Bok Tower Gardens in early September

Shots from my early September trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales Florida. There’s always interesting things to see there.

The front door to the Carillon bell tower.

From the bell tower area, you can see down into the valley.  The bell tower sits on one of the highest elevated areas in Florida. An orange grove sits right outside the gardens.

SkyWatch Friday

Lettuce Lake Park after the rain.

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Fir trees come with their own built in ornaments.

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Spider webs and dew early in the morning.

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Fungus in the water soaked swamp.

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Buzzing around in the tree.

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Got a snack.

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Paddling by.

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The lake looks very inviting.

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The swamp does not look inviting. Both the lake and the swamp are full of alligators. The trails and area around the boardwalk was flooded from all of the late summer rains. I’ve never seen the water this high before. Some of the foot trails were still under water and closed. I kept an eye out for wayward alligators and snakes.

Skywatch Friday

Fungus among us

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Taken deep in the swamp, this looks like a flower mushroom.

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These are mushroom boobs!

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The new mushroom garden.

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I’ve never seen this before. Some type of orange mushroom?

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It almost looks like candy.

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Growing out of an old tree stump.

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Pink lichen growing on the tree.

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Moss growing on a cypress tree root.

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All alone.

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Looks like an umbrella mushroom.

The recent rains have flooded everything. Chesnut Park was flooded in mid-September when I stopped there after 2 solid days of rain. Fungus things were popping up everywhere. Some were pretty, some looked creepy. I wonder if the birds or squirrels eat mushrooms. I didn’t see any while I was there. The nice thing was the boardwalks were really slimy and slippery so it kept the joggers and dog walkers off of them. The bad thing was there wasn’t a lot of birds around even without people running by.

Mandarin Orange MondayShine the Divine

Textures in the woods

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Moss growing on a dead log in the water.

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Cypress knees growing in the swamp. These are really just roots from the nearby cypress trees that grow out of the ground helping the tree survive in the swamp.

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Mushrooms growing on a log.

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Reflections

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Fern shadows on the moss growing on the cypress knees.

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The swamp was full of spider webs.

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Purple flowers growing in the nearby butterfly garden.

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Out on the lake.

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Where alligators hide.

I was a glutton for punishment. In the middle of August I went on a walk at Chesnut Park on the boardwalks that run through the swamp. I sprayed a coat of Off on in the parking lot and within 10 minutes I had 4 mosquito bites so I had to respray. I was hoping to see any kind of animal but I saw only spiders. I didn’t even see the deer that morning. They were probably hiding out in someone’s pool. I got a good walk in but all I saw was above. After walking for 2 hours, I headed home, had lunch and drank another gallon of water. Then it was a long nap for me.

Sawgrass Lake after work.

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The usual anhinga drying off in the sun.

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Dragonfly shining in the sun.

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Juvenile red shoulder hawk hiding in the trees. He was right over my car in the parking lot.

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Finally, after several trips to Sawgrass Lake Park I see a swallow-tail kite flying over the park.

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Looks like he’s eating something as he’s flying.

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It’s funny they way they fly and eat and the same time. Yes, I know, kind of like us driving and eating at the same time.

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He soared over the trees and I didn’t see him again. I stared at the big tree that is supposed to have the nest in it but I couldn’t see anything. I heard it was back in the tree behind the leaves. Unless I saw the parent flying right in, I was not going to find it. It was far away across the little river that runs through the park.

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I hears a big crunch noise and looked over the boardwalk. I saw this alligator eating a turtle. I took this with my iphone since all I had was my 300mm lens with me.

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Mushrooms were everywhere since we had a lot of rain in June.

I had a nice walk around Sawgrass Lake park after work in the middle of June. The highlight was seeing the swallow-tail kite after several trips there and not spotting them. The other highlight was the alligator eating a turtle. He chomped a few times then just stopped. He sat there for a long time with the turtle in his mouth without moving. I finally left. It was started to get dark and I was hungry too.

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