Big things swimming by.

I love seeing the big sting rays at the aquarium. It’s funny how they have faces underneath. I think that first one was smiling at me.

It’s fun to watch the kids go crazy over the sharks. You get to see them close up.

A turtle cruising by.

There’s something hypnotic about watching the fish swim by.

More fun from my September visit to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

Just keep swimming

Because I’m a member of the Tampa zoo, I get in free to the Florida Aquarium in September. Which works out perfect because by the time September comes around I’m tired of being outside in the heat and want to do something indoors. I get there right when it opens before the crowds cover the glass. I was using Auto mode on my camera with no flash since the flash would just put a big spotlight in the picture. And most of the exhibits don’t allow flash anyway. It’s too hard to bring a tripod in with even the smallest crowd. A lot of these were taken with my phone as well.

 

Seahorses are everyone’s favorite but it’s really hard to see them. They keep it dark in the room and no flash allowed. These were taken with my phone.

Always fun to see jellyfish floating upside down.

I call these boob jellyfish.

This little guy was so cute. He was very animated.

I took a ton of pictures since it was nice and cool inside so more to come. The Aquarium is fun until it’s crowded. When I left before noon it was wall to wall people and you had to wait to get close to the glass. I would suggest going during the week when school is in if you can to keep from bumping into kids.

 

Seafood for breakfast.

The above sandwich tern flew right in front of me and landed with a fish. Adult sandwich terns have that yellow tip on their beak.

He then proceeded to fly around the flock of different birds on the beach looking for his mate or baby. Not sure which. He seemed to be lost and none of the other birds tried to take the fish.

Some of the other babies tried to steal it after a few seconds. Eventually the bird flew off down the beach. He must have come back to the wrong flock on the beach.

This royal tern baby was driving his parents crazy, begging for food. Royal terns have orange beaks and always look like they have a bad hairpiece sticking up.

This lonely willet had a sand flea.

Flamingo Gardens

Pretty flowers.

Things in the water.

Peacocks had free run of the gardens. They were everywhere. One lady was even taking a dirt bath.

Yes, there were flamingos at Flamingo Gardens.

Egyptian geese also had the run of the gardens. They are also pretty common out in the wild in the south Florida area.

A wild hawk was building a nest near the aviary.

Brett and I stopped in the old Florida attraction while we were in the Fort Lauderdale area visiting some of his relatives.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Critters at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Some of the critters in the water at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park north of Tampa. I made my annual winter trip in mid-January, hoping to see manatees along the river but the weather had warmed up for a few day and the manatees had scattered around the area.

Yes, this guy was on the other side of the glass. You usually see them sleeping in the back with their eyes closed.

It seemed to be mating day that morning. Both pelicans and some wild vultures were getting frisky in the warm weather.

The calm water in the springs.

Indoor faces in the middle of August

It was too hot to be outside in the middle of August so I headed indoors to the Florida Aquarium. It was nice to walk around and take pictures in air conditioning. I cheated and took all of these in Auto program mode (with no flash) since the Aquarium was going to be way to crowded to be using a tripod. Even 10 minutes after the doors opened, kids were running into me. It was still a fun morning and I walked around for about 2 hours.

You can barely make out my reflection in the above. Even without using flash, there’s a slight light that shines for a second while focusing. Trying to use regular flash against this thick glass is crazy. You’re only going to get a big white light across your pictures. You also have to watch for shadows and reflections on the glass which is apparent in the above. I was able to keep other people’s reflections out of most of the pictures.

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