I got to Fort Desoto Park early on a Saturday morning in late July. The clouds were starting to roll in before the people got here.
I could see it raining over to the far left and was debating on how far to walk out on the Outback Key spit. I had my umbrella in my backpack but wouldn’t want to have to walk back half an hour with lightning.
I walked out a little ways but the storm was moving in quick.
I stopped in the little lagoon near the parking lot to get pictures of a spoonbill. It was drizzling on me but the sun was behind my back and I could see a faint rainbow.
Minutes later the storm had moved away and I headed over to the bird sanctuary.
The above were from an early morning walk in the neighborhood. The baby ducks at the pond down the street were getting big. My neighbor’s royal poinciana tree was still blooming in July.
Typical Florida weather. