I was so excited to see a hummingbird clearwing moth at the Florida Botanical Gardens in late May. They are really cool looking with that tail that looks like a brush. They hover and feed just a like a hummingbird but are much smaller and hard to spot.
There were so many butterflies there as well but not a large variety of them.
“You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Bye bye” Elton John
After briefly seeing a hummingbird moth at the Botanical Gardens in Largo, I went back the next week to see if I could find it again. This time there were several in the butterfly garden. They are amazing creatures, almost fairytale like. Before seeing them here this spring, I had only seen them once before so they are not common. I took a lot of pictures and couldn’t decide on just one or two so I posted my favorites.
Luckily not many people thought the Botanical Gardens in Largo were still open. There was almost no one there in late April. I could sit quietly in the butterfly garden without people walking in front of me scaring away the butterflies.
I sat for a while hoping to see a hummingbird but there was no sight of any. I got the next best thing. A clearwing hummingbird moth buzzing around right next to me. This is the only place I’ve seen them before. They hover and feed like hummingbirds, not landing on the flower and then zip away to rest.
Still working on getting that perfect magnolia picture.
Some type of hawk was flying high up in the sky. This is extremely cropped. I couldn’t make out what it was but I don’t think it was a red shoulder. Might be a cooper’s hawk with that dark head.
I think these are both a 5 stripe skink. This is the first time I’ve been able to get a shot of one. The top one is a juvenile and the bottom is an adult male.
Tiny critters in the butterfly garden.
My first hummingbird moth sighting. He was tiny and fast. He buzzed in for a few seconds next to a butterfly I was taking a picture of and then he was gone over the bushes. I looked for him for a long time with no luck. At least I got the blurry shots above. These guys are really cool.
Soft shell turtle near the pond.
Turtle on the lily pad.
Juvenile osprey that grew up in a nest on the utility pole. All three were born this past winter and were just starting to fly around.
Not many birds at the gardens in late June. Just the above.