Just being outside

In late April, I went out for a walk at Crescent Lake Park. It would be hard to close this park down since it’s really just a small lake with a sidewalk around it in a neighborhood. Although the baseball field was empty and the fenced in dog park area was closed. There were several fitness classes going on in the open grass under the trees. The groups were small and everyone was spread out. Looks like people just moved the gym outdoors.

A female grackle in the reeds.

At first I thought this grackle was just standing on one leg but when he flew up into the tree I realized he was missing a leg.

I cannot seem to get a good shot of the otter there. This time he was coming right at me and I would be shooting right into the sun. He was chewing something in the middle of the lake and then disappeared across the other side of the lake. He’s always so quick and doesn’t stay still for a second. I’ve heard there are several here but I’ve only seen one.

Blooming things along the lake.

This was my “just being outside” shot of the day.

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Flowers and bugs near home

Flowers on the trail at Possum Branch Preserve.

The fields were covered with these pink puffy plants. And they were covered in bees.

It’s always a nice quiet walk at Possum Branch Preserve. It’s a hidden gem right off of a busy main road but most people don’t know it exists. It never closed down so I’ve been going there for a long walk a few times a week since it’s close to home.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Bursting with color.

Blooming things at the Naples Botanical Gardens.

Little critters.

In the butterfly house, we got to see some butterflies emerging before they had started flying.

Zooming in across the street from the gardens, it looked like someone was clearing a field.Probably another subdivision going up.

We spent a hot morning walking around the Naples Botanical Gardens during our trip in late April. So many bright colors.

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Colors of spring

Flowers and plants from Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida in mid-March. Around here things bloom early if not all year round. I have not seen the dark orange sunflowers there before. I think those were my favorite. A bad storm had come through the state the night before and I thought I might get rained out but the next morning the sun was up so I headed out. Everything looked bright and damp.

Photographing New Zealand

Critters at Chesnut Park.

Driving into the park, I caught a deer getting a snack in trees.

Creepy little critters.

Cute bigger critters.

Someone had left bird seed along the boardwalk earlier that morning. Only the titmouse and cardinals were eating it.

A few other flying critters including the grackle on the right getting nesting material.

This little common yellowthroat was checking me out. They usually hide deep in the bushes but he was not shy.

Some of the pretty things along the boardwalk.

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A hot walk around the lake in August.

Critters I saw on my walk around Crescent Lake Park.

This big beautiful old banyan tree is fenced off since it is starting to fall apart. It’s still blooming though.

Across the lake. You can barely make out downtown St. Pete behind the painted water tower.

SkyWatch Friday

Debbie’s and Dave’s Botanical Gardens

Lots of things were blooming at my sister’s house in north Birmingham when I was visiting over Easter weekend. A bad storm hit the day before I arrived and when the sun came out over the weekend, everything started blooming quickly.

She had orchids blooming in the kitchen.

A fire in the old pot-bellied stove kept us warm while we watched the full moon rise out in the backyard.

Deer on 3rd base

The deer were hanging out on the baseball field early one Saturday morning in April when I drove into Chesnut Park.  I sat on a picnic bench for a while watching them grazing. As more people headed into the park, the deer retreated further into the woods that runs behind the field.

Later, walking the back trails, I saw a few more deer.

A few other critters at the park that morning.

A few of the plants blooming at the park.

Pretty things at Lake Morton

Flowers were blooming in early March.

One great blue heron wagging his tongue. The other had his pretty breeding colors on his face. You can see the color difference in the one above that’s not ready for a girlfriend yet.

After a bath.

There’s several fully grown gray swans. Might be a hybrid of the white mute swan and the black swan? They are really pretty.

Baby swan up close.  The original “ugly duckling”.

Looking at the feet of a wood stork. It looks like his toenails are painted.

A quick walk around Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland before lunch. I only found one baby swan and not many swans nesting. Maybe they are nesting late this year.

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