A new attraction coming

After leaving Crescent Lake Park, I headed over to the bay to see what the new St. Pete Pier was going to look like. Last time I was in the area, it looked like a shell.  This was before the big opening back in early July. They were still putting the finishing touches on it but it didn’t look like much from across the Vinoy yacht basin.

Above is an old shot of the original pier that I grew up visiting when we came to visit my grandparents. Several functional piers were built in the early 1900’s but the first “attraction” pier was built in 1926. (Pictured below from the St. Pete. Pier History site).  It was demolished in 1967 and the new pyramid pier opened in 1973.  I also found a mural in downtown St. Pete of the pyramid pier painted on the side of a building.

Zooming in, far out in the bay near the pier, there’s always a lot of activities going on in the water and you can see the Tampa electric plant.

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Crescent Lake Park

The usual birds at Crescent Lake Park in downtown St. Pete.

Monk parakeet hiding in a tree.

There’s a tree across the lake in someone’s yard that was full of these blooms. Now I wished I had taken a picture with my phone of the entire tree. It was beautiful.

My favorite water tower.

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Don’t chew with your mouth full!

As I was walking around Crescent Lake Park, this guy swam right in front of me and proceeded to chowing down on something he had caught under the water. Some type of crab or maybe a crawfish. He went down several times and was stuffing himself. He seemed to be showing off, chewing with his mouth wide open. He put on a show but never came up out of the water. I stepped back and hid behind a tree for a while hoping he would come on the grass but he eventually started swimming over to the other side of the lake.

He checked out this drink can and played with it a few minutes.

He popped up in the middle of the spadderdock plant and had another mouthful. This guy was having quite the feast. He checked me out for a few seconds before ducking back under the water.

Later, farther down the lake he was checking out a drain pipe. At this point I lost track of him so I finished my walk around the lake.

After dinner walk on the water.

This summer I’ve been going for a long walk on Sunday nights after an early dinner to get out of the house and stretch my legs. Just me and my phone. I’ve been taking some short road trips to go somewhere other than my neighborhood (even my neighborhood walls are closing in on me). There was a good chance of rain but I still headed over to Dunedin (a little less than 30 minutes from my house) to walk along the intercoastal waterway. The sun peaked out a few times during my walk but the above are the shots I got along my walk. Most of the people were at the pier or on main street so the neighborhood street I walked on was quiet. This won’t be my last walk here.

On the way home, stopped at a red light, the storm was moving in.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Fort Desoto in July

Skimmers cruising by trying to catch fish in their beaks.

This gull’s fish could barely fit in his beak.

Snowy egrets hovering over the light poles on the fishing pier. Different perspective which is a reminder to not stand under one of these poles if there’s a bird on top or you’ll get a bird poop shower.

Harry the hybrid looking pretty with his blue breeding face.

A few of the dolphins swimming around the pier including the Mom with her baby close by.

Looks like some construction far out in the bay.

I rarely see shrimp boats in the bay. It reminds me of vacations with my family in the panhandle. We saw them often up in north Florida.

Pretty vines growing on the sand.

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A small town feeling.

Dunedin is a small town that sits on the intercoastal waterway just north of Clearwater.  It’s an artistic town with cool shops and restaurants and doesn’t have any big hotels nor that touristy feeling. I went there for a Sunday night walk recently to get a cool breeze and change of scenery from my neighborhood. I stayed off main street though since the sidewalks can get crowded and now some of the sidewalk areas are being used for outdoor dining. I walked along the water and through some of the neighborhoods close by.

Scenes from Edgewater Park and the pier at the end of Main Street.

Lots of boat traffic out on the water. You can see the buildings on Clearwater Beach far south of the park.

Art around Dunedin.

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Hot morning at Horsepower for Kids.

The ducks were cooling off with a bath at Horsepower for Kids Animal Sanctuary in late June. It made me want to jump in with them and go for a swim.

I decided not to jump in the pond since the geese own the pond and they are aggressive.

Even the tricolored heron was cooling off in the water.

I’m not sure if this white pigeon was a resident or just a visitor. He wasn’t in a cage. 

Some of the chickens hanging around.

Jealous of this guy sleeping (maybe not in the dirt though).

Close ups of the faces at the petting zoo.

A Saturday morning walk around the petting zoo.

 

‘Oh, say can you see” 🎵

Brett and I spent most of the 4th of July on the couch watching movies. It rained most of the afternoon but then after dinner the clouds started to part so I headed over to the Courtney Campbell Causeway to check out the fireworks. We get a lot of them in our neighborhood but they are very sporadic so it’s hard to get pictures of them. Most of the big city fireworks were canceled due to the virus but I knew there would people setting them off on their own on the causeway. I started off in an office building parking deck thinking I could see them all around but quickly realized they were too far away and hopped back in the car to head to the middle of it all.

The above were taken in the boat ramp parking lot.  I was actually too close so I walked out on the small beach to move farther away.

Out on the beach, I could see lots of them going off and liked the reflection of color on the water. I stayed on the little beach (mostly rocks on the sand) for a while. I was away from the crowds and had bug spray on so I was in a good spot.

Above I zoomed out and you could see the fireworks over in the far left that were going off over my neighborhood. Cops were coming around right before 10pm and were closing the boat ramp and trying to get the crowds of people to go home. No one really should have been partying on the causeway but people were ready to get out with friends. I had my mask on and stayed away from everyone and headed home after taking the above.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Snail for lunch

I pulled into the parking lot at Largo Nature Preserve and these guys were hanging out in the tree right over my car. If your choice in Florida is parking in the shade and risking bird poop on your car or parking in the sun, you park in the shade.

The tricolored heron was flitting around the boardwalk. I think he was trying to catch dragonflies.

I don’t see red ones often.

This guy was sleeping in the tree but woke up to scratch an itch.

I was excited to see the fuzzy baby limpkin.

Mom was feeding him apple snails.  Mom would pull the meat out of the snail with the end of her beak and give to the baby. By the time I found them it was almost noon and the sun was harsh. I didn’t stay long. It was time for me to head home for lunch as well.

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Just getting out of the house

Was I being watched?  I noticed all of the different art faces that are on on the trees at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Pretty things blooming in July.

Little critters.

You can usually find alligators, bunnies and turtles at any park in the area.

It was a quiet morning for birds though. I’ve been working from home since mid-March so I’m still trying to get out of the house on Saturday mornings for a long walk even if the wildlife is scarce this time of year.

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