Least terns were just starting to mate on the beach at Sand Key Park in late June.
A crazed looking juvenile mockingbird was also on the beach.
On osprey was guarding the jetti with his fish.
A small storm was moving in across the beach. The tourist pirate ship started to head out into the gulf but then turned around and came back into the bay. That trip must have gotten cut short. It started to sprinkle as I walked back down the beach to my car but then the sun came out just as fast.
I think it was going to end up being a perfect day after the morning storms moved through. I had stopped by the park to see if the least terns were nesting yet. They were there but none of them were sitting on eggs yet. People were starting to come out to the beach once the sun came out. It was time for me to go home and have lunch.
Little birds along the shore at Fort Desoto Park.
Weird sea slugs that were on the sand at low tide. The muck was full of these.
The tide would be coming in soon to wash this guy back into the water.
A very large raft of ducks far out in the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I think these were mostly ring neck ducks.
Scenes from the beach.
In early January I was walking the trails and noticed an owl sitting in an old osprey nest.
Not a bad way to be stuck in traffic. On my way home I got stuck on the bridge for a few minutes while the bridge was up waiting for some tall boats to pass underneath.
After several days of rain in late December, we had a break in the weather so I decided to go to the Hillsborough River State Park for a walk. The water was coming through pretty heavy and this is the only place in the Tampa bay area to see “rapids”. Not too bad considering the area is almost completely flat.
Fall was just starting to hit. The cypress trees had all turned colors and were starting to lose their leaves.
The trees along the trail have a lot of personality.
The bridge over the river. Down at this end the river is calm.
Colors on the ground.
Yes, if you can call the above rapids, then we do have them in Tampa. At Hillsborough River State Park. According to the Florida State Park website, these are Class II rapids. I visited for the first time in mid-June after several days of heavy rain.
The elevated bridge that crosses the river.
The water in some of the swampier areas of the park looked like tea.
Lots of beautiful old trees along the trails.
The park’s purpose it to preserve the “real Florida”. It was hot, muggy and buggy in June and that’s exactly the real Florida. I had 2 layers of DEET on and still came home with lots of bug bites. I didn’t see a lot of wildlife the morning I was there. Not like all of the other parks I frequent close by. Very few birds but I’m sure there were lots of snakes hiding. It’s about 45 minutes away from my house so not a long drive but I don’t think I’ll go back until winter (which around here means January).
From my driveway in late January. Saw this when I got home and thought it would be cool to try and get the moon coming up over Tampa the next night.
Tampa across the bridge. No moon coming up so I headed into Tampa.
I was hoping to get a shot of the big super blue blood moon rising above the Tampa skyline in late January so I brought my camera and headed over to a tall parking garage just off the bridge after work. On the moon side there was a cloud bank so i wasn’t going to get a shot of the moon just over the city.
I turned around and walked over to the other side of the parking garage and saw the above. A plane coming in for a landing near the Tampa airport just as the sun was going down. I stood for a while watching the planes come in. It was a beautiful cool night.
Sun’s all gone. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, turn around.
Christmas afternoon, after eating and napping, Brett and I headed down to Fort Desoto Park for a walk on the beach.
We stayed for the sunset along with the crowds of people there. It was a perfect ending to Christmas.
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.