Critters and flowers at the botanical gardens

From my trip to the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in mid-June.

I just realized they have a rainbow eucalyptus tree here. I have never noticed it before. Maybe it just recently started showing it’s colors. As the bark peels off, different shades come through.They are not native here but grow well in rain forests.

Photographing New Zealand

Crescent Lake Park

Some of the ducks at Crescent Lake Park near downtown St. Pete.  That grebe was here in June. He should have been up north for the summer. Maybe some of the grebes stay all year round. Normally they are only here in the winter.

The wild parakeets nest in the water tower near the park. I was able to catch them right along the lake in the trees and feeding right on the ground.

Other usually birds at the park.

Checking me out. No snacks for him.

A beautiful tree across the street.

Views from the park. I always love this view. Seeing the fish water tower in front of the few tall buildings in downtown St. Pete. As I’m coming around the corner at the far end of the park I always remember to turn around.

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A holiday weekend at the beach.

We always say that we stay away from the beaches on a major holiday weekend. We broke our own rule on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. We decided to go spend a few hours in the morning at Fort Desoto Park and then swing by to visit Brett’s aunt since her nursing home is close by. We were there before 9am and left before lunch. The crowds were thick before we left.

Sea hares in the water and on the beach.

A manatee cruising by the fishing pier.

On the fishing pier, I caught this dragonfly resting on a fishing pole. This poor shrimp was bait.

Ships passing by the pier and snowy egrets hanging out on the shelter.

We took the scenic route over to St. Pete beach before heading to visit his aunt.

SkyWatch FridaySerendipity is Sweet

Zoo Tampa in early June

Fun at the zoo in early June. The manatees are back at the zoo which is good and bad thing. The zoo has been updating their water system in the manatee hospital so any injured manatees had to go to Homosassa Springs for rehabilitation for 6 months. Now that the manatee hospital is updated they can take in injured manatees. The bad thing is that the manatees have to be here at all. It’s great that visitors can see these big guys up close and that the zoo treats them but it’s sad that so many are injured due to boat strikes or sick from red tide.

On top of the manatee pool, a few juvenile blue herons are learning how to catch their own fish. These were all probably born in the nests over the alligator exhibit next door.

Vultures were drying off in the bear exhibit. They do this in the morning to easily warm their body up. Not sure why, it was already 85 degrees at 10am. The bear eventually came over to check them out. The vultures didn’t fly off but just moved over. They didn’t seem to scared of the bear.

The last of the wild baby blue heron birds that were growing up over the alligator exhibit.

Photographing New Zealand

In the backyard this spring.

Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.

One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.

A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.

Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.

 

  

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

The clown babies at Gatorland.

For some reason, the tricolored herons seem to be the last birds to nest at the bird rookery at Gatorland. Maybe they take over great egret nests once they are finished using them.  There were a few nests that had older babies including the ones above.

Some were just a few days old.

Some of the older ones still being fed by parents.

These triplets, who were growing up in a nest on a palm tree right up against the boardwalk, were pretty funny to watch. They are so comical at this age. These were all taken during my last visit in late May.