The hotel window

Brett and I spend a long weekend near Hollywood Beach visiting relatives. When we got back to the hotel to change before dinner I looked out the window and noticed this palm tree had bloomed. I realized there were tons of bees buzzing around it and grabbed my camera to try to get some shots of them.

As I was trying to focus on the bees through the window, I noticed several green lizards also on the tree. It looked like they were drinking the sap. We were on the 4th floor so they had climbed up pretty high.

I stood there for a while watching the bees and the lizards buzzing all over this palm tree, right on a busy street.  It was hard to get clear shots through the dirty window but it was fun trying.

Photographing New Zealand

The view along the trail through my phone.

I knew it was going to be a beautiful morning when I walked out on the trail to this.

After 12 years of coming to Circle B Bar Reserve, I still love walking these trails even with all of the dead trees in the background.

Things close to the trail, although I cropped up the one with the big gator so he wasn’t that close.

An alligator cruises by a great blue heron.

The view from the blind on the dock.

Sitting on a bench near the nature center before heading home.

I had just replaced my old iphone with a new one days before so I was taking lots of pictures with it.

SkyWatch Friday

 

The calm deer.

Driving into Chesnut park on a recent Saturday morning, I was greeting by a few deer. Snapped this with my phone.

I stopped to take some pictures of them walking around on the baseball field.

A rare sighting of some close the picnic shelters at the lake. I rarely see them this close the lake.

Later, walking on the boardwalk, I saw these two deep in the woods. They appeared to be preening each other. I watched for a few minutes before they noticed me. They didn’t seem to mind me standing there.It’s always fun to see the deer at Chesnut Park. For some reason they seem to calm me down. You have to get there early in the morning to catch them. By 9am when the dog walkers and joggers are there, they retreat into the woods.

Critters at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Some of the critters in the water at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park north of Tampa. I made my annual winter trip in mid-January, hoping to see manatees along the river but the weather had warmed up for a few day and the manatees had scattered around the area.

Yes, this guy was on the other side of the glass. You usually see them sleeping in the back with their eyes closed.

It seemed to be mating day that morning. Both pelicans and some wild vultures were getting frisky in the warm weather.

The calm water in the springs.

Gator day at the park.

I had my first real close encounter with a big one recently at Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve been visiting this park for over 10 years and until recently, I always joked that the gators were fake. They never seemed to move, just sleeping on the other side of the pond. I was at the park early and the water levels along the trails were high. The first picture was taken with my 300mm lens so I wasn’t that close. The second one was taken with my phone. That’s my shadow at the bottom. There were people coming up behind me and once the big guy crossed the trail, we all headed down together. Our theory was safety in numbers. By the time we got to were he had crossed, we saw him swimming half way across the lake.

Another big one on the same morning, taken with my 300mm lens.

A few tiny ones on the trail.

One of the “really” big ones across the lake, on the other side of the bank.

Otherwise, it was a slow morning with the usual turtles and warblers.

It finally looks like fall in late December.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Ghost town on the beach

A nice clean beach after Park supervisor Jim had scooped up all of the dead fish from the red tide algae bloom that lands on the beach during high tide. This morning in late October, Jim had told me that they had just cleaned up 6 miles of beaches, trying to keep it clean so the tourist can enjoy the beach. Even in late November, we were still getting some dead sea life but not as bad as it was in October.

It was still a beautiful morning even with a slight fishy smell.

The dog beach and the fishing pier were deserted that morning since no one wanted to be in the red tide water. It was like a ghost town.

I did see some dolphins coming out of the water from far across the bay.

SkyWatch Friday