Busy little birds at Bok Tower Gardens. A black and white warbler, a titmouse (with a nut), a red eyed vireo and a female redstart were the only migrating birds I could find in mid-October. I realized as I was running around in the woods at Bok Tower why fall migration is much harder than spring migration. The birds are more scarce in the fall and it’s just too hot to be running around looking for tiny birds high up in the trees. Here in central Florida in the spring, if you are lucky to be out on a day when there are a lot of birds around, at least the weather is usually cooler. On this morning in October it was 85 degrees by 9:30 and the humidity was brutal. It takes a lot of patience to wait for these little birds to come down from the tops of the trees and it’s hard to be dripping in sweat. With that said, it was still a fun morning out even if I only saw a few birds.
Beauty in the pond.
A grasshopper high up in the tree. He caught my eye while I was watching a hummingbird on the other side of the tree.
I was taking a break on a bench when this little squirrel came up to me. He looks like he had a bot fly problem this summer. He should be okay though.
Reflections on the pond.
Looking down on the pond, the fish were waiting for a handout.
The squirrels were getting frisky in late May at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
Not many birds at the gardens. A pileated woodpecker and a young moorhen.
Grasshoppers are everywhere right now. They can wipe out a plant in no time. You can see them eating the leaves in both of these shots.
It was a quiet morning at the gardens but I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so I went for a quick walk at nearby McGough Park and to visit the turtles there. Most of the trails here are very narrow so I stayed off those to keep away from having to pass people. I probably won’t make it back to this park until next spring.
A fever of stingrays came by just as I walked out on the Safety Harbor fishing pier. They must call a group of stingrays a fever because you’re going to get a fever if you step on one. I’ve seen grown men cry from getting stuck with a barb from one after not doing the stingray shuffle. It’s supposed to be very painful. Luckily I don’t know that personally. Brett and I saw a man get stuck in the ankle at the beach a few years back. He could barely talk and was turning blue. It was a big barb. I helped his wife pack up their stuff and 2 sons and Brett helped him walk back to their car. We told them to stop at the ranger station on the way out to get some relief. The rangers would have put his foot and ankle in a big bucket with the hottest water he could stand to help stop the pain along with pain relievers.
Standing at the end of the fishing pier, I could see Tampa. Zooming in I could make out the airport and the football stadium. It was hot and hazy in early June.
Not many people on the pier.
I found some osprey taking a break in the water in the shallow area and one flew right over my head.
People have started putting locks on one end of the boardwalk. What they may not know is that so many people were putting love locks on the bridge in Paris that part of the bridge collapsed. They have since removed all of the locks in Paris but now people are putting them everywhere. This is symbolic of “locking” in your love for someone. Eventually the rangers will take them down so the rail of the boardwalk doesn’t collapse and cause injury to someone. And those locks are going to rust quickly in the salt air.
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.
The one-eyed key deer that was rescued has a new home. Lots of room to roam around.
Only in the reptile area can you get this up close to a snake. Most of Florida’s snakes are non-venomous. They are good at keeping rodents at bay and a few are protected by law. Black racers seem to be the most common and we occasionally get one in our yard. Since many of our neighbors have fruit trees, the racers keep the fruit rats from over populating without having to use rat poisoning. I always keep my distance though.
These guys have taken over for the summer. The bushes are full of them and they will eat your plants and flowers down to the nubs.
It’s always fun to spend a few minutes watching the baby primates. That gibbon doesn’t seem to like the bugs. The baby colobus monkey in the bottom shot has lost all of his gray fuzz and now looks like a smaller version of the parents.
The new splash ride is now open and boy did that look tempting the morning I was there. Next time I’ll bring Brett so he can hold my stuff while I get soaked. Not sure who was having more fun, the people riding the ride or the people standing on the splash deck.