Wide open spaces

More shots from my trip to Bok Tower Gardens in November. I had a weekday off and Brett had never been so he took off and went with me. He was surprised at how big the koi fish were in the moat around the bell tower. You can feed them here so they are huge.

We took some time to just hang out and breathe with the wide open spaces here. It was quiet this morning and the oak trees were great shade.

Color on the path in the children’s garden.

We felt like we were on a farm for a few minutes.

Just outside the gardens in the parking lot, I stopped to look at the plants and noticed several caterpillars. I had already put my camera up so I snapped these with my phone.

After leaving the gardens, we stopped to check out some cows.

We really were just looking to see if the whooping cranes that hang out in a cow pasture were still around.

The cranes were still there but they were napping all the way across the pasture. This was with my 400mm and super cropped. It’s good to see them still there though. It was good to be out of the house and we had a nice day trip. We need to do more of these.

My Corner of the World

A beautiful sight.

The first time I went out to find the rare whooping cranes last winter they were so far away they looked like tiny white dots across a cow pasture. I stopped by again while I was over in the area and this time they were closer to the fence (although still pretty far out, these were all with my 400mm lens and cropped). They are the tallest bird in north America and one of the rarest birds. We have a couple that hide out in central Florida during the winter. They were hanging out with the cows this morning.

It was a warm morning and the cows were sitting under the shade just chilling out.

One of the cranes started slowly walking across the pasture towards a pond near the road. The other crane just stood there for a while.

Finally he took off across the field and joined the other one. I was so excited as he started to fly by, not caring that I was shooting straight into the sun. He landed and the couple started walking towards the orange trees and farther away. It was great to see them moving around as I stood by my car on the dirt road.

My Corner of the World

Pretty things at a quiet place

Pretty things at Bok Tower Gardens in June.

Boring birds at the feeder but not lacking in color!

A quiet place to reflect.

Heading home from Bok Tower Gardens in June, I stopped on a dirt road to get some shots of the swallow tail kite that was cruising over a cow pasture. I’m sure those cows were thinking “What is that girl doing?”.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Goats, cows and pigs, Oh my!

Hanging out with some goats at Sweetfield Farms during the Sunflower Festival.

The cows were being lazy.

Pigs are so lucky. They get to eat with their mouths wide open and don’t have to worry about manners. They can snort and grunt and don’t have to take baths. Don’t you wish you were a pig?

The main barn, where you can buy fresh cut flowers and vegetables. The crib in front of the door on the right had baby chicks. I had so much fun at the Sunflower festival that I really didn’t want to leave. But it was hot and I had chores waiting for me back home. They have a pumpkin patch in the fall so I may try to head up there in October (you know, along with everyone else in Tampa with the same idea).

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Funny Faces at the petting zoo

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What is it about having chickens and roosters running around that make me want to go live on a farm? Maybe it’s a case of wanting what you don’t have (or didn’t grow up with).

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Faces only a mother could love. The first turkey looks like she has a crocheted scarf over her head.

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None of the animals were really paying attention to me which is fine.

I spent a recent morning at my favorite neighborhood petting zoo/horse farm. Not much has changed since I was there last spring. No early spring babies there yet.  HorsePower for Kids, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who provides a farm and petting zoo for people who would benefit from interaction with animals and horses. They are a wildlife/rehabilitation farm and most of the animals were rescued.

The side of the road

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After a busy morning of taking pictures in central Florida, I decided to stop and get a soda for the trip home. Next door was a cow pasture and some of the cows were close to the fence. So I did what any city girl would do, got my camera out and snapped a few pictures. They stopped for a few seconds and watched me, then went back to eating grass.

Saturday's Critters

In the middle of nowhere

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Surrounded by cows and horses in central Florida.

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Mailbox on a county road.

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Cowbird in cow field.

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I think these are eastern kingbirds.

I don’t normally hang out on the side of the road watching cows. I was taking pictures of the swallow-tail kites flying over the cow fields in central Florida and started snapping pictures of things you don’t normally see in the city of Tampa.

Saturday's Critters

On the side of the road

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I had heard there were a few avocets¬†in a field near Cockroach Bay. Since I still haven’t seen these birds, I figured I would drive the almost hour trip to try to find them. The field was covered with thousands of birds. There was only access to view the field on one side which faces directly into the sun. The rest of the field was fenced off. I looked for an hour and did not find the avocets. Most of the birds were least terns with a few sanderlings, plovers and starlings thrown in. Oh well, maybe one day.

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I did see a belted kingfisher flying over a lake off in the distance.

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This guy was sitting on the side of the road. I’m not sure if he was checking out a snack. He eventually flew off. I think this is a juvenile red shoulder hawk.

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I was leaving the area to head back to town and saw a pair of sandhill cranes on the side of the road. Of course, I pull over and snapped a few pictures.

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I love their “heart” heads.

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Cows were chewing near the side of the road. I pulled off hoping to get the “cattle egret sitting on the back of the cow” shot. Not this time.

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Another cow got curious and came close to the fence. He started to creep me out a little and I was going to jump back in my car but he turned around.

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A brown cow farther back looked up with grass hanging out of his mouth.

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#47 also had grass hanging out of his mouth.

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You know it’s a slow day when I get excited about taking pictures of cows.

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Heading home, I had to drive back over the Sunshine Skyway bridge. A quick stop at the rest area and I was home in less than an hour.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters