A walk through the swamp

The sun was just coming up over the trees at Chesnut Park in late October. I was out for a walk with just my phone and the weather was perfect. It was all blue sky out on Lake Tarpon.

The rest of the walk was through the swamp (although I was on a boardwalk for most of it). The back boardwalk area was flooding after all of the rain we got from Hurricane Nicole coming through.

There were also some dry areas along the trail as well. The sun was making weird shadows through the trees and my phone picked up some alien looking light forms in one of the shots. Was it just tricks with the lens or was I not alone???

It was a beautiful morning to be out.

You can always find alligators along the ponds and lakes here. This morning I only found this tiny one.

SkyWatch Friday

Traffic jam on the trail

It wasn’t a four way stop but even if it was the deer was coming out without stopping. I paused as I was walking down a back dirt trail at Chesnut Park when I saw the deer stepping out on the trail. She wasn’t alone.

She had 4 friends and instead of crossing the trail like they usually do they kept on going down the trail. I followed them for a while. They would look back at me but kept going at a slow pace.

At the other side of the park I found a Mom and a young one.

Watching me as I sat in my car watching her.

More shots from deep in the swamp (taken from the boardwalk).

A busy fawn season

These must be the same deer that are being feed  I was walking on the back trail at Chesnut Park and several deer walked right up to me  I took the above with my phone.

I didn’t find the twins again but there were 2 Moms with one baby each.

Mom taking care of the baby.

I walked down one of the side trails and found this big guy resting.

I’m not sure if this was a Mom and grown baby or siblings but they were so cute preening each other.

Not a deer but a female redstart. I guess fall migration had started with a small trickle of birds coming through.

Eagles, owls and deer, Oh my.

 

My first eagle sighting of the season. He was hanging out near the restrooms at Chesnut Park. He didn’t stay long, taking off towards the lake. It was mid-August. I didn’t realize they come back that early.

I had heard there was an owl sitting at the end of the boardwalk so I quickly walked down to the end thinking he would probably be gone by then or I wouldn’t be able to find him. There he was, sitting almost eye level. He sat there for a while as I snapped a ton of pictures. He was checking out critters on the ground and I was hoping he would swoop down and catch something but that didn’t happen.

I was walking on the back boardwalk and came across a Mom and her baby. As the Mom was feeding the baby was walking around and walked over to it’s sibling.

I had found the twins. It was interesting to see them both licking each other.

After walking around for a while I came back to the back boardwalk and one of the babies was still sitting there with the sun coming through the swamp. The other twin and Mom were feeding behind some trees.

Fawn season had begun.

Someone has been feeding the deer at Chesnut Park. More than usual anyway. This is the first time I’ve gotten out of my car and the deer walk right up to me looking for a handout. I took the above with my phone as she was too close to get with my camera. I held out my hands and showed her I didn’t have anything and she started grazing in front of me.

This cardinal had a mangled leg but could still fly. He looked a little rough but he could be molting. He was eating some of the seed someone had left on the boardwalk.

I can’t resist a chickadee.

It was mid-August and this was the first migrating bird I had seen. I have not seen prothonotary warblers here at this park before so this was a treat. I know we call this “fall” migration but it won’t feel like fall here for several more months.

I briefly saw a Mom with her baby. They were heading into the woods as more people were coming into the park.

Leaving the park, I took a detour through a nearby neighborhood. I saw some deer in someone’s front yard. They were staring at the door. I’m assuming they are being fed there.

From sunny to dark in one morning.

I started the morning off at Chesnut Park, It was sunny and warm but the clouds starting moving in after I had been there a while. Not many birds out but I did find a pine warbler and cardinal fattening up for the winter on beauty berries. That cardinal seemed drunk after eating so many.

Looking over the lake, the sun seemed to have an angel glowing from it. Or is that just my imagination? I took this with my phone.

Later I headed over to the Dunedin causeway, after the clouds had moved in. I knew it would start raining soon but wasn’t quite ready to go home yet. The wind had picked up and no one had gone out in a kayak. That one small sailboat was braving the wind.

My Corner of the World

A chance encounter

Walking around Chesnut Park a few months back, I saw this beautiful buck. He was busy grazing and barely glanced at me.

I then spotted several does nearby. One walked up to the buck and looked like she was going to kiss him? At first the buck kicked at her and she jumped back a little. But then she started grazing near him and kept getting closer.

He let her get pretty close. It was then I realized she had a big sore next to her eye.  It might have been a bot fly sore which is common in deer and squirrels in this park during the summer. He ignored her and she eventually walked off.

As she walked away I saw that she had a big booboo on her knee. She’s having a rough time. Hopefully she will heal.

Twins in the woods

The welcoming committee greeted me as I drove into Chesnut Park in late August. Actually, they barely looked up from their feeding to see who had stopped their car. I snapped the above from the car and then headed to the back of the park to park and walk around.

I found the twins in the back of the park. They were pretty big at this point but still cute with those spots. They stayed close to Mom as they crossed the road and then eventually headed into the back woods. Until next year for the babies!

Seeing spots

Back in late August I headed to a park nearby to see if there were any baby deer. I hadn’t been in a while but had heard there were a few there including twins. It’s theraputic to walk around in the quiet woods after a stressful day but seeing baby deer is an added bonus. I found this family right along the parking lot and leaned on my car for a while watching them eat dinner. The baby would briefly nurse and Mom would just keep eating.

I’m not sure what Mom was doing here. After looking it up, the Mom keeps the baby’s bottom clean to help them poop and to keep the scent off the baby. They say you can tell if a baby has been orphaned if it has a dirty bottom. Now that’s a mother’s love.

The adults started heading into the woods for the night and the baby was running to catch up. I did finally find the twins but more on those later.

A hot morning in August

A quiet (swampy) place to reflect. Just ignore the Beware of Alligators sign on the right.

This one was watching me as he cruised in front of the dock.

I found a few wood ducks in front of the dock at Chesnut Park.

Young cardinals were all over the park. They were all pretty scruffy looking, not having gotten their adults feathers in all the way yet.

A limpkin trying to hide behind some weeks.

The little chickadees were so cute. There were a lot of them here in early August. I saw my first one here at this park more than 10 years ago and then didn’t see any for a long time. Now I’ve seen a few around on most of my visits in the past few years.

After leaving Chesnut Park and heading home, I stopped at a small park nearby on the bay to see if anything was around the fishing pier. I had fun watching this dog romp around in the low tide. He stuck his tongue in the water for a drink but he did not like that salty water.

The one that got away. After taking a bunch of pictures of the dog in the water, I look up and see the back of an eagle heading the other way. I’ll have to keep an eye out here during the winter to see if there’s a nest nearby.

My Corner of the World