I hadn’t been to Horsepower for Kids horse farm/sanctuary in a while so I stopped by on the way home after a walk at Chesnut Park. It had started raining so I walked around with my umbrella since the weather had cooled off.
Said “Hi” to the chickens and pigs. The one above came over to give me a snort.
The mandarin duck family seems to be growing there.
The kids out for a ride did not seem to mind the rain.
I hadn’t been to my nearby horse farm since May. It’s just too hot in the summer. The usual ducks were floating around in the pond.
I didn’t know if this one was an escapee or had just flown in for the handouts.
The usual chickens and hens were wandering around.
Mike the camel loves to give kisses. I wasn’t getting any closer.
Waiting to be carved.
Horsepower for Kids was having their annual fall festival fundraiser. I got there early in the morning before crowds. Just stopped in to see how all of the sanctuary animals were doing after Hurricane Irma. They had a lot of damage to exhibits but had mostly recovered.
Moorhens were all around the lake. Lots of juveniles from early spring.
Other interesting ducks including the pied grebe in the last picture.
Other critters at the lake. The otter was a surprise. I’ve never seen one there before.
The water tower next to the lake and a hawk hanging underneath it. Probably looking for a slow flying monk parakeet. The parakeets nest under the water tower.
Looking across the lake near downtown St. Petersburg. I hadn’t been in a while so I stopped for a quick walk. There were people in the lake in kayaks doing a cleanup. I know there are alligators in there so you wouldn’t want to be in there without a kayak and a paddle to hit one over the head with.
Wood duck babies are so cute. I found this little family at a hidden pond at the Largo Botanical Gardens in May.
After walking around the gardens, I headed over to Largo Nature Preserve and found this baby limpkin following Mom under the boardwalk.
I was staring at this turtle that was sitting just underneath the below.
A bald eagle was sitting on a utility tower in the park. I don’t think anyone else walking by noticed the eagle just sitting up there.
I was taking pictures of the colors of the high plants across the creek and looked down and saw these guys staring up at me like “Feed us.”
All taken back in late April.
Cute critter. I think he was afraid I was going to steal his nut.
I’m don’t know what this bird is. Any ideas? I think it may be a juvenile.
A woodpecker chewing on this pretty flowering tree.
It was already hot in late April when I stopped by the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. The summer rains hadn’t started but the heat had already arrived.
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.