Road trip to central Florida

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.

Inspire Me Monday

Quiet morning out

It was a quiet morning in early May at Largo Central Park Nature Preserve. I found a baby limpkin hanging out with Mom along the boardwalk. He was so cute, trying to mimic how Mom picks up shells and bangs them open but he didn’t quite have it down yet. He kept picking up empty shells and then ran over to Mom and started whining to be fed.

Later on the other side of the preserve I found another limpkin getting a snack.

A tricolored heron was skipping around over the water trying to catch some tiny fish (or maybe some tiny bugs). Using his wings, it looked like he was walking on water.

A great egret lands on the other side of the pond.

The magnolia trees were in full bloom.

Spring in central Florida

I love Bok Tower Gardens in the spring. It’s the only place I’ve seen orange sunflowers.

The pitcher plants are really cool as well.

Lots of things were blooming when I was there in late April. I just wish it was closer. It’s now almost 2 hours away, though worth the trip. I usually make several stops on the way home at other parks but it’s too hot to do that in the summer. 

Butterflies were everywhere but I mostly saw monarchs.

The birds were not plentiful but I did see some redstarts and great crested flycatchers.

And now I know why they call it a “cottontail” bunny.

Inspire Me Monday

A surprise limpkin family

Little critters in the flower beds.

Pretty things around the botanical gardens in Largo including some type of fruit.

In the butterfly garden, the flowers were starting to over-grow in late May.

A Carolina wren watching me take pictures of the bees.

I found a limpkin family across one of the ponds. I haven’t seen baby limpkins in a long time and there were two with this parent. They were still pretty small and stayed close to Mom.

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Pretty colors in the spring

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.

My Corner of the World

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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A walk after work

Lots of turtles at Carillon Park. The ponds have sunning boards for the turtles to hang out on.

Magnolias along the boardwalk.

An ibis taking a bath. It was so hot I wanted to jump in with him.

A few bunnies along the trail.

Colors in the fountain.

 

I haven’t seen a lesser yellowlegs in a long time much less at this park.

A quick walk around a park nearby work before heading home in early May.

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