There’s something magical about being at Circle B Bar Reserve when the sun is coming up. Besides it not being crowded or hot yet, the birds and critters are very active this early in the morning. It was my first time back since April and it felt good to be out on the trails. I usually don’t come during the summer because it is so hot and the main trails are closed due to alligators nesting on them.
Turning around, I could see the moon still up in the sky.
Of course I had to stop and take pictures of my favorite spot before heading down the trails. The last one is with my phone and you can see how big the marsh is on this trail.
The great blue heron was sitting right on the trail. I walked right under him and he didn’t move. I stopped and snapped the 2nd one with my phone so you can see how close he was.
After passing him I turned around to see if he had flown off. Nope, he’s still there watching the sun come up.
A few fly bys. A night heron and a pair of cormorants.
Some of the tiny birds, a common yellowthroat (who looks more like a masked bandit) and some blue gray gnatcatchers.
It was a beautiful morning in late January. The sun hadn’t come up over the trees yet and you could still see the moon across the marsh. It was so quiet and only a few other people farther up on the trail. The black bellied whistling ducks were flying back and forth across the trail, heading far off down the marsh. I took a few deep breaths and was so glad I had set my alarm to get here earlier than I usually do.
As I walked down the trail, birds and ducks were constantly flying overhead.
You could still see the cobwebs along the edge of the trail.
Heading down Marsh Rabbit Run, I heard them calling as they started flying towards me and was able to catch the sandhill cranes flying by.
The marsh was all brown from the cold but the sky was bright blue.
I’m still going through my pictures from Fort Desoto in late October. So many shorebirds there at that time. Tons of gulls, terns and skimmers. The 2nd shot is of red knots, feeding before their trip south for the winter.
Many of the birds were taking baths before it got dark.
An uncommon herring gull.
Not sure what kind of snack this laughing gull has.
Some of the smaller shorebirds. Yellowlegs, dowitcher, a black bellied plover and a tiny snowy plover that was smaller than this pile of sand.
It’s weird to see turkey vultures on the beach. They were really in the muck at low tide. The one on the right had a small piece of fish under his foot that he was eating.
Great egret flyby.
This kid was throwing his frisbee into the birds. Why is it so fun to watch the birds flush? Someone walked over to him and asked him to stop and explained that the birds needed their rest before they migrate for the winter. He really just didn’t know. He stopped and went back to his family.
Heading home back into Tampa right before dark, I saw the moon coming up and had to stop and take a picture.
More things growing on my walk around the neighborhood in the mornings before work.
Taking tons of pictures of the hibiscus plant in our yard.
Lots of baby ducks on the walk as well. I realized there are two different creme colored mallards in the neighborhood. Perhaps they are related? This one had one baby with her and has a little more brown in her feathers. She was at a small pond at one end of our neighborhood. There is also one with 9 babies floating around our dock the same day. She’s a little more lighter and we all call her Blondie.
A white pigeon in the pond.
The moon coming out at night. All of the above were taken with my phone.
I stopped by a park in mid-February to check on the owls that nest there every year. They had been sitting on eggs for a while but I wasn’t sure of the exact days. No sign of a baby yet but I found both of the parents. Mom was far down in the nest and I could just barely see the tops of her ears. Dad was sitting close by. It was late in the day and he was just waking up from a long nap.
He took off and flew to a tree nearby and was sitting out in the open. He started hooting. I realized that they don’t hoot with their beaks open but the white part of their chest fluffs up from the vibration. It was cool to sit quietly in the woods right before dark and watch him hoot.
I realized the moon was coming up way off across the bay. After a few minutes he took off heading towards the moon.
Mom was still hiding in that big tree as the sun went down.
Waiting for Brett’s family to come over on Christmas day, I looked out the glass sliding door and saw what I thought was a snake in the muhly grass up against the screened-in porch. My phone was close by so I ran out and snapped the above. It was just a small harmless black racer. They are good to have around because they eat any rats (our neighborhood gets fruit rats due to all of the citrus trees). Since he looked like he wasn’t going anywhere I ran inside and got my camera.
A few closeups taken with my 300mm lens.
Taken through the screen.He eventually left that morning.
A few of the plants around the yard. The bottom one is growing in my neighbor’s yard. Not sure what type of fruit that is. I think it’s a papaya.
As I’m taking pictures of the snake, an osprey cruises by.
The wolf moon in January, taken in my driveway when I got home from work.
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.
From my driveway in late January. Saw this when I got home and thought it would be cool to try and get the moon coming up over Tampa the next night.
Tampa across the bridge. No moon coming up so I headed into Tampa.
I was hoping to get a shot of the big super blue blood moon rising above the Tampa skyline in late January so I brought my camera and headed over to a tall parking garage just off the bridge after work. On the moon side there was a cloud bank so i wasn’t going to get a shot of the moon just over the city.
I turned around and walked over to the other side of the parking garage and saw the above. A plane coming in for a landing near the Tampa airport just as the sun was going down. I stood for a while watching the planes come in. It was a beautiful cool night.
Sun’s all gone. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, turn around.