We were heading into the hot summer so I went for a quick walk at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor. I can sometimes find good shade and a bench to sit on in front of the flowers in the butterfly garden.
I saw a bluebird who had some kind of bee in his beak. He was so cute, posing for me.
I noticed later that there was a bluebird nest box under some small trees in the middle of the butterfly garden. Dad was bringing bugs into the babies. I could hear them peeping inside but couldn’t see them. Dad was going all the way into the box to feed them.
Then I saw a tufted titmouse with something in his beak. It looked like a leaf at first but I think it was a caterpillar that was crunched up.
I saw an adult brown thrasher on a pole near the parking area and when I walked over I also saw a young juvenile on the ground below the adult.
A minute later the adult hopped down on the ground, grabbed a bug and fed his young one while I was standing there. They were not skittish at all.
There’s a lot of eclectic artwork around the gardens and someone had drawn a face on a Mr. Potato Head and stuck it in the ground(I didn’t say it was fine art). A lizard was lounging on his head.
The new 17 foot tall gnome that was being built at the farm. He’s almost finished. It’s hard to get a good shot of him since he sits in the shade.
It was early March and I was sitting on a bench in the butterfly garden at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor hoping to see hummingbirds (it was probably a little early for them though). No hummingbirds yet but I did see some usual birds. Titmouse are common here and parulas were everywhere in early spring. Both have distinct calls.
The giant milkweed was full of caterpillars.
Little critters in the garden. The yellow butterfly looks like she was laying eggs.
I’m not sure what this plant is but I’ve seen it at several botanical gardens. It’s really cool and the flowering part is huge.
We had a warm morning in early January so I headed out for a quick trip to nearby Folly Farms in Safety Harbor. The neighborhood community garden has a small butterfly garden and if there isn’t any birds around I can usually find some tiny critters. There was still enough blooming to keep the garden full of bees and butterflies. The fun catch was the ladybug. I don’t see them very often.
I was out for a walk at Hammock Park in early December. I wasn’t expecting to find any birds so I was just out enjoying the walk with my phone. We hadn’t had much rain so the creeks along the trails had only a trickle of water.
There were small bursts of color if you look closely.
Built in 1888, this small chapel is now used for weddings, memorials and other small ceremonies. It sits at the entrance of the park. It’s a cute little church but I have not had the chance to go inside yet.
It was early August when I visited Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of birds there since fall migration hadn’t started yet but I was ready for a road trip. There were a lot of other flying critters though so I had a fun morning torturing myself trying to get pictures of little things buzzing around.
I found this spiny orb weaver with a bee in his web.
I think this lizard was flirting with me at the Botanical Gardens in Largo.
Tiny critters were buzzing around the butterfly garden.
A few of the butterflies in the butterfly garden. I was expecting to see many more than this. I didn’t see any yellow ones. I keep saying I am seeing less and less of them every year. I wonder if it’s all of the spraying that is being done. Spraying for invasive plants, spraying for mosquitoes.
A soft shell turtle swims by under the bridge. I was only able to get his funny shaped head in the shot. He almost blends in with the brown lily pad leaves.
A young moorhen walking around the spatterdock lilies in the pond.
Random things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
There wasn’t many birds when I was there in late May. You can always find brown thrashers there but the kestral was the first time I had seen one here.
After leaving the botanical gardens, I headed over for a quick stop at Largo Nature Preserve to see how the flickers were doing. I got there right as Mom was feeding the babies. I love that flash of red on the back of Mom’s head.
Mom left and the babies kept poking their heads out of the hole. This was probably right before they fledged.They looked fully grown at this point.
The red bellied woodpecker was still hanging around the hole in the tree next door. They will probably nest later in the summer.