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.
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.
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.
Some little critters.
Some medium size critters.
A big critter eating a slightly smaller critter.
A few smaller critters out in the marsh.
Fun critters in the fog at Circle B Bar Reserve.
“Peek A Boo” says the little raccoon high up in the tree.
Front shot of a butterfly.
Teeny tiny orchard spider.
“Cat” er pilla
Dragonfly on duckweed in the lake.
Paper wasp on the Boardwalk.
Tiny ants in some type of spiderweb.
Is it fall yet?
Another warm morning. This was late October. Early morning walk at Chesnut Park. Not a lot of birds around so I started looking for tiny critters.
Tricolored heron posing along the lake.
Northern parula hiding in the trees. They were hard to see but I heard them singing all over the park. I’ve seen very few of them this year.
Cool caterpillar on the boardwalk.
Great blue heron behind some old cypress tree stumps along the lake.
Another one walking in the mud.
Vultures flying overhead.
Things were quiet at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa. I hadn’t been there in a long time but had heard there were baby turkeys there. No sign of the turkeys but I did find a baby barred owl. More on him later.