One last visit to the turtle pond.

The squirrels were getting frisky in late May at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Not many birds at the gardens. A pileated woodpecker and a young moorhen.

Grasshoppers are everywhere right now. They can wipe out a plant in no time. You can see them eating the leaves in both of these shots.

It was a quiet morning at the gardens but I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so I went for a quick walk at nearby McGough Park and to visit the turtles there. Most of the trails here are very narrow so I stayed off those to keep away from having to pass people. I probably won’t make it back to this park until next spring.

The wooden owl in the parking lot.

My Corner of the World

A beautiful bird

It was a quiet morning at Fort Desoto in late June.  I was there very early so there wasn’t many people on the beach.  I found one of the local reddish egrets dancing around hunting for fish and couldn’t help but take a ton of pictures of him. He uses his wings to shade the water so he can see the fish better so it appears as if he’s dancing. He puts on quite a show.

All of a sudden he realizes that two snowy egrets have moved in on his spot.

He tried to chase them away but then ended up flying far down the beach.

Neighborhood walk and a rainbow.

The above were from an early morning walk in the neighborhood. The baby ducks at the pond down the street were getting big. My neighbor’s royal poinciana tree was still blooming in July.

Typical Florida weather.  Raining over our house but I could see the sun down the channel.  After the rain stopped, I ran outside and got the rainbow from the backyard and the front yard. The skies here have their own personality.

SkyWatch Friday

Are they red or knot?

It’s rare to see red knots in their bright red breeding colors here in central Florida in mid-May. About a third of them were already in breeding feathers. They usually stop over somewhere in Florida to rest during migration. They fly from the tip of Argentina to the Canadian arctic and then back again each year. They have one of the longest journeys of all migrating birds. We’re lucky to see them here at Fort Desoto although this was the first time I had caught them in several years.

Some were napping early in the morning and some were feeding along the shoreline

Although there wasn’t many people near the area, something kept spooking them and causing them to flush. It could have been an eagle that was cruising the area. These guys really need their rest so it’s important that kids or dogs don’t chase after them.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

Growing old quickly

The young wood storks have such interesting faces. They lose that hint of blue and pink in their beaks when they get older. It’s a shame they look so old so fast. There were a lot of young ones at the rookery in north Tampa back in early June. Many were practicing their wing flaps.

This young one was eating something gunky. That orange gunk doesn’t look like regurgitated fish.

The adults were busy going about their day. The one in the bottom picture looks like he has paint across his back. Maybe he brushed up against something. He seemed okay.

Tampa across the bay.

A fever of stingrays came by just as I walked out on the Safety Harbor fishing pier. They must call a group of stingrays a fever because you’re going to get a fever if you step on one. I’ve seen grown men cry from getting stuck with a barb from one after not doing the stingray shuffle. It’s supposed to be very painful. Luckily I don’t know that personally. Brett and I saw a man get stuck in the ankle at the beach a few years back. He could barely talk and was turning blue. It was a big barb. I helped his wife pack up their stuff and 2 sons and Brett helped him walk back to their car.  We told them to stop at the ranger station on the way out to get some relief. The rangers would have put his foot and ankle in a big bucket with the hottest water he could stand to help stop the pain along with pain relievers.

Standing at the end of the fishing pier, I could see Tampa. Zooming in I could make out the airport and the football stadium. It was hot and hazy in early June.

Not many people on the pier.

I found some osprey taking a break in the water in the shallow area and one flew right over my head.

People have started putting locks on one end of the boardwalk. What they may not know is that so many people were putting love locks on the bridge in Paris that part of the bridge collapsed. They have since removed all of the locks in Paris but now people are putting them everywhere. This is symbolic of “locking” in your love for someone. Eventually the rangers will take them down so the rail of the boardwalk doesn’t collapse and cause injury to someone. And those locks are going to rust quickly in the salt air.

A small mangrove growing along the water.

Grasshoppers are everywhere.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Baby birds growing up

I made it to the rookery in north Tampa in early June for my last trip of the nesting season. I wasn’t sure if there would still be any babies at this point or would they all be grown up by now. The first thing I saw at the edge of the pond was this tiny gator trying to hide in the vegetation. Even though he was small I still kept my eye on him while I was there.

This cattle egret looks like he has a boo boo on his face.  Hopefully it’s just superficial and heals. Maybe he got it in a fight with another egret?

The baby anhingas were already fully grown.

There were still a few little blue herons flirting so there may still be some babies later.

A baby night heron emerged from deep in the bushes.

These flowers were growing all over the rookery as well as along the woods next to street. The ants seemed to be enjoying them.

My Corner of the World

Backyard macro

My husband had just come home from work and his car was covered in love bugs in late May. They were also all over the plants along the driveway. Of course I ran inside and grabbed my camera and macro lens.

While I had my camera out, I walked around the yard snapping flowers and plants.

I found this tiny damselfly in the yard. It looked like it was praying.

The bark on one of our palm trees started to peel off and at first I though there were worms in the base of the tree but then I realized it was the roots of the tree coming out. Something common in small palm trees.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Blondie pays a visit

On June 1st, Blondie brought her 10 kids around in front of our dock. They were busy trying to pick bugs off the sea wall. I wondered if those lighter ones would also grow up to be light mallards but I didn’t get a chance to see.

Two weeks later she came back by but only had 3 babies with her. The three were scattered so I only got a shot of the one. They were all of the darker brown ones. It’s sad to think of all of those lost babies but there are a lot of hawks, owls and even an eagle hanging out in the neighborhood.