When thinking of a bird that could represent Halloween I think of vultures. Crows or ravens would be scarier but I didn’t come across those recently. On a day off in September I headed down an hour from my house to Myakka River State Park. I had not been in over a year and wasn’t expecting to find much there in September but I wanted to get out of the house. I found a little obscure trail that led to a dead end with a small dock across the river. The roof of the dock was covered in vultures and there were more nearby on the ground. I think there had been a dead alligator in the area. They were looking at me very curiously, probably wondering what I was doing in their spot.
Up close. This one has a small boo boo on his face.
On the ground next to the trail.
Taken with my phone, you could see how close they were.
I was keeping an eye on this guy right below me in the water.
I found a green heron hiding in the bushes.
I think this is a 5 lined skink. I don’t see them often.
Butterflies were everywhere back in early August.
The butterfly garden was pretty overgrown at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in early August. It was hot and muggy. After walking around the gardens for a while I thought I would just go hang out here and take butterfly pictures but after a few minutes and shots, it was just too hot so I headed home.
I got to Chesnut Park early one Saturday morning in August not expecting to see anything but there it was. The cutest thing with spots.
I stood next to my car for a while watching baby and Mom feeding near the back parking lot. All of a sudden something catches Mom’s eye.
I turned around and the young male with only one antler was walking up. I’ve been seeing him a lot recently, calling him Unicorn. I’m assuming the other side of his antlers will grow in as he gets older. He didn’t get too close to Mom and baby.
The baby was cute as usual, staying close to Mom and copying her.
After walking around the park for a while, I saw them again on the other side of the lake. The baby tried to nurse for a second but Mom kept moving.
Eventually they started heading towards the back woods so I headed home. What is it about baby deer that’s so exciting? The same for dolphins and manatees or even hummingbirds?
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.
Different herons down the trail, A great blue, tricolored, a night heron and then another tricolored almost swimming.
Turtle on the trail.
Why do always get the butt shot pose? I almost never see these guys walking around and when I do they have their back to me. Usually I just see the below, snoozing and cruising.
All along the trail.
Trees and flowers along the trail.
Teeny critters at Kapok Park.
There’s always a lot of turtles under the boardwalk.
Great trees at the park including the first one with the roots half exposed. It’s been living that way for years.
Another “just being outside” shot at Kapok Park in mid-April.
I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier at the end of March and got lucky seeing manatees. I usually see them most of the time but occasionally they are a no show. This time there were several together close to the pier. They were rolling around as they cruised by.
A few of the birds flying by the pier and a pelican sitting in the mangroves.
This family was already starting the social distancing thing. Kayaking out to a spit.
There was hardly anyone on the pier and I sat for a while taking in the quiet staring at Tampa far off in the distance.
The yacht basin next to the pier.