The Selby Gardens in Sarasota sits right on the bay. It was a warm beautiful morning in late November when I was there for the first time with my sister.
It’s a small botanical gardens and a bit far from my home in Tampa. Not sure if I will get down here again soon. My favorite part was the conservatory that had a lot of orchids. We happened to be there during an orchid exhibit which was pretty cool.
I caught a quick glimpse of a black bellied whistling duck family. They were passing through under the boardwalk and headed into the swamp. They paused for a few minutes and I snapped the above. The babies are so cute. They look like little bumble bees.
After climbing 3 stories to the top of the observation tower at Lettuce Lake, I look over at the pine tree to the left of the tower and this guy was staring right at me. He’s looking at me like “What are you doing up here?”. I’ve never seen them up close before. He stayed for a few minutes then took off to catch a fish. I missed the big splash since he was so close near the tower but caught him flying away with a fish.
A great egret flies by the tower.
Turtles and alligators in the water below. The gator was going after that water bottle.
Tiny critters on the boardwalk.
A juvenile blue heron basking in the sun on the boardwalk.
The water was almost gone in May due to the drought we were having. Most of the little ponds were dried up and the deer were grazing in the pond.
Most of the plants were looking parched.
I took the shot of the small alligator from the boardwalk. It wasn’t until I got home and cropped up the picture that I noticed he had a hook sticking out of the side of his mouth. I hope it dislodged when he ate his next meal.
Hiding behind trees at a very busy intersection in the Tampa Bay area is Possum Branch Preserve. There’s only a tiny sign on the fence and no real parking. You just pull onto the grass and park along the fence. There wasn’t a lot of birds the day I was there in early December but tons of plants along the ponds. If it wasn’t for all of the loud traffic close by I would have thought I was in the middle of nowhere.