The dolphin show at Fort Desoto

After running around in the woods at Fort Desoto Park taking pictures of small birds migrating through the area in late April, I stopped at the fishing pier before heading home. The dolphins were feeding on the bait fish, swimming back and forth in front of the pier. The water was clear that morning so it was easy to see them as they rose to the surface. It was fun watching them splashing around.

Pelicans were also floating close to the pier.

Not too many people on the beach yet near the pier. The crowds were just starting to form north of the pier where the beach is a little wider and nicer.

SkyWatch Friday

Deer on 3rd base

The deer were hanging out on the baseball field early one Saturday morning in April when I drove into Chesnut Park.  I sat on a picnic bench for a while watching them grazing. As more people headed into the park, the deer retreated further into the woods that runs behind the field.

Later, walking the back trails, I saw a few more deer.

A few other critters at the park that morning.

A few of the plants blooming at the park.

On the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve

The squirrels were busy grooming and eating.

Plants along the trail.

Roadblock on the trail. I was almost all the way down Marsh Rabbit Run trail when I saw this. My choices were to sit and wait and see if he moves or turn around and go back. I sat down on trail for about 15 minutes when a park ranger came from the other side of the trail in a cart and spooked the gator off the trail. The park ranger said he slept there for over 2 hours the day before. I probably would have given up and turned around after half an hour if the ranger hadn’t come by. That little moorhen was not as close as it looks in the shot. He was busy preening and ignoring the gator.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

A trip down south (south Florida)

Every year in the winter Brett and I head down to the Miami area for a long weekend to visit some relatives before it gets too hot. This past February we were looking for something to do with his aunt and uncle and were going to be close to Homestead one afternoon so we stopped at the Fruit and Spice Park.  We were way down south of Miami right before heading to the Keys. Lots of farmland down there. The park is a farm that grows different exotic spices and fruits that you can tour. We took a long tram ride with a guide who explained all of the different plants that are farmed there. We got to taste and smell some of them. It was a nice way to relax and spend the afternoon outdoors and I took a ton of pictures.

The above Rainbow Gum tree was very cool. As the bark peels off, it exposes different colors. It can only be grown in frost-free areas of the country.

There were lots of critters crawling around from the pretty green lizard to the big iguanas. The kids on the tram went crazy over them and we stopped and were allowed to get pretty close.

More to come on this trip down “south”.

SkyWatch Friday

Bunny and the beasts.

Saw the little piggies again on another trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in early March. They had gotten just a little bit bigger. They were venturing out farther away from Mom but she kept her eye on them.

Cute little bunny on the trail.

Tiny snake and big alligators.

This is a shot of the big gator above taken with my phone. He wasn’t too close and I was also up on a raised boardwalk.

Non-flying critters at Circle B Bar Reserve, although one day, pigs may fly.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

 

The land of squirrels

Squirrels all over the park were eating the pink parts of this plant. Not sure what type plant this was.

I caught this couple flirting on the boardwalk right in front of me. Eventually they realized I was standing there and scampered off the boardwalk and headed up a tree.

Pops of color along the boardwalk.

Empty shells the limpkins leave behind after eating the snails inside.

Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa is full of squirrels. In early March the weather had warmed up and they were out eating and playing all morning.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

End of winter plants

It was a slow critter morning so I started taking pictures of the plants at Possum Branch Preserve near my house. It was a mix of end of winter and not quite yet spring things around the preserve.

I saw the above hanging on a tree. Some sort of cocoon?

The plants in the marsh were just starting to turn brown.

The usual gators in the pond.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.