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.

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Coming in for a landing

One of the last shows of the year by the Tampa Bay Water Ski Team earlier this month. It looks like they were having a lot of fun. This time I was trying to capture their faces as they dropped the ropes and skied into the side of the lake. This is a free show every Saturday until the dead of winter (meaning December through March here) and today I’ll be attending their Holiday show with family.

Beautiful faces up close

It’s rare to get this close to roseate spoonbills. I see them occasionally in the ponds and ditches around work but they are usually far away. There are several that live in the aviary at the Florida Aquarium and they seem to be comfortable around the crowds. You can’t get close enough to touch them but closer than out in the wild. All are permanently injured with a wing or an eye missing and live here now. They develop more color in their faces as they get older during breeding season. These were all taken with my 200mm lens and cropped.

There are a few other birds there as well such as this ibis trying to eat something that doesn’t look like food.

Views from outside the aquarium.

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

A beautiful beach day before red tide rolled in.

Things along the trail from our car to the beach.

Out on the beach, it was a perfect quiet morning in late August. We get there early before it gets too hot and crowded.

The water was crystal clear but warm. This was before the red tide had brought dead sea life to the beach, the calm before the storm. I was traveling light this morning so all above were taken with my phone.

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Rapids in Tampa??

Yes, if you can call the above rapids, then we do have them in Tampa. At Hillsborough River State Park. According to the Florida State Park website, these are Class II rapids. I visited for the first time in mid-June after several days of heavy rain.

The elevated bridge that crosses the river.

The water in some of the swampier areas of the park looked like tea.

Lots of beautiful old trees along the trails.

The park’s purpose it to preserve the “real Florida”. It was hot, muggy and buggy in June and that’s exactly the real Florida. I had 2 layers of DEET on and still came home with lots of bug bites. I didn’t see a lot of wildlife the morning I was there. Not like all of the other parks I frequent close by. Very few birds but I’m sure there were lots of snakes hiding. It’s about 45 minutes away from my house so not a long drive but I don’t think I’ll go back until winter (which around here means January).

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Walking across Tampa bay

A common loon swimming under the bridge. Loons are usually only here in the winter so this guy is either really early or really lost.

The usual pelicans hanging around the bridge.

Royal terns were also there.

Far off in the distance we could see dolphins. It looked like they were playing but I think they were herding the fish close to the causeway to feed off of them.

On the other side of the bridge, you could see planes taking off from the Tampa airport.

The sun was going down on my Sunday night walk over the Courtney Campbell Causeway pedestrian bridge.

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Missed the moon but caught a sunset

From my driveway in late January. Saw this when I got home and thought it would be cool to try and get the moon coming up over Tampa the next night.

Tampa across the bridge. No moon coming up so I headed into Tampa.

I was hoping to get a shot of the big super blue blood moon rising above the Tampa skyline in late January so I brought my camera and headed over to a tall parking garage just off the bridge after work. On the moon side there was a cloud bank so i wasn’t going to get a shot of the moon just over the city.

I turned around and walked over to the other side of the parking garage and saw the above. A plane coming in for a landing near the Tampa airport just as the sun was going down. I stood for a while watching the planes come in. It was a beautiful cool night.

Sun’s all gone. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, turn around.

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