Critters from my yard.

More shots of the little titmouse around my bird bath. I have taken around a gazillion pictures but it’s hard to stop when I’m out walking around. They love to pose for me.

A few other visitors in early November. There are a ton of downy and red bellied woodpeckers in the neighborhood. I’ve seen a few pileated woodpeckers go flying by but I have yet to get pictures of them.

I’ve seen several black and white warblers in my big oak tree.

A yellow throated warbler in the palm tree up against our townhome.

A chickadee looking around under the patio chairs.

This juvenile little blue heron was creeping around the grass. All of the above were taken through the window.

If I stand on the end of my patio, I can see my neighbor’s bird feeder a few houses down from ours. He’s always got birds on his feeder (although mostly blue birds and pine warblers). After taking these and zooming in, I realize he had dried mealworms in his feeder. I only have mixed seed and I’m only getting titmouse at my feeder although I have gotten a few pine warblers as well. I may have to step up my feeder game.

A pine warbler on my feeder (through the window).

I was walking back from getting my mail and this hawk was in the short palm tree next to my driveway. He watched me walk right by him and didn’t move. I ran in and got my camera and he was flying off as I walked out. He flew down to the grass and looked like he was stalking something but eventually he flew to a lightpost empty handed.

After the hawk flew off I realized there was a bluebird on the power line right over my head. It was almost dark at this point but he sat there for a while.

A few more critters in the backyard. The squirrels like to sit on this low palm  tree up against our house while snacking.

Craving open spaces

Our new home is surrounded by trees and I don’t really get to see much of the sky unless I walk to the end of the driveway or out on the golf course. In our old house I could look out the sliding doors and see the big sky so now I’m craving wide open spaces. I found it about 10 minutes away walking down my street. If I walk the other direction I end up here. A big open field where the utlity towers line up. Part of the field has a small wooden fence around it and they mow it regulary. Neighbors bring their dogs here to run around. It’s a nice place to walk to see the sun go down after work (although now it’s dark after work).

I stayed right before the sun went down.

Turning around looking in the other direction, there’s lots of lines. A sign of progress?

Parts of the field were covered in these yellow flowers.

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Flashes of pink and green

I barely made it to see the silk floss blooms this year. The silk floss trees at the Florida Botanical Gardens bloom in late September and I didn’t make it there until mid-October but there were still a lot of pink blooms on the tree in the parking lot. I was taking some close up shots of the beautiful pink flowers on the low hanging branches when I saw a flash of green go by.

I heard the loud squawking near the top of the tree and realized that several monk parakeets had landed in the tree.

They spent quite a while eating parts of the flower. They seemed to be eating the bottom part of it where the seed is but they were also playing around with the pink petals. It was so much fun to watch them eating for a while. It was a challenge to get a clear shot since there were so many branches in the way and the light was terrible.

Stepping back and taking this shot with my phone, you can see how big the tree is but this one is much smaller than the one behind the visitor’s centor. There were only blooms left on the bottom half of the tree.

My Corner of the World

Color and turtles in October

Yellow and orange from my trip to the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo last month.

The large cactus in the front of the gardens had big blooms on them . The details inside the bloom are amazing. The cactus also had this big pink ball which I assume are the blooms before they open up. Or, maybe they are the seed pod after the bloom dies off?

Little critters. Bees had taken over that bird house.

I found another face in the tree along the boardwalk.

I stopped by and said hello to the resident wood ducks.

After leaving the botanical gardens, I stopped at McGough Park to see if there were any fall migrating birds. I didn’t see many birds but the turtle pond was full of turtles taking a sun nap.

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Remembering Winter

It is with heavy heart that I write this. Thursday night Clearwater lost an icon. Winter, the dolphin who lost his tail and lived at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, died of a gastrointestinal infection. Specialist from around the country flew in and the best care was given to her but she had other plans. Winter was a young dolphin when she was rescued in 2005. Her tail was caught in a crab trab which resulted in her losing her tail. She was the star in her own movie “A Dolphin’s Tale”. I recently visited her back in June and you can read about that visit here. Below is an older post from 2011.

