Breakfast time at Chesnut Park

Someone had been to the boardwalk before me this morning and left food for the little birds but it was the squirrels who were having a feast.

The deer were grazing along the drive when I got there.

The bunnies were feasting as well.

Looks like the cardinals were also pigging out.

There are signs that say “Do not feed the wildlife” but someone puts out seed early in the morning on the weekends. I get to the park by 8am so someone must be there right as the sun is coming up. I wouldn’t be telling on anyone even if I did see them.

Our World Tuesday Graphic image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Watching some wild parrots.

As I was walking around the Largo Botanical Gardens thinking it was a slow quiet morning with not much to take pictures of, a flock of black hooded parakeets flew into the trees right over my head. They ignored me as I watched them preening and flirting. After a few minutes, they took off. That was the highlight of the morning.

Not much else at the gardens. I caught an anhinga sticking his head out of the water and the usual titmouse up in the tree.

Still lots of baby moorhens in July.

A hot walk around the lake in August.

Critters I saw on my walk around Crescent Lake Park.

This big beautiful old banyan tree is fenced off since it is starting to fall apart. It’s still blooming though.

Across the lake. You can barely make out downtown St. Pete behind the painted water tower.

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Fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner

All of the baby skimmers were screaming for fish.

Parents were flying in with breakfast.

All the babies were swallowing the fish whole.  Although, I don’t think that’s a fish in that last picture. I think he was trying to eat some random item on the beach.

It’s interesting how each parent can find their own babies among the many babies all huddled nearby. The adults were very aggressive, some trying to steal fish from other babies to feed to their own babies.

More shots from my morning with the baby skimmers on the beach in late July.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Summer critters on summer flowers

Lots of little critters buzzing around at Lettuce Lake in August.

Not many birds but I did see a juvenile northern parula and a red-eyed vireo.

This was the last time I saw the swallow-tail kites, in mid-August. One was flying over the boardwalk. They all left town to head south for the winter.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Hot day at the zoo

The one-eyed key deer that was rescued has a new home. Lots of room to roam around.

Only in the reptile area can you get this up close to a snake. Most of Florida’s snakes are non-venomous. They are good at keeping rodents at bay and a few are protected by law. Black racers seem to be the most common and we occasionally get one in our yard. Since many of our neighbors have fruit trees, the racers keep the fruit rats from over populating without having to use rat poisoning. I always keep my distance though.

These guys have taken over for the summer. The bushes are full of them and they will eat your plants and flowers down to the nubs.

It’s always fun to spend a few minutes watching the baby primates. That gibbon doesn’t seem to like the bugs. The baby colobus monkey in the bottom shot has lost all of his gray fuzz and now looks like a smaller version of the parents.

The new splash ride is now open and boy did that look tempting the morning I was there. Next time I’ll bring Brett so he can hold my stuff while I get soaked. Not sure who was having more fun, the people riding the ride or the people standing on the splash deck.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

The morning I drove through Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in late June the lake was full of wading birds. Great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, little blue herons and lots of alligators. But only at the start of the long drive.

While most of the birds were far out on the lake, there wasn’t a lot of them close to the trails.

There were lots of gators close to the trails including the bottom one that I spotted when I got out of my car to take some pictures. At a place like this, I always look around first before snapping. He wasn’t really as close as this seems, I cropped it up. But it still felt close.

The clouds started moving in. There wasn’t a lot of wildlife in this wildlife park on this particular morning.

Above is a pano of one of the side drives that I took just to get away from the traffic. The only thing I saw was the alligator above with his head poking out of the weeds. Even though I was there early on a Friday morning, the main drive was backed up with cars. There are places to pull over every so often but people tend to block the drive instead of pulling off and getting out to walk around. Patience is an extreme virtue at this park especially when it’s a quiet morning and there’s not a lot of wildlife to take pictures of. I spent half the morning answering emails on my phone. I would just park and walk the entire drive but it’s 11 miles one way and you come out at the other side of the lake. So needless to say, this isn’t one of my favorite places although people who live close by and go frequently get a lot of great pictures. It’s more than an hour from my house so I only go once or twice a year.

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