Pumpkins on the farm

I hadn’t been to my nearby horse farm since May. It’s just too hot in the summer.  The usual ducks were floating around in the pond.

I didn’t know if this one was an escapee or had just flown in for the handouts.

The usual chickens and hens were wandering around.

Mike the camel loves to give kisses. I wasn’t getting any closer.

Waiting to be carved.

Horsepower for Kids was having their annual fall festival fundraiser. I got there early in the morning before crowds. Just stopped in to see how all of the sanctuary animals were doing after Hurricane Irma. They had a lot of damage to exhibits but had mostly recovered.

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

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Pelican convention at the fishing pier.

Busy day at the fishing pier for the pelicans.

The above got a fishing hook stuck on his feather.  The fisherman started to bring him in and  when the pelican took off the feather just got pulled out with the hook. It looked like it was a clean pull.  Off pelican went and the fisherman had a really big feather stuck to his hook. This bird was lucky.

This one had a big hook stuck on his leg. The lifeguard swam out to him with a big net but the pelican took off flying.

A few of the pelicans hanging out on the jetty next to the pier. The one in the bottom picture has a band on his leg so he’s probably been in a bird hospital before.  They usually band them before they release them back out in the wild.

I walked up to pier to see a lifeguard and park ranger cutting the fishing wire that had been wrapped around this pelican’s legs and wing.  It’s a sad thing to say but these guys are experts. They had him caught, cleaned up and released in minutes. They must do this a lot.

The pelican gave them one last look before taking off.

 

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All lined up

It was a quiet morning at the boat ramp at Fort Desoto Park.  Even thought the weather was perfect in early October very few boats were going out.  The seabirds were taking an early morning nap on the floating dock railings. They barely glanced at me as I walked up but I’m sure they wouldn’t have been happy if I had started to walk down the ramp and caused them to move.  Most of these are sandwich terns (with the yellow tips on their beaks) and a few laughing gulls in the mix.

Over at the fishing pier, the laughing gulls were harassing the snow egrets that were all lined up.  All fighting over bait fish.

SkyWatch Friday

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Crazy clowns in the trees.

In early September I was walking around Fort Desoto not looking for anything in particular. Okay, I may have been looking for some particular bird but now I can’t even remember what it was. A flash of green flew by me and landed on a tree and some bushes right in front of me. These birds have 3 names.  They are Nanday parakeets or black hooded parakeets or Nanday concures according to Wikipedia.  They are not native to Florida but there are now large wild populations all over the Tampa Bay area. They are very loud so you can’t  miss them.  They have a big personality and did not mind me as I stood there for a while taking pictures of them eating and napping.  After about 15 minutes they all started screaming and took off across the park.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

 

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A mid-summer trip to the zoo

It was very hot in late July but I stopped by the Lowry Park Zoo early one Saturday morning to see how the wild baby birds were doing.

There were a few late little blue heron babies still on the nest but I didn’t see any baby house sparrows.  I saw a few nests tucked away around the gift shop but I didn’t see or hear any babies at that time.

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

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Finding Nemo

Or “Blurry fish behind really thick glass.”  I took these all in “Auto with no flash” mode since I didn’t have a tripod and I didn’t want to use flash.  If you use flash you will just get a big bright white blob on in the picture from the reflection of the flash. So the easiest “cheat” way to do it is Auto with no flash.  The hardest shots to get are of the fish in the round exhibits since the round thick glass makes it much harder to get a clear shot. It was a fun morning to walk around in the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  Too hot to be outside.

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Vacation sneak peak

Our view from the hotel. The first morning was the only time we saw Cheyenne Mountain.  After this it was completely covered in fog.

We spent a morning walking around in the drizzle at Garden of the Gods.

An afternoon at Cave of the Winds.  The view from the parking lot is above.

The above were on the road to Cripple Creek.

Spent a short time walking around the grounds of Glen Eyrie Castle. You can stay here but they book up fast. Maybe next year.

Helen Hunt Falls in Cheyenne Mountain Park.

It was hard to believe that just two weeks after Hurricane Irma passed through our area we were waking up in the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain just west of Colorado Springs. We had planned this trip back in early spring and there were a lot of hurdles to get through before we could relax on our vacation including a 7 hour flight delay getting there. Relaxing wasn’t high on the list for the vacation though. We spent every day outside in the rain and drizzle walking around. Even in the fog and rain, the area was insanely beautiful. Or maybe it was because we aren’t accustomed to seeing the mountains on a daily basis.  I guess some of the people who grew up here would say the same thing about our beaches in Florida. We hit most of the places on our wish list but due to weather missed a few as well. All the more reason to go back in the near future. I took a ton of pictures and am just starting to edit them.  More later.

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More rainy day flower pictures

Pictures from a walk around the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo during a morning summer rain shower. Most people say the rain never lasts long in Florida in the summer but sometimes they last most of the day. This morning in August it rained all day. At least it wasn’t hot.

Standing under the gazebos looking across the pond.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

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Critters at Bok Tower Gardens

A quiet day for birds in early September.  A woodpecker, a great horned owl and a quick peek at a hummingbird.

Lots of squirrels around. The one in the bottom shot had a big bot fly bite on his side.

I found the real “Peter Cottontail” on the trail.

Creepy spiders just in time for Halloween.

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

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The big ones under water

You can get really close to the big swimmers under water at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Turtles, sharks and sting rays swim right up to the glass. The sting rays look like they have happy faces when they swim up.

You can swim in the exhibit with the sharks. Not sure if that pole he’s holding would calm my fears. I’m sure they keep them well fed though.

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