Road trip to Central Florida

A lone female painted bunting was eating at the feeder near the pond.

A catbird on St. Frances’s head.

Your basic mockingbird shot.

There must have been a robin convention going on. They were everywhere at the park.

Really cool roots on the trail.

Pictures of the carillon tower  at Bok Tower Gardens I took with my phone.

After I left Bok Tower Gardens I stopped by Lake Parker in Lakeland to get out and walk around for a few minutes before heading back to Tampa. It was a quiet afternoon with only a few critters near the boat ramp.

Next to Lake Parker is a huge soccer field. There was no one playing on the field that day but I’m sure on a weekend there are tons of kids running around. There were light posts along the fields and in between them with nests on them. All of them had osprey nesting on top except for one. One light post right at the entrance to the field had an owl nest. The sun was not in my favor that afternoon but I was able to get the above. There were two almost grown owlets on the nest with Mom but one was hiding on the other side of Mom. On nights and weekends these fields are packed with screaming kids playing ball. I guess the owls don’t mind.

A few things I saw on my central Florida trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales and Lake Parker in Lakeland in early March.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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This is NOT my house. I don’t even take the time anymore to put a tree. So I go to other people’s houses to see them. These were all taken last year inside Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida. The 20 room home was built in the 30’s and is now a museum. During the holidays, volunteers decorate in historic Christmas fashion. It’s a fun way to put you in the mood without having to do the work yourself.

Birds and fish at Bok Tower

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I thought this bird was going to be something different but I think it’s a palm warbler in his non-breeding colors.

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I can’t tell what this warbler is. Unfortunately, I did not get any other pictures of him. I think this is a female black throated blue warbler.  The lady friend of the one below.

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This male black throated blue warbler was staying inside of the bushes and being very timid. I rarely see these guys.

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Female ruby throated hummingbirds were everywhere. I saw these at the bushes in front of the historic house.

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The big fish in the pond in front of the carillon tower were looking for a handout. You can pay 25 cents to get a handful of fish food.

More fun stuff from my trip to Bok Tower in early November.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Pretty things at Bok Tower

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The giant Victoria water lilies are planted every summer at Bok Tower. They don’t last through the winter here in central Florida. They are beautiful even though I caught them at the end of their cycle in early November.

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Raindrops and bright colors were all over the gardens.

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A view looking down on the valley from the carillon tower. This is one of the few places where you feel like you are up on a mountain looking down in Florida.

Just a few things from my trip to Bok Tower in early November. I was in between the Halloween decorations and the Christmas decorations but still found a ton of things to take pictures of.

Shine the Divine

A first visit to Bok Tower Gardens – Skywatch Friday

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The bell tower building contains 60 bells and was finished in 1929.

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Looking straight up, it’s pretty tall.

DSC_7047The details in the openings at the top have different birds. The gardens started out as a bird sanctuary by Edward Bok. The 30 year editor of the Ladies Home Journal magazine would spend his winters in Lake Wales and developed the gardens with the help of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr ( his dad developed Central Park and Prospect Park in New York) and many others.

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The door no one enters. To tour the inside of the bell tower, you need to have a high level of membership to go inside on one of the very few tours a year.

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The lily pads were amazing.

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Beautiful purple buds growing around the lily pads.

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I was hoping to see frogs sitting in them but no luck there.

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I’ve never seen these blooms before.

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Looking down over a citrus grove, the bell tower sits on one of the highest points in central Florida.

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The gardens were decorated for Halloween.

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When did black and white pumpkins become so popular? Some had the spray paint starting to peel off. I guess I like the traditional orange ones.

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The spider was pretty cool, made with pumpkins and branches.

I’ve been saying I want to visit Bok Tower Gardens for the last 5 years. I finally made it there on a rare random Monday off. It’s just under an hour and a half from my house so I need to get there more often. It was a beautiful day and very few people there. I took a ton of pictures so more to come.

Check out more sky pictures  Skywatch Friday