I wanted to get out for a road trip in July so I headed to Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida. It was hot, it was quiet and not many birds there but, I was outside walking around. Everything was blooming and there was lots of color so I had a lot of things to take pictures of.
Was I being watched? I noticed all of the different art faces that are on on the trees at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
Pretty things blooming in July.
You can usually find alligators, bunnies and turtles at any park in the area.
It was a quiet morning for birds though. I’ve been working from home since mid-March so I’m still trying to get out of the house on Saturday mornings for a long walk even if the wildlife is scarce this time of year.
There’s a duck couple that’s been spending afternoons sleeping under our tree in the backyard. Sometimes I peek out the bedroom window to check on them but they are very skittish. They can see me barely move the blinds.
A few of the birds that have been visiting the bird feeder.
I looked out the window and saw something moving in the channel. I grabbed my camera and ran out to the dock to catch 2 manatees rolling around at the end of the channel. After I snapped the above they started heading out to the bay.
Some of the critters in the yard including this juvenile black racer that was climbing up the wall next to the front door.
A faint rainbow in the backyard. It’s the beginning of rainbow season with the summer rains starting in June.
An osprey on my neighbor’s sailboat mast just after the rain.
I rarely see bluebirds in the parks near my house. I’m sure they are around but I never seem to see them. I didn’t expect to see one singing on a dead pine tree at Possum Branch Preserve. This was a treat watching him pouring his heart out across the marsh.
The lone glossy ibis was still there, showing off his colors in the sunlight.
I looked down in the marsh and saw this. What was this purple gallinule doing?
Then I realized another one was coming out of the reeds and they started playing “leap frog” in the marsh. Those big yellow feet were such a contrast on top of her back. They did it twice before taking off in different directions. By now somewhere in that marsh is a purple gallinule nest. Here’s to hoping to see babies soon.
There’s always a lot of white peacock butterflies and bunnies here.
The Sora rail was the talk of the reserve back in early April. I’ve only seen a few rails and they were all at Circle B Bar Reserve. This was a rare sighting for this area so a handful of people were coming to the park to find him. There were actually 3 there and they stayed for a few weeks. They stayed close to the reeds and were digging around in mud looking for food. Since then we’ve had some rain so the ponds are filled back up. Maybe that’s why they eventually left.
The Virginia rail on the left was a nice surprise. I had heard one was there but didn’t see it. I saw the sora on the right far out in the marsh heading towards the reeds and snapped a shot of him and when I cropped this up I realized the Virginia rail was behind him.
Lately there’s been a glossy ibis hanging around the pond. This is another bird that I usually only see in central Florida so it was weird to see him here.
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.