Pretty things in early April

Blooming things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Critters at the gardens.

Baby moorhens are popping up everywhere now.

Yes, the botanical gardens were open during the “Stay At Home” phase. Lucky for me most people must have thought they were closed because there was only a few other people there. Lots of space to move around in.

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Flowers and bugs

Color coming out in early April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Yes, the gardens were open during the big shut down. I went around 8am and there were very few people there. Most probably thought it was closed. It was nice to walk around in the quiet garden.

Watching these crazy parakeets getting sticks for their nests.

Not many birds in early April. The usual blue jays and wood duck couples. The wood ducks usually have babies here in the summer but they go into hiding and it’s hit or miss seeing them here.

Caterpillars were on the milkweed but those pesky milkweed bugs were taking over.

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Along the sidewalk

Now that I’m working from home, I’ve been taking a short walk in my neighborhood early in the morning before starting work. The weather has been cool in the mornings so I wanted to take advantage of that before the heat and humidity sets in. I’ve been taking pictures of the flowers along my walk with my phone. It sure beats sitting in traffic.

On a cloudy morning, an osprey was eating breakfast on a light pole on my street.

This cute mallard mom started with 7 babies but she is now down to 6.

This muscovy mom started with 20 babies and now has 2.

The sun was just coming up as I headed out.

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Bright colors and cool metals

Flowers blooming at the end of February. Spring was already here.

There were a lot of inchworms at the botanical gardens as well so they seem to have invaded the Tampa Bay area. I don’t ever remember seeing so many at one time.

I found this chickadee gathering nest material.

New metal sculptures made from recycled materials. The fish was my favorite.

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Owls and inchworms

I got to the park right before dark and saw Papa owl flying over to a tall tree along the water. He hung out there for a while, preening and stretching. I guess he had just gotten up from a long afternoon nap. Soon he would be taking off to go get dinner for the nest.

Mom stayed on the tree near the nest. The baby was big enough at this point to sit alone on the nest but Mom always stays close by.

There seemed to be an inchworm infestation at the park. They were dripping from the trees. We were walking around the shelters near the trees and realized that we were covered in them. Although they are harmless it was a little creepy having them in my hair and on my shirt. We were pulling them off each other and then learned to walk around the trees and to keep an eye out for them. This was in February back when we could stand close together.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters.

Up close on a rainy day.

Playing around with my macro lens in the house on a rainy morning in February.

We have hibiscus bushes growing on the side of our house but I rarely bring them inside. I need to do that more often. They only last a day though.

Up close with some new shells. Our glass stove top gives off a nice reflection.

Turning the lens on my own birds.  Buddy on top (he’s 27 years old) and Harley in the bottom 2 (he’s 5). Harley used to be terrified of the camera so I would only take pictures of Buddy up close but now he sings for it.

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Back on Alligator Alley

Things along the trail including a snack left behind by some bird.

A great blue heron strutting along.

Alligator Alley trail was finally opened after being closed for 2 years. When Hurricane Irma came through in 2017, part of the trail was washed out. The county finally rebuilt the trail and it was great to walk down it after all that time.

The view along the lake.

The marigold were still out in late November, washing the trail in yellow.

SkyWatch Friday