Being a tourist in my hometown.

In July, I decided to take a break from walking around in the parks and headed to downtown Tampa to take a walk along the riverfront. I headed out early since it was going to be a hot day. Not many people out that early.  Just me and a few joggers when I first got there. The downside is that the sun was behind the buildings so it made sunny shots a challenge. The upside was that I was walking in the shade for the first part.

Along the Tampa convention center.

Lots of activities on the water. You can rent boats of all sizes or take a water taxi around the area.

The old Cass street bridge that was built in 1926.  Everyone is wondering when they are going to tear it down. It adds a bit of history to the area even if it’s an eyesore.

When I got back to Riverwalk Park, they had turned on the water fountain. I really wanted to walk through there.

SkyWatch Friday

A holiday weekend at the beach.

We always say that we stay away from the beaches on a major holiday weekend. We broke our own rule on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. We decided to go spend a few hours in the morning at Fort Desoto Park and then swing by to visit Brett’s aunt since her nursing home is close by. We were there before 9am and left before lunch. The crowds were thick before we left.

Sea hares in the water and on the beach.

A manatee cruising by the fishing pier.

On the fishing pier, I caught this dragonfly resting on a fishing pole. This poor shrimp was bait.

Ships passing by the pier and snowy egrets hanging out on the shelter.

We took the scenic route over to St. Pete beach before heading to visit his aunt.

SkyWatch FridaySerendipity is Sweet

“A three hour tour!”

While we were in Naples we took a boat ride around the bay and out to a spoil island. We passed the big boats and big houses near the marina.

It was a beautiful day out and there was not much traffic on the water.

 

We saw so many dolphins along the way. They were coming right up to the boat. The bottom two shots I took with my phone.

A lot of the channel markers had osprey nests on them. Most of the babies were grown up and yelled as we went by.

We cruised for almost an hour to a spoil island where there was no one else on the beach. Just us and a few other people that were on the boat. We walked around for close to an hour looking for shells.

Not many birds on the beach but far away we saw an osprey had caught a fish and had landed on the beach with it before taking off again.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

A windy day at Fort Desoto

I had a rare Friday off in mid-April and headed to Fort Desoto to see if there were any birds migrating through. I was really too early since a storm was just starting to move through. It was drizzling on and off most of the morning but it was still fun to be out at the beach, even in bad weather.

Birds were diving in the water to catch the tiny fish near the pier.

The usual great blue herons and pelicans were flying close to the pier.

A lone frigatebird was hovering right over the pier. They usually stay high up in the sky but this one was right over my head. She just kept hovering in the wind. The above are not cropped at all. I felt like I could almost reach out and grab her.

Before leaving I hit the back trail and caught this nanday parakeet peeking out of a hole in a dead palm tree. I think they nest back here but I rarely go back this far in the summer since the bugs will attack no matter how much bug spray you use.

SkyWatch Friday

Hanging out at the beach.

A beautiful morning at Fort Desoto out on the beach.

Watching all of the big boats go by, wondering about that life at sea. I recently started following a guy who  pilots the big boats in and out of Tampa bay on Instagram. It’s cool to see his pictures from the boat. I bet he has some great stories to tell. You can find him at Tampabaypilot.

It’s always fun to see the dolphins swimming around the fishing pier and the little terns diving for fish.

The cactus all over the park are blooming.

Brett and I spent a Sunday morning in April just hanging out on the beach. With work, chores and family we don’t get there as much as we use to.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Early morning at Fort Desoto

Terns, willets and laughing gulls out on the beach.

A lone prairie warbler on the trail.

Someone caught a creepy crab while fishing on the pier.

A common sight around the fishing pier, a snowy egret hitching a ride.

The morning started off cloudy, looking like it was going to rain but the sun came out before noon.

SkyWatch Friday

Being a tourist, continued

If you look closely you can always find birds at a marina. While my sister and I walked around the Clearwater Beach marina, we saw tons of pelicans, great egrets and snowy egrets. Birds we didn’t see that are usually there are great blue herons and green herons. They hang around the docks hoping to be fed the scraps when the fishing boats come in and the fisherman fillet the fish right there. I recently found out that it’s illegal to feed birds fish parts. The pelican’s pouch is very delicate and made to swallow the fish whole. If there are bones sticking out, they will puncture the pouch and tear, keeping the pelican from being able to scoop up fish on their own. They will eventually starve. The bird sanctuaries in the area are full of pelicans with torn pouches from eating fish parts. Another reason why wild animals should not be fed.

Signs at the fishing piers that people seem to ignore.