Road trip to Central Florida

A lone female painted bunting was eating at the feeder near the pond.

A catbird on St. Frances’s head.

Your basic mockingbird shot.

There must have been a robin convention going on. They were everywhere at the park.

Really cool roots on the trail.

Pictures of the carillon tower  at Bok Tower Gardens I took with my phone.

After I left Bok Tower Gardens I stopped by Lake Parker in Lakeland to get out and walk around for a few minutes before heading back to Tampa. It was a quiet afternoon with only a few critters near the boat ramp.

Next to Lake Parker is a huge soccer field. There was no one playing on the field that day but I’m sure on a weekend there are tons of kids running around. There were light posts along the fields and in between them with nests on them. All of them had osprey nesting on top except for one. One light post right at the entrance to the field had an owl nest. The sun was not in my favor that afternoon but I was able to get the above. There were two almost grown owlets on the nest with Mom but one was hiding on the other side of Mom. On nights and weekends these fields are packed with screaming kids playing ball. I guess the owls don’t mind.

A few things I saw on my central Florida trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales and Lake Parker in Lakeland in early March.

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Little critters at Bok Tower Gardens

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There were Kermits in all of the fountains at the Gardens. You have to sneak up on them or they will jump in the water and hide if they see you.  I took the above with my 300mm lens so I was pretty far away.

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Even at the end of October, there were a lot of flowers still blooming and lots of tiny critters flying around.

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It was very quiet at the Gardens early in the morning. I could hear the hummingbirds go whizzing by and several times was able to catch them resting.

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I saw this little guy across the bushes and was hoping he was a rufous hummingbird. When I got home and cropped it and lightened it up I realized it was a male ruby throated hummingbird which are fairly common this time of year. The rufous would have more orange than green in his feathers. I’ve seen them there but I can’t get a shot of them.

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A mockingbird was watching me while I was waiting for the hummingbirds to fly back into the bushes.

More pictures from my late October visit to Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida.

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A new bird for Christmas

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Not the new bird I was looking for. This phoebe was trying to confuse me.

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This mockingbird is not the new bird either although it looks like him from far away.

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“OH wait, come back. I think you’re the new bird”.

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Yea! He did come back with a snack. My first scissor-tailed flycatcher.

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And I found him on my first try.

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Right on utility wire at the curve in the road at Fort Desoto park. Right where people had been reporting him for a while now. He’s really pretty.

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While I was waiting for him to come back, I entertained myself by taking pictures of butterflies on the side of the road.

SkyWatch Friday

A very quiet morning out

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Two pictures of the same bird in different lighting.

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A downy woodpecker being cute.

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A young northern thrasher with a tiny bug in his beak.

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A blue jay with something in his beak.

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Climbing the fern ladder.

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Hiding behind a big frog.

Not much out in early August. I hit the butterfly garden at MOSI and then the USF Botanical Gardens. Other than a few butterflies out, the above was all I could find.

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Birds and bees at the Botanical Gardens

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One of the few birds I saw this morning. A mockingbird staring down at me.

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Dragonfly trying to hide behind his wings.

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I saw this bunny hiding in the water fountain. Can bunnies swim? He may have come through the pipe where the overflow water comes out.

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The only other bird I saw, a hairy woodpecker.

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Bees were buzzing around the flowers in the frog pond.

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I was hoping to get lucky and not get rained on. The news was saying 70% chance but it usually holds out until after lunch. I drove into the parking lot of the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo around 8:30 and it started pouring. I checked the radar on my phone and it looked like it would move through quickly. I sat in the car for half an hour until it was just a light sprinkle. I got out and started walking around and 20 minutes later the sun came out and it felt like a sauna. I still got my walk in but it was very quiet at the gardens.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Buds, Bees and Birds in Lakeland

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“Hey lady, have you got a pass to be out here?” says the female anhinga.

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Looking right into the sun, I saw these two wood storks on the top of a tree. At first I thought they were building a nest but I think they were just fighting for space.

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A squirrel eating a leaf?

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Fuzzy flowers on the lake.

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A limpkin eating a snail.

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A mockingbird landed right in front of my car.

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A very tiny dragonfly.

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Some type of bee on white flowers.

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A green fly on pink.

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Hanging from the palm trees in the parking lot.They look like orange grapes but I wasn’t going to try one.

Just some random things around downtown Lakeland on my walk around Lake Morton and Lake Mirror. I stopped by Hollis Gardens to see what was blooming but by that time it was too hot. Most of the spring blooms were gone. Replaced by summer bedding plants.

Shine the Divine