More from the Veterans Memorial Park

More pictures from the Veteran’s Memorial Park in east Tampa. I took so many pictures and had to post most of them. You can see my first post here. The above were taken in the WW2 section.

You can see the cool helicopters from all over the park.  Once I got into the Vietnam section, I could really see the details. You could see into the bottom of this one and it had a camera in the floor. I tried to imagine someone flying this and taking pictures over enemy territory.

The one with the teeth across the front was also impressive. I wonder if it was painted this way when it was in use?

There was also a memorial to the dogs used in the military.

The park is in a beautiful setting and was a perfect way to spend a morning walking around under the trees learning about the history.

The park sits on the Bypass Canal and of course I spent some time walking along the water looking for birds. The only ones I found were two limpkins. One was a juvenile, still yelling at Mom to feed it.

There were a lot of hibiscus bushes in the park, which are are my Dad’s favorite.

Speaking of my Dad, here he is going into boot camp. He was over in Germany in 44 and 45.

He had a camera permit while he was overseas. He had a photo album full of pictures taken overseas that I didn’t even know existed until we found it after he died. I still have his camera pass. He would have been 97 years old last week.

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Birding in my pajamas.

Titmouse are coming to my backyard bird bath pretty regularly to take baths. I try and hide behind the curtains and take pictures through the window so I don’t spook them.

I’m also getting blue jays and catbirds but they just get a quick drink and leave.

Watching the birds fly around the trees, I saw a dash of yellow from across the yard but almost didn’t look twice because I thought it was a palm warlber. I was able to grab a shot of this hooded warbler with a bug in his beak through my dirty windows. (I have since spent some time cleaning them).

I took the shots of the pine wabler and yellow throated warbler outside early one morning, walking around the trees in the back of our home before work.

Twice I watched this red bellied woodpecker hide nuts in a palm tree. He was getting them from a feeder across the fairway and flying back over to our side and hiding them.

Usual morning birds in the back, a great egret and blue jay.

There’s a ton of squirrels in the yard. One climbed up on the outdoor chair and was watching me in the window. I changed out the bird feeder pole to a much higher one and now he can’t get to the food so he wasn’t happy (although at some point he’ll figure out a way to get up there).

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Throwback to fall leaves

Normally we got out west for vacation in early October but last year we didn’t go due to Covid and this year we didn’t go since we were right in the middle of moving. We’re planning a trip early next year (to see some snow) but I was bummed to miss the fall leaves out west two years in a row. These were taken several years ago in Colorado. On the way to Cripple Creek and Mueller State Park. The aspen trees were bright yellow and the valley around Pike’s Peak was a blanket of yellow. I think the last shot above was taken in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

The above were taken in the North Cheyenne Canon Park just outside of Colorado Springs. There wasn’t a lot of water coming down but it was raining on us as we hiked around the area.

I found these bright orange leaves in the parking lot at the Air Force Academy. We stopped by for a tour on our way back to Denver.

Hopefully next fall I will have some new pictures of the leaves.

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All of the different colors of birds

In early October I went to see my favorite red heads. You can always find several redheaded woodpeckers flying around the short trail by the nature center at Chinsegut Wildlife center.

I missed the summer nesting season but I did see several young ones that didn’t have their red heads in yet.

You can usually find a red bellied woodpecker around the suet at the nature center.

This year I’m seeing pine warblers all over the place.

A prairie wabler that would not look at me.

I’m thinking this is a palm warbler?

I found some very young bluebirds.

And, there’s always a lot of chickadees here.

Waking up on a golf course

The golf course behind our home was closed for maintance the first few weeks we were here. One morning I got up right before the sun came up and went out for a walk. I had been seeing people jogging or walking on the cart path and knew that would all stop once the course opened back up again. I am not a golfer. My husband plays golf (when he has the time which is rarely) and I’ve ridden with him in the cart when he plays when we are on vacation but it was strange to walk out the back door and be on the cart path. I only walked a few holes and passed several ponds and tons of birds. Now the course is open and I can still go out early in the morning and walk along the tree line but need to stay out of the way once the golfers come through (we’re on the 13th hole so it takes a while for them to get to our hole in the morning).

Across the street from our townhome is a big pond (with a few alligators swimming around) and I’ve been trying to catch the sunset here.

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