Critters and flowers at the botanical gardens

From my trip to the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in mid-June.

I just realized they have a rainbow eucalyptus tree here. I have never noticed it before. Maybe it just recently started showing it’s colors. As the bark peels off, different shades come through.They are not native here but grow well in rain forests.

Photographing New Zealand

In the backyard this spring.

Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.

One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.

A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.

Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.

 

  

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

My first copperhead? I don’t think so.

All of the above are baby anhingas at different ages. Seen from the boardwalk tower, the nests are right over the water at Sawgrass Lake Park. There were many nests along the lake and luckily there a few close to the tower.

One of the Mom’s sitting close to the overcrowded nests.

Not many other birds around during my walk after work in late May. A few green herons were close to the tower.

Other critters at the park. Someone told me that the snake is a copperhead which is a first for me. He’s one of the 6 venomous snakes in Florida. His head shape doesn’t look like a copperhead on line so I’m not sure if it was one. He slid back under the boardwalk quickly so I didn’t get a shot of his body. Any confirmed ID?

Deer on 3rd base

The deer were hanging out on the baseball field early one Saturday morning in April when I drove into Chesnut Park.  I sat on a picnic bench for a while watching them grazing. As more people headed into the park, the deer retreated further into the woods that runs behind the field.

Later, walking the back trails, I saw a few more deer.

A few other critters at the park that morning.

A few of the plants blooming at the park.

So many things to see

As I walked down Marsh Rabbit Run trail, I heard the black bellied whistling ducks yelling. It’s rare that they are quiet in the morning so I didn’t think anything of it. Then they all started to fly away and I saw on the right of the trail what scared them away.

The alligator got half way across the trail and then backed down into the water. I waited a while before heading on. Maybe he decided there was too much traffic on the trail to cross.

Other stuff along the trail.

Looks like he was close but was actually in the middle of the lake.  Cropped in.

A foggy start to the morning but ended up being a beautiful day in early December at Circle B Bar Reserve.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Heartbreak in the backyard

I was watering some hanging plants right before dark in the backyard when I noticed this face peeking out of my neighbor’s dead palm tree.  The house next door had been empty for at least 2 years.  I think the lady that lived there was now in a nursing home. This was the first time I had seen a screech owl in our neighborhood.


Over the next two weeks I was able to catch the above.  He (or she) would stick his head out right before dark. In the last two shots, he woke up earlier during the late afternoon. I would sneak around the backyard and hide behind a short palm tree to get pictures. I didn’t want to scare him away.

After 3 weeks of peeking out the side window right before dark every night, I came home from work and saw that the dead palm tree was gone.  I ran outside and realized my neighbor’s entire backyard had been gutted and cleaned up.  I was heartbroken. After 2 years it gets cleaned up now???  Then I heard a peep and saw the owl sitting in a palm tree that was still standing next door. He was looking at me like “Where’d my bed go?” I would assume he was sleeping when someone came in and started to saw the tree down. He must have flown out in panic. I can only hope he didn’t have eggs in there yet. I had not heard any baby noises yet. I stood there in the backyard crushed that my new friend had lost it’s home. I never saw him again after these shots were taken. I’m sure he moved on. I don’t know if it’s too late to put up a nest box  in our yard.

Other critters in the backyard.

I was able to catch the sunset in the backyard while I was trying to get shots of the owl.  One night I caught this rainbow driving into my neighborhood.

SkyWatch Friday