Flowers and bugs near home

Flowers on the trail at Possum Branch Preserve.

The fields were covered with these pink puffy plants. And they were covered in bees.

It’s always a nice quiet walk at Possum Branch Preserve. It’s a hidden gem right off of a busy main road but most people don’t know it exists. It never closed down so I’ve been going there for a long walk a few times a week since it’s close to home.

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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.

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Pretty things in late July

Little critters creeping or buzzing around the butterfly garden at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

A few of the blooming things.

The waterfall at the nature center. Years ago I would see green tree frogs hanging around this area but I haven’t seen any in a long while.

Something growing around a tree stump. Looks like icing (of course, I have sugar on my brain).

A tiny oasis in the heat.

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Critters at Chesnut Park.

Driving into the park, I caught a deer getting a snack in trees.

Creepy little critters.

Cute bigger critters.

Someone had left bird seed along the boardwalk earlier that morning. Only the titmouse and cardinals were eating it.

A few other flying critters including the grackle on the right getting nesting material.

This little common yellowthroat was checking me out. They usually hide deep in the bushes but he was not shy.

Some of the pretty things along the boardwalk.

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In the backyard

Monarch caterpillars in the backyard this past couple of months. In late December, they all disappeared and the leaves were stripped so we cut back the milkweed plants.

Our milkweed plants were overrun with the above bugs. The caterpillars didn’t seem to mind. We didn’t want to spray the bugs since the butterflies would be on the plants. Since we cut the plants back the bugs are gone, although I’m sure they will come back once the plants start to grow back this spring.

This little guy was watching me take pictures of the bugs. I kept asking him why he didn’t eat them all. He said he preferred fries.

Wasps on the Bismark palm tree.

Usual visitors in the backyard, an osprey on our neighbor’s sailboat mast and a phoebe with a snack on our fence. The phoebe is pretty skittish so I had to take the above through the bedroom window.

A full moon in December from the driveway.

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