Brett and I were sitting at home late on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, not doing much since it was so hot and my foot was bothering me, when I started surfing through Facebook and saw a post from a rescue group needing a transport for a sick bird. I have been following Raptor Center of Tampa Bay on Facebook for a while but I really wasn’t paying attention until I saw the transport request. They needed a pick up of a sick red shoulder hawk at a 24 hour emergency veterinarian and brought to Nancy, the rehabber out in Brandon. I thought “I could do that”, sent them a note that I was coming and jumped in the car. Someone had found the hawk sitting on the side of a busy road and stopped to pick him up and took him to the vet. When I got to the rehabber she pulled him out of the box and said he was a juvenile and was very undernourished. He didn’t even fight her. She was going to try and nurse him back to health.
A few days later the Raptor Center needed another transport. This time from Nancy’s home in Brandon where the Raptor Center is located to another rehabber in south St. Pete. Since there isn’t one big rehab center in the Tampa area for raptors they get placed in smaller rehabs around the area. Penny in St. Pete had room to rehab these critters so off I went to pick them up. The original hawk I had transported earlier was the first one loaded in my car. He looked comfortable and ready for the 45 minute ride.
The bat was found by someone who kept it for a week, feeding it powered milk and ground mealworms. One thing I learned is you should never feed any animal cow’s milk (except cows). Even cats really shouldn’t have milk.
Four baby screech owls made the trip. I think all of them had fallen out of the nest or the nests couldn’t be relocated. Look at those eyes!
Two juvenile crows came along as well. These guys were scratching the box so I didn’t even peek in. Nancy took this picture.
The rehabber in St. Pete lives near the Bay Pines National Cemetery where my parents are buried so I stopped in before heading home.
They decorate with flags for Memorial Day weekend and they were still there a few days later.
The flags go on forever.
The clouds started to move in on my early morning walk at the Dunedin marina. The wind had cooled the air down so I wasn’t in a hurry to get home.
I could see it raining far out in the gulf. I decided to head south down the beach to see what storms I could find.
I stopped at Sand Key Park, just south of Clearwater Beach. The sun was out over the beach but a nasty storm was heading inland quickly. I didn’t see any lightning but here that can change in a second so I didn’t stay long. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any rainbows.
Heading back over the mainland, the storms stayed right behind me.
I stopped at the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home. The clouds were just rolling in here.
More shots from my sunset walk at the Dunedin marina.
You can see why this is one of the best places to watch the sun go down but don’t tell anyone else. It already gets crazy crowded.
People in the surrounding neighborhoods ride over in their golf carts since parking is limited in this area. I park several blocks over and walk in to the marina. Many of them decorate their carts which makes it more fun.
I decided to head back to my car before it got too dark but I stopped for one last shot in front of the sailboats. All shots taken with my phone.
Color at Hollis Garden in Lakeland in early May.
I thought these lily pad were cool holding the water in their leaves. Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland was full of them.
There’s a reason they are called “common” moorhens. They are everywhere and they have tons of babies starting in the spring.
I noticed this baby grackle screaming at his Mom for food. He was hopping around behind Mom but I think she was trying to get him to feed himself. He was old enough to be able to do that.
Across Lake Morton a new building was going up. The flags would have looked very magestic if they weren’t so worn out.
I don’t alway stop at Lake Mirror after a walk at Circle B Bar Reserve but this morning in early May I only did a short walk at Circle B and then went over to Lake Mirror. I was in the mood for some spring flowers that were in bloom at Hollis Gardens which sits right on the lake.
Brett and I were leaving the house to go out for a drive on Memorial Day. We were heading to the Bay Pines Veterans National Cemetery where my parents are buried for a walk and then to pick up lunch to bring home. Driving out the back way and past some apartments we saw a juvenile eagle sitting on utility box. Of course I yelled for Brett to stop. I had my camera in the car so he pulled over and I was able to get a few shots before the eagle took off. It’s not every day that you have an eagle pooping in your neighborhood.
He circled around over my head and then took off over the tree.
These babies were swimming around below him so he must have been hoping to get one but ended up leaving empty handed. Unless he came back later. There are a lot less babies in this family now.
Every Memorial Day Boy Scout troops put flags on the graves at the cemetery. It’s really impressive (but sad) to drive through and see all of the flags.