Funky town

I went for a walk on a late Sunday afternoon around Safety Harbor with just my phone. I was getting tired of walking around in my neighborhood and Safety Harbor is not too far away. It’s a cute little town that sits on the water in upper Tampa Bay and though it’s small in size, it has a huge personality. Although I’ve never been inside any of the buildings, the Art and Music Center looks like a lot of fun.

You can rent kayaks in front of the fishing pier and if you are lucky, will get to float around with the manatees. I almost always see them here at the pier.

This abandoned sailboat has been sitting here in front of the pier for years. Someone has been painting the outside but the inside had plants growing inside of it.

A great place to hang out and enjoy the view but don’t tell anyone else. We wouldn’t want it to get too crowded.

SkyWatch Friday

Happy 4th of July!

Brett and I were leaving the house to go out for a drive on Memorial Day. We were heading to the Bay Pines Veterans National Cemetery where my parents are buried for a walk and then to pick up lunch to bring home. Driving out the back way and past some apartments we saw a juvenile eagle sitting on utility box. Of course I yelled for Brett to stop. I had my camera in the car so he pulled over and I was able to get a few shots before the eagle took off. It’s not every day that you have an eagle pooping in your neighborhood.

He circled around over my head and then took off over the tree.

These babies were swimming around below him so he must have been hoping to get one but ended up leaving empty handed. Unless he came back later. There are a lot less babies in this family now.

Every Memorial Day Boy Scout troops put flags on the graves at the cemetery. It’s really impressive (but sad) to drive through and see all of the flags.

Walking along the water.

I found a spot close to home that I could get out and go for a walk after work. There were a few parking spots close by and on a weekday night there were spots open. It was already hot in early May and that sun was bright at 6pm. I found some ruddy turnstones hanging out in the rocks next to the sidewalk.

Walking along the causeway, looking first towards Tampa and then towards Clearwater.

From the spot I stopped to turn around, you can barely see the Tampa skyline.

This was a good spot for a couple of weeks when there wasn’t many other places to go or the ones that were open were packed with people. Only a few people on bikes whizzing by. And a few dolphins swimming by.

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More from the sailboat sunset

More shots from my stop over to Davis Islands to get some sunset shots. These were taken earlier in then night near the Marjorie Park Marina.

Tampa late in the day.

Across from the yacht basin.

Downtown Tampa far off to the right of the yacht basin.

A beautiful night to be out. This was in mid-March when the weather was still cool.

Almost dark.

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Stories on the walls.

Brett and I went out on a Sunday in early April to get lunch to go and decided to drive around St. Pete and check out all of the murals. They are spread out so it’s not easy to walk around and see them all. We picked a perfect time since there was almost no one in the area and most of the buildings didn’t have cars parked in front of the murals.  Any other time and they would be have been half hidden by trucks and SUVs. We didn’t realize how many of them there was. So many colors.

My Corner of the World

“Don’t let the sun go down on me”

Royal terns and willets on the sea wall across from the boat ramp at Davis Islands.

Pelicans and a great egret hanging around the island.

The view of Tampa across from the Davis Islands yacht basin right before sunset.

Watching the sun go down early in the quarantine in late March.

It was a quiet night. Most people were sitting in their cars watching the sun go down instead of getting out and walking around the small beach there. I kept saying I was going to get back over there but I just never did.

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A sight I thought I’d never see

Last Sunday Brett and I headed over to Clearwater to go to Costco and we decided to cruise over to Clearwater beach to see how weirdly empty it would be. We rarely go over to this beach even though it’s only 30 minutes from our house with no traffic. The problem is that there is never “no traffic” so it actually takes at least close to an hour. With the exception of a rainy day in the winter, the beach is always crowded and the parking is minimal and expensive. This is the beach that was on the news in late March due to all of the ‘spring breakers” on it. So now, even the locals who live close by can’t go for a walk in the mornings. We just drove through and left so I took these with my phone through the window. All of the parking lots were closed and we saw police cruising around. It was weird to see not a single person on it. Even in the rainy winter you might see people jogging on it. It was a sad sight to see and after running our errands we went home and disinfected everything and then plopped down on the couch for a movie fest.

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

All sand, no birds

Pano of the north beach tip at Fort Desoto during the extreme low tide.

It was cold and windy and a perfect day for a walk on the beach. There were a few other people here but I still felt like I had the beach all to myself. This was the lowest tide I have ever seen here. Someone told me it was because of the full Snow moon (the tides are lowest during the full moon in February). I came out to see if there were any shorebirds but I think the wind kept them hiding somewhere else.

The backside of Outback Key was exposed and all of those little mounds had live sand dollars hiding under them.

A few of them partially exposed.

I’ve read that the pink sand comes from microscopic animals in the water.

Textures on Outback Key.

Walking back to the parking lot.

The beach was littered with the above.

This one had a lot of things living on it.

My stash from the morning when I got back home and washed them off. The beach was covered in whole dead sand dollars. It’s rare to find them not broken. I like collecting shells with barnacles. I feel like it gives them personality.

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Annual trip to the electric plant

After a really cold week, I headed over to the TECO (Tampa Electric Co) plant to see the manatees that hang out there in the winter. The warm water coming off the electric plant in the lagoon keeps the manatees warm during the coldest weeks. Years ago, the plant built a manatee viewing center with a big deck that wraps around part of the lagoon. All of those dots in the water are manatees. There were hundreds of them the morning I was there in late January.

The plant says that the smoke coming out of the stack is actually clean steam.  It doesn’t feel smoky when you are there and the sky was clear blue.

Part of the deck overlooking the lagoon. This was still early in the day before the big crowds get here. I got here well before they opened at 10am and waiting in line to park and was out before lunch. They can get crazy crowded and parking is a challenge when the manatees are here in large numbers. The news channels report on them when there’s been a prolonged cold spell so everyone heads over including me.

Some of the birds around the plant.  White pelicans were flying high, a young night heron flew by the deck and a vulture was sitting on a platform built for an osprey nest.

Down at the very end of the lagoon, it’s roped off so boaters or kayakers cannot follow the manatees into the area. There is no swimming with the manatees here.

There’s usually some stingrays splashing around.

I took a ton of manatee pictures so more to come on those.

SkyWatch Friday