Two parks in one morning

A very hot morning at North Shore Park in downtown St. Petersburg. The beach was busy with volleyball players. On a Saturday morning you can find a lot of joggers and dog walkers on the sidewalk but not many people in the water. Since this is the bay, the water here is not nice but you can usually get a breeze.

Across the bay, you can just make out the energy plant with steam coming out.

After walking around at North Shore Park, I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home. They have a new boardwalk that goes along the mangroves next to the pier. This small area is a little piece of Florida that hasn’t changed much over the years (with the exception of that big condo building going up next to the old Safety Harbor Hotel in that first shot).

SkyWatch Friday

Big birds and little birds at Fort Desoto

The nanday parakeets are always goofing around.

A male and a female ruby throated hummingbird.

A great egret going by with a snack.

Little critters in the park.

A manatee cruising by the fishing dock.

Big boats going by.

From the fishing pier at Fort Desoto Park.

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Horse Pens 40 Park

Horse Pens 40 Park sits at the top of Chandler Mountain in northern Alabama, the 3rd highest elevation in the state in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I hadn’t been since i was a toddler so I didn’t have any memory of being there. On the way home from  hiking around Noccalula Falls, my sister and I decided to stop in for a quick walk. The park has cabins and trails and is known for holding music festivals during the summer. The park was originally settled in 1880 and the name comes from the deed containing the amount of land the horses were kept on, horse pens 40 for 40 acres.

Looking down the mountain.

SkyWatch Friday

Early April at Fort Desoto

Pretty flowers on the trail to the beach.

A few of the usual birds on the beach.

I looked back as I was leaving the parking lot and saw the cardinal checking himself out on my side mirror.

A northern parula was the only bird in the woods in early April.

An osprey checking me out.

A pelican flying by and a common bird soaring over the beach in the summer, a frigatebird.

The storm clouds were moving in at Fort Desoto.

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Critters in the backyard

This lady kingfisher has been a regular visitor this past winter. She’s either on the dock or on the boat lift poles.

Mr Grumpy (great blue heron) sometimes naps on our dock.

An anhinga paid a visit recently.

My resident osprey has been spending some time on our neighbor’s sailboat mast. I took this right before the sun went down. He usually comes in right before dark and sleeps there.

One day we had a hawk on the same mast.

We have a spotted sandpiper that hangs out in the channel in the winter. I went out on the dock to take this picture. He let me get pretty close.  It was during an extreme low tide so he was walking around in the muck.

A couple of weeks ago we had a pelican on our dock. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one here. I rarely see them come into the channels. They usually stay out closer to the bay.

One night right before the sun went down I went outside to get something and saw a flock of robins hanging out in our tree on the side of the house. They stayed long enough for me to run back in the house to get my camera and come back out and snap a few shots.

We get a lot of squirrels in our yard.

Pretty flower on the fence.

A few of the critters passing through our yard in the last few months.

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