Getting out in the gardens

Still so many pretty flowers at Bok Tower Gardens in November. The big lily pads were still blooming.

I hadn’t seen any frogs there in several years so I was excited to see this guy in a small pond.

Little flying critters.

I’ve taking a ton of pictures of the bell tower but this was the first time I noticed that there was a calendar carved in the back of the tower. I’m not sue what the lines mean. Has anyone seen this before?

There were still lots of caterpillars in mid-November.

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Just catching sunrise.

I use to set my alarm to get up early on the weekends but lately my internal alarm has been going off early and I got out of bed one Saturday morning in November and headed to Circle B Bar Reserve. Although, not that early since the sun was just peaking out as I hit the trails. It’s the perfect time to be there, quiet and not many people there yet. You can hear the birds starting to talk and the whistling ducks were starting to fly back and forth.

One of my favorite views in the morning.

There wasn’t a lot of different birds out. The usuals were there (moorhens, whistlers, herons, egrets, cormorants) but I didn’t see many uncommon birds. The above are fairly common in the winter (female common yellowthroat, house wren and the purple gallinules) but sometimes a little bit harder to find.

Some of the smaller critters along the trail.

The eagle’s nest is pretty far away but I could still see both eagles on the nest. Maybe she’s looking at her eggs in the nest?  Might have been a little early but soon.

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Tiny critters at the botanical gardens.

The big huge milkweed plant at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo was covered in these icky bugs. I didn’t see any caterpillars in early October on the plant which is usually filled with them. I know it’s late for caterpillars but there are usually still a few. It’s warm through December here. I hope they don’t kill the plant.

A few other small critters creeping around the gardens.

There were still lots of swallowtails flying around.

The young wood ducks were starting to get their colors in including that young male hiding behind the big leaf.

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Hot and muggy at the botanical gardens

I found a green heron hiding in the bushes.

I think this is a 5 lined skink. I don’t see them often.

Butterflies were everywhere back in early August.

The butterfly garden was pretty overgrown at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in early August. It was hot and muggy. After walking around the gardens for a while I thought I would just go hang out here and take butterfly pictures but after a few minutes and shots, it was just too hot so I headed home.

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A hot morning at Bok Tower Gardens

I love the flowers at Bok Tower Gardens. For some reason they look so pretty here.

I didn’t see many birds on this walk. Above is a juvenile red bellied woodpecker and close by was a parent. The little brown one is a young fuzzy Carolina wren hiding in a palm tree.

The sun coming through the lizard’s throat.

There were several eastern tiger swallowtails flying around.

The view of the top of the carillon tower from the vegetable garden.

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Pretty things in June

I couldn’t find a tag on this really cool plant. Love the hairs sticking up on the newer ones. I realized that the older ones that had broken open had red bugs in them.

Little critters at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales in early June.

A hopper hiding in the dirt.

It was good to be out even if it was hot in central Florida. The gardens had recently opened back up and I had a rare Monday off so I drove over to spend the morning walking around. There wasn’t a lot of birds around but still lots of things to look at.

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Pretty colors in the spring

Luckily not many people thought the Botanical Gardens in Largo were still open.  There was almost no one there in late April. I could sit quietly in the butterfly garden without people walking in front of me scaring away the butterflies.

I sat for a while hoping to see a hummingbird but there was no sight of any. I got the next best thing. A clearwing hummingbird moth buzzing around right next to me. This is the only place I’ve seen them before. They hover and feed like hummingbirds, not landing on the flower and then zip away to rest.

Still working on getting that perfect magnolia picture.

Some type of hawk was flying high up in the sky. This is extremely cropped. I couldn’t make out what it was but I don’t think it was a red shoulder. Might be a cooper’s hawk with that dark head.

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