looking out the window during Hurrincane Nicole, I could see a lot of ibis feeding in the newly formed pond.

Some of the regulars (wood stork and spoonbill) that hang out in the ditch along the golf course.

Inspire Me Monday

 

All of the birds were eating breakfast

I was out for a walk at the end of September and the tide was super low. I could see the gulls eating some type of puffer fish that was stranded in the grass beds. Although I never did actually see the gulls eating them, they just kept picking them up and playing with them. Maybe they were waiting for them to deflate.

An osprey cruises by with a tiny fish in his feet.

The little blue heron was busy eating.

There were several snowy egrets looking for food.They look so pretty against the blue water.

This boat must have lost anchor during Hurrincane Ian. It’s still there, stranded near the Dunedin causeway. It’s in pretty bad shape at this point.

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s something very strange about having wild turkeys sleeping in your backyard. This family has been cruising through our backyard for months now. I see them almost every day. Sometimes they walk through pretty quickly and sometimes they hang out and feed, scratching in the dirt under the big oak trees. Sometimes they take a nap, either in the trees or on the ground. I don’t know if this flock will stay together or split up. I can’t tell if any of them are males yet. They are pretty skittish and will quickly move on down the neighborhood if I go outside so all of these are taken through the window.

Our ring camera picking up the turkeys walking around the patio when I was gone one morning.

The sun coming through the trees in the front yard as it sets.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

SkyWatch Friday

A walk through Safety Harbor

Color blooming in downtown Safety Harbor in late September.

It was a quiet morning during the week at the gazebo. This is usually a busy spot on the weekends with events going on here.

Murals off Main Street.

This guy is a regular visitor to the park in front of the pier. HIs owner was busy looking at his phone instead of enjoying the morning out (I know, I’d be doing the same thing).

Inspire Me Monday

Traffic jam on the trail

It wasn’t a four way stop but even if it was the deer was coming out without stopping. I paused as I was walking down a back dirt trail at Chesnut Park when I saw the deer stepping out on the trail. She wasn’t alone.

She had 4 friends and instead of crossing the trail like they usually do they kept on going down the trail. I followed them for a while. They would look back at me but kept going at a slow pace.

At the other side of the park I found a Mom and a young one.

Watching me as I sat in my car watching her.

More shots from deep in the swamp (taken from the boardwalk).

Road trip to look for color

It was time for a road trip. We headed up to Atlanta for a long weekend to visit friends. I was also hoping to see some fall leaves but we may have just missed the peak season. 

Along the way we passed miles of cotton fields that were ready to be picked. It almost looked like the ground was covered in snow as we whizzed by. 

As we got closer to Atlanta I could see lots of color. There was still a lot of yellow, orange and red in the trees so we didn’t miss the season completely.

Passing by the iconic Olympic torch tower. This replica was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics that was held here. At the time you were able to climb the stairs and see all around Atlanta but it has since been closed. We were living here at the time and my sister and I spent many nights down at the Olympic park during the games. 

The parking lot at our hotel was like a fairy tale with all of the bright colors.

An early morning walk before heading out for the day.

We stopped at a friend’s house for lunch and her camellia bushes were still blooming. 

She also had some little green critters hiding in her garage. 

More to come on those fall leaves.

SkyWatch Friday

In the neighborhood

It was late August and I was coming home from the grocery store and saw 2 eagles sitting in the utility tower in my neighborhood. I quickly put the groceries up and grabbed my camera and ran out the door thinking they would be gone but they were still sitting there. They were sitting in different towers that are next to each other. I was glad to see my neighborhood eagles back for the winter (at least I was hoping it was them).

A few of the regulars in the backyard. Bluebirds have been checking out the nest box I put up last year. Hopefully they will nest in it this year. The turkeys come cruising through the backyard every couple of days.

Blooming in the front courtyard.

Fungi in the backyard from all of the rain we had in September.

Inspire Me Monday