Upclose with flamingos.
Butterflies buzzing around the pretty flowers.
Super sized fish.
A few of the plants at the gardens.
Sunken Gardens is a 4 acre 100-year-old botanical garden near downtown St. Petersburg and one of the oldest roadside tourist attractions in the country. The gardens are located in what was a small lake 10 feet below sea level which is where it got the name. I hadn’t been in nearly 10 years and it’s so close so I thought I’d stopped in one morning for a quick walk. Since it was the end of summer, there weren’t a lot of flowers blooming but the gardens was a tropical oasis once you got inside. A handful of flamingos live there as well. It was a great little walk but so hot. My next trip will be in the winter.
I rarely go to Clearwater Beach anymore. It’s very crowded and cost a fortune to park, if you can get a parking spot. Although, it is fun to go over every once in while to see what’s going on. Right after I picked up my sister from the airport we headed over to the beach to walk around. She had not been in several years. We were hoping to get a good sunset but dark clouds had moved in. I guess the weather had kept most people indoors because it wasn’t too crowded the Tuesday before Christmas. It was fun walking around the beach and marina.
As I was driving into Circle B Bar Reserve early in the morning, I saw a wild hog family. The little piglets look so cute when they are young. I stopped the car and rolled down the window and they took off into the brush.
Turtles were everywhere.
And a big fish! Is he coming up for air?
Lots of fun critters at Circle B Bar Reserve.
This little skimmer was just figuring out what those wings and beak were for.
There were still a few babies that hadn’t not made it to the shoreline yet. They were still sticking close to mom.
This skimmer was missing a foot.
A few adults were taking a bath.
This young one was just starting to fly.
Right next to the skimmers, this guy caught this fish.
Now all the baby skimmers are grown up and gone. Off to conquer the world!
A reddish egret hanging around the fishing pier.
This is the rare hybrid that was seen recently hanging around the fishing pier. Local experts say it’s a cross between a great blue heron and a great egret. He’s got a great blue heron beak and body but legs of a great egret. I found him pretty easily right on the pier, looking for a handout like the other birds.
Great blue heron portrait.
An osprey flying by.
This snowy egret has found a good perch.
Someone caught a big one.
It’s always fun to guess where these big ships are going.
The usual stuff at the Fort Desoto fishing pier. Dolphins swimming by. Egrets stealing bait fish. A kid getting exciting over touching a fish for the first time. The young osprey are now eating their meals on the light posts on the pier.