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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Too hot for the birds

Little critters at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Not many birds in early July. A cardinal with a snack and a Loggerhead Shrike

As I was leaving the gardens, I saw this hawk up on a light post. I think this is juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.

I stopped for a quick walk around the boardwalk at Largo Nature Preserve but there wasn’t much there either. I think the smart birds went north for the summer.  I found this green heron creeping around the boardwalk.

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Beautiful flowers in Naples

Lots of pretty flowers at the Naples Botanical Gardens.

Lots of little critters too.

Shots of the gardens during our long weekend in Naples for a staycation in late May.

The one picture I took at the Naples Zoo above. A statue of a turtle in the ocean made out of recycled plastic which was cool.  I didn’t love the zoo. It was a few minutes from our hotel so we stopped in before lunch. I felt like you couldn’t see the animals very well based on how they had the exhibits set up. You had to wait in line to board a small boat to cruise around a small pond to see the primates. You couldn’t just walk around and view them. It was too hot to wait so we left. We are spoiled living so close the Tampa zoo which is soooo much better.

Photographing New Zealand

Bursting with color.

Blooming things at the Naples Botanical Gardens.

Little critters.

In the butterfly house, we got to see some butterflies emerging before they had started flying.

Zooming in across the street from the gardens, it looked like someone was clearing a field.Probably another subdivision going up.

We spent a hot morning walking around the Naples Botanical Gardens during our trip in late April. So many bright colors.

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Bright colors on a Saturday morning.

Summer Tanagers only come through the Tampa bay area twice a year during spring and fall migration. The only place I can usually find them during that time is in the woods at Fort Desoto. In mid-April the woods were full of them including young ones that were just starting to turn red and still had some of their yellow baby feathers.

Female summer tanagers are all yellow.

A few of the orange and black birds were there including the orchard oriole and the American redstart above.

The female orchard oriole is also all yellow.

A cute little wood pewee.

A Tennessee warbler.

Also flying in the mangroves.

Most of the birds on this particular Saturday morning were feeding in the mangrove bushes along the road. Huge crowds had gathered to see the birds and the people who were coming into the park to fish or hit the beach were slowing down trying to figure out what we were all staring at. People would stop in their cars and ask us what we were looking at. “Birds” was the answer. They looked at us like we were crazy. It was a fun morning to be crazy.

Photographing New Zealand

 

December at Bok Tower Gardens

Cool and pretty plants at Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida.

Little critters and flying critters. Hummingbirds were everywhere but I could not seem to catch them feeding. They would fly behind or into the bushes.

I love walking around Bok Tower Gardens. There’s always something different to see. I don’t get there often since it’s close to an hour and a half from my house (and that’s without traffic). I managed to get there a few weeks before Christmas but was wishing it was cooler than it was. Otherwise, it was a perfect morning.

On my way back to the main road, I passed a house that had 4 sandhill cranes in their front yard, along with a few ibis. I pulled over and quickly snapped the above from my car. It would be really cool to see these guys grazing in my front yard but it would be rare to get them that close to the bay.

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