When I was in Atlanta in mid-August visiting friends, I spent some time at the Botanical Gardens. It’s one of my favorite places to take pictures. They were having an exhibit of “Mythical Creatures” topiaries that was really cool to see.
Above are just a few of the growing “creatures” that come to life.
Lots of fun things to see at these gardens which were full of butterflies.
Atlanta, as seen in the first episode of the tv series “Walking Dead”. Except in the scene, the roads were lined with abandoned cars that were photo-shopped into the scene. I took this the first night of our long weekend to visit friends. It was dark and cloudy and had just stopped drizzling. My husband thought I was going to look silly being the only person standing on the Jackson Street bridge taking this picture. No, there were several other people there taking pictures as well. I found out later that there are “Walking Dead” tours that take you to some of the places that scenes were filmed at. This is one of the stops.
Another Atlanta downtown scene, taken as we were leaving to head back home.
One morning while Brett was riding his bike with some friends, I took a walk around Piedmont Park. They used to have great art festivals and other events here. I’m sure they still do but it was quiet the morning I walked around the lake.
A few of the critters and an interesting mushroom or fungi around the lake. After my walk around the park, I headed over to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, more on that later.
We stopped at a shopping center to get something and this hawk was in the parking deck. At first I thought he was hurt but I think he had just finished a meal. He took off as I got closer to him but he let me get pretty close. He left behind a few scraps of his lunch.
Almost 25 years ago, Brett and I got married here in the gardens behind the Swan House. We were passing by and I made Brett stop for a few minutes.
I was feeling really nostalgic for Atlanta. I had lived here for 17 years before Brett and I moved to Tampa for work. Since his family moved to the Tampa bay area years ago, we hadn’t really spent any time here in over 3 years so we came back for a long weekend in August. We packed a lot of sight-seeing in the 2 and a half days we were here. We happened to be staying in a hotel next to this mural. The mural is on the side of the building where the old Limelight disco was back in the 70’s and 80’s. I spend many weekends there dancing with my sister and our friends back in the mid 80’s.
When I first got to Oakland cemetery it was raining so I stood under the covered porch at the visitor’s center and was watching the house sparrows feed at the feeder.
The rain stopped and it was only a light drizzle so I started walking around. I saw this brown thrasher in the bushes by the center.
My first American goldfinch. It’s either a female or juvenile. Males have a small black cap on their forehead. They are not uncommon in central Florida but they usually only come through during migration and I kept missing them. Thanks to Cobb for the ID.
Pigeon hanging around the cemetery.
Yes, another robin. They were everywhere I went in Atlanta.
These two juvenile robins were chasing each other around.
Another brown thrasher.
Squirrel eating his nut upside down. He makes it look so comfortable.
Someone had been walking his dog and they sat down to rest.
Just a few things I saw on my rainy walk around the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.
Carolina wren in Hubby’s sister’s yard in between the rain showers.
During a brief break in the rain, I headed out to a small park near the in-laws to get out and stretch my legs after our July 4th feast. The park had a handful of robins feeding.
I caught a juvenile robin with a worm.
Another one posing on the curb in the drizzle.
There were a few house finches right in front of my car.
It looks like he’s eating grass.
Taken through the dining room window. I was sitting at the table working on my laptop when I saw this chipmunk scurry up to the front porch, grab a nut from under the pine straw and eat it under the porch overhang. It was raining so he was trying to stay dry.
Flower in the front yard.
The common theme of all of the above: it was raining, drizzling, had just stopped raining or just starting to rain. Our 5 days in Atlanta for the July 4th weekend was a wet one. We had two hours left in our drive up from Tampa and it started pouring. Barely stopped until we were driving back into Tampa. I still managed to get out a few times during our trip. I had a good walk in the drizzle at the Oakland cemetery in downtown Atlanta. On Saturday morning it stopped raining until almost lunch so I went to the Botanical Gardens. It was still good to get out of town and visit the relatives even with the rainy weather.
This eastern towhee was very accommodating. He just sat there staring at me.
Another towhee looking for food on the ground.
Dark eyed junco getting some food.
Upclose. The cemetery was full of these guys.
Mouthful of seeds.
Posing on the planter.
As I was taking pictures of the juncos, this white breasted nuthatch flew into a tree right in front of me. He only stayed for a few seconds and it was the only one I saw that day.
Two days before Christmas I had a few hours to kill in the morning. I headed for the Oakland cemetery in downtown Atlanta. It was cold (35 degrees is almost death degrees for this Florida person). I had tons of layers on and actually remembered my gloves which I wore the entire time I was there. Oakland cemetery is a very old historic cemetery with a few local famous people buried there (including Margaret Mitchell who wrote Gone With The Wind). When I first got there around 8:30 there was no one else around but by 9:30, people were wandering around. Tourists come to visit and locals walk through when walking their dogs. A few joggers cut through the cemetery as well.
The cemetery was full of birds but not a lot of variety. At first I thought the above were all first sightings but after digging through some old pictures when I got back from the trip, I had seen all of the above only once before and gotten really bad pictures which I never posted. I have not seen these birds in Florida, only Atlanta so I was excited to get shots of them. There were several towhees and tons of juncos everywhere. A few other more common birds were there but more on those later.
I looked out the window on Christmas eve and the above is what I saw. Dark gray skies and bare branches.
I walked outside and it was drizzling. I saw movement high up in the trees and realized there were a few robins in the tree eating the little nuts. I ran out in the rain with my camera and took a few shots of the robins.
After running errands, the sky started to clear up a bit and when we drove into the driveway, I saw the above in a tree.
I ran into the house and got my camera and was able to get a few shots of the yellow bellied sapsucker before it clouded up again.
Monday and Tuesday were a constant drizzle. At least it wasn’t freezing.
Almost full moon coming out before dark.
The first two days of our Christmas trip to Atlanta were sunny and cold. I was able to get some shooting in both of those days. The last two days were rainy which was just as well since I still had a few pre-Christmas things to get done and then Christmas day was spent indoors with the family. The in-laws’ yard is full of old growth trees and the birds stay high up in the trees. In the morning I can hear all of the bird activity but when I walk out the door, seeing them and getting shots are another matter. The most common ones in their yard were cardinals, blue jays, robins and sapsuckers. I kept hearing a carolina wren but could not see him. The sapsucker was the only one that got down low enough that I could get a decent shot.