Flowers and bugs

Color coming out in early April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Yes, the gardens were open during the big shut down. I went around 8am and there were very few people there. Most probably thought it was closed. It was nice to walk around in the quiet garden.

Watching these crazy parakeets getting sticks for their nests.

Not many birds in early April. The usual blue jays and wood duck couples. The wood ducks usually have babies here in the summer but they go into hiding and it’s hit or miss seeing them here.

Caterpillars were on the milkweed but those pesky milkweed bugs were taking over.

My Corner of the World

My favorite tree

I went to visit the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in early November to see one of my favorite trees. The huge silk floss tree was bursting with pink blooms. It’s weird to see all of these blooming pink flowers in November, even in central Florida.  Even the birds like the tree.

Other flying critters.

A scarecrow was still guarding the pond.

There was a crew there putting up Christmas lights in the trees. It takes them so long to decorate the gardens that they start early.

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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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Lots of babies at Carillon Park.

Two very young green herons were waiting for mom to come back with food. They were standing on the boardwalk rail. As soon as they saw mom come into the bushes they hopped back on the branches and headed deep in the bush to get fed.

A common moorhen family. There were at least 6 families along the ponds.

Young grackles and their parents were along the boardwalk.

The usual birds along the boardwalk, a blue jay, an osprey eating a fish on top of one of the office buildings and one of the many anhingas.

A walk around Carillon Park after work in early May.

In the backyard

A house sparrow on our dock. They nest in the hole on the side of the dock.

A hawk sitting on our fence.

An anhinga getting a snack on our neighbor’s dock.

A woodpecker getting a snack on our palm tree.

A blue jay giving me a funny look while sitting on our neighbor’s boat.

Things on our muhly grass.

The moon in the backyard in the morning.

Just a few things in our backyard in the past couple of weeks.

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Year round residents at Kapok Park

Kapok Park is a good place to see hawks.  They nest there in the summer and you can usually see several all year round. On this recent visit I saw 3. One landed on a branch in front of me and then flew down to the ground and got a bug.

You can always see limpkins here as well. They are very loud at this park. The one above was busy eating a hearty breakfast.

At first I thought this one was a juvenile due to his light color but I think he might be an adult with lighter feathers. Young limpkins stay pretty dark brown as they grow up.

Blue jay looking for a handout.

Great egret flyby.

SkyWatch Friday

Things in my yard and neighborhood

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I went for an after dinner walk and found this duck family in the pond near my house. I’ve been seeing this pretty creme mallard for a while now.  I saw the family recently and the babies were getting big. Sadly, there were only 4 left.

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Frog on our downspout after a storm.

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Saw this lizard next to our dock. This is the first one I’ve seen with a rust head. Can they really blend in that well?

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Here’s the same creme mallard back in May.  She was floating around behind our dock.

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Curious blue jay.

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Hibiscus poking through the fence.

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I took this through the kitchen window.

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Taken through the bedroom window, the juvenile night heron was creeping around our neighbor’s dock.

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Our neighbor a few houses down has an almost dead palm tree in their backyard. I came home from work and saw the tree full of crows eating the berries (or are these nuts?). Taken directly into the sun.

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A few crows waiting their turn to get on the palm tree.

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Something spooked them and they all flew off in a hurry.  At this point it was almost dark.

Things in my neighborhood this past summer.

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