Rapids in Tampa??

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).

SkyWatch Friday

Missed the moon but caught a sunset

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Pretty on Sarasota bay.

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Storm moving in on Tampa Bay

These were all taken with my phone on my walk across the pedestrian bridge across north Tampa Bay. It was late afternoon on a Sunday.  I was lucky the storm didn’t really move directly towards the bridge and I got a long walk in.  The sun was out on the other side of the bridge. Little disappointed there was no rainbow.

SkyWatch Friday

Over the river and through the woods….

to Daytona Beach we go. On the east coast of Florida. This was our first trip and we were staying over for one night to visit friends who were visiting for the week from Georgia.

The view from our room on the 14th floor. I zoomed in with my phone on the last one.  Our hotel was next door to a small amusement park.

We met up with our friends who were staying near the Ponce Inlet and spent some time walking around the lighthouse before heading to dinner.

We had dinner at a fun little restaurant next to the lighthouse that was right on the water.

View from our table.

It was a quick short trip to have dinner with our friends. I was traveling light so all of the above were taken with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

Being a tourist on the beach

dsc_0384 dsc_0385 dsc_0391 dsc_0393 dsc_0394 dsc_0399 dsc_0401 dsc_0404 dsc_0406

Clearwater Beach sure has changed since we moved down to the area almost 15 years ago. The beach was still mostly Mom & Pop motels and now it’s all high-rise hotels and condos. Traffic and parking are insane so we rarely go over there.  On Christmas afternoon we wanted to get out for a walk so we went to Sand Key beach which is just across the bridge from Clearwater beach. It was such a beautiful day that all of the beaches were crowded. All of the above were taken from Sand Key Park looking across at Clearwater beach and downtown Clearwater.

dsc_0414

dsc_0420

dsc_0425

A few of the fun finds at the beach.

SkyWatch Friday