Pretty plants

Lots of unusual plants and flowers at the University of South Florida’s botanical gardens in Tampa. I don’t go to these gardens often but I was at Lettuce Lake in north Tampa recently and there wasn’t much wildlife there. Most of the park was still flooded due to recent rain so I left early and decided to stop by the gardens and see if there were any hummingbirds in the butterfly gardens. No hummingbirds but lots of butterflies. More on those later.

I rarely see green lizards.

A statue of a cow in the middle of the gardens? Not sure why. She was cute though.

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Beautiful flowers in Naples

Lots of pretty flowers at the Naples Botanical Gardens.

Lots of little critters too.

Shots of the gardens during our long weekend in Naples for a staycation in late May.

The one picture I took at the Naples Zoo above. A statue of a turtle in the ocean made out of recycled plastic which was cool.  I didn’t love the zoo. It was a few minutes from our hotel so we stopped in before lunch. I felt like you couldn’t see the animals very well based on how they had the exhibits set up. You had to wait in line to board a small boat to cruise around a small pond to see the primates. You couldn’t just walk around and view them. It was too hot to wait so we left. We are spoiled living so close the Tampa zoo which is soooo much better.

Photographing New Zealand

Still blooming in late December

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Indian blanketflower

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I think these were Japanese cherry blossoms. It seemed weird that they were blooming in late December in Atlanta but up until the weekend before Christmas it had been warm there.

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Roses were still blooming.

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Bees still buzzing around.

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This was tagged as a slipper orchid because the inside looks like a shoe.

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The orchid house was full of orchids but it was muggy inside and my lens kept fogging up.

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Close up.

I dragged my sister over to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens the weekend before Christmas. She drove over for the day from Birmingham. After hitting a mall and having lunch, it was too nice outside not to go for a walk. It was freezing early in the morning (by my standards). High was only 48. But it warmed up in the sun and we had a great walk. She knew way more of the plants than I did. She was calling out the names of so many of the plants. The gardens were still in bloom since it had been warm. The frogs were hiding in the warm water so we didn’t see any of them. A few birds were hanging around. More on those later. After a long stop at the farmer’s market, she headed home and I headed back to the in-laws. Perfect first day of the short holiday vacation.