Bok Tower Gardens was bursting with color this summer.
I struggled to get a decent shot of the hummingbird. The light was bad but I managed to get the above. It was hot and muggy so it makes it harder to wait to get the hummer in those fleeting seconds of feeding.
It’s hard to ignore the cute cottontail bunnies
The bell tower
After leaving the gardens, I headed to a nearby fish camp to see if I could find any birds. It was quiet the morning I was there but I’m sure on the weekends it’s busy.
I did find two sandhill cranes feeding along the drive in.
Looking out over the lake, it was such a beautiful calm scene. It’s these small hidden places that make Florida special.
One of the few animals I saw at Myakka River State Park was a deer near the big lake. She was alone and hiding in the shadow.
Closer to the water I could see some black bellied whistling ducks and black necked stilts.
A crow guarding the parking lot.
Myakka Park, just south of Sarasota, is known for having huge gators. And a lot of them although not as many as the Everglades. Timing is everything to see the big ones. They usually come out to sun themselves late in the afternoon. If it’s really hot, they’ll stay in the water most of the day. I was there early in the morning and only saw a few small ones. There is an area in the park that is off limits that has 100’s of them. The “Deep hole” is a 4 mile round trip hike out to where they are hidden but you have to have a permit to hike out there. The rangers give out 30 permits a day and I heard they are all snatched up in the first hour. I keep saying I want to get down there in the winter and hike out the hole but keep putting it off. I think this winter might be the time.
The sun was just coming up over the trees when I headed out on one trail.
This is a huge park with a lot of wide open spaces. I was out on a rare Monday off so there was hardly anyone there.
Watching this osprey hover for a few minutes over the lake reminded me of angels. This one never did catch a fish. He kept hovering, then circling the pond, then hovering.
My 2nd sighting of a bobolink. The first was years ago at Fort Desoto. There were several here that stayed for a few days.
A rose breasted grosbeak hiding in the bushes.
An egret’s gotta eat but I feel sad for the little mouse.
Always an alligator floating in the pond but they are not too big here.
A nice walk after work in early May before it got too hot.
Possum Branch Preserve is a small watershed not to far from home. Most of the year it’s pretty quiet with only alligators and the usual big water birds but there are several mulberry trees that attract migrating birds in the spring and fall.
Atlanta, as seen in the first episode of the tv series “Walking Dead”. Except in the scene, the roads were lined with abandoned cars that were photo-shopped into the scene. I took this the first night of our long weekend to visit friends. It was dark and cloudy and had just stopped drizzling. My husband thought I was going to look silly being the only person standing on the Jackson Street bridge taking this picture. No, there were several other people there taking pictures as well. I found out later that there are “Walking Dead” tours that take you to some of the places that scenes were filmed at. This is one of the stops.
Another Atlanta downtown scene, taken as we were leaving to head back home.
One morning while Brett was riding his bike with some friends, I took a walk around Piedmont Park. They used to have great art festivals and other events here. I’m sure they still do but it was quiet the morning I walked around the lake.
A few of the critters and an interesting mushroom or fungi around the lake. After my walk around the park, I headed over to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, more on that later.
We stopped at a shopping center to get something and this hawk was in the parking deck. At first I thought he was hurt but I think he had just finished a meal. He took off as I got closer to him but he let me get pretty close. He left behind a few scraps of his lunch.
Almost 25 years ago, Brett and I got married here in the gardens behind the Swan House. We were passing by and I made Brett stop for a few minutes.
I was feeling really nostalgic for Atlanta. I had lived here for 17 years before Brett and I moved to Tampa for work. Since his family moved to the Tampa bay area years ago, we hadn’t really spent any time here in over 3 years so we came back for a long weekend in August. We packed a lot of sight-seeing in the 2 and a half days we were here. We happened to be staying in a hotel next to this mural. The mural is on the side of the building where the old Limelight disco was back in the 70’s and 80’s. I spend many weekends there dancing with my sister and our friends back in the mid 80’s.
I got to Circle B Bar Reserve just after the sun came up but it was hiding behind the fog. There were a few people already there but the crowds don’t usually come until closer to lunchtime. I love it when it’s so quiet. Only the birds and ducks were making noise.
The fog was really thick this particular morning in early January. It did not burn off until I was leaving.
Bald cypress trees in the middle of the lake. All of these were taken with my phone.
A few shots from our quick walk around City Park near downtown Denver. It’s always fun to see Canadian geese walking around. We don’t see them often in central Florida. After a sunny morning, the clouds had started to move in. Our last stop on our visit to Colorado was Rocky Mountain National Arsenal Park. More on that later.
Moorhens were all around the lake. Lots of juveniles from early spring.
Other interesting ducks including the pied grebe in the last picture.
Other critters at the lake. The otter was a surprise. I’ve never seen one there before.
The water tower next to the lake and a hawk hanging underneath it. Probably looking for a slow flying monk parakeet. The parakeets nest under the water tower.
Looking across the lake near downtown St. Petersburg. I hadn’t been in a while so I stopped for a quick walk. There were people in the lake in kayaks doing a cleanup. I know there are alligators in there so you wouldn’t want to be in there without a kayak and a paddle to hit one over the head with.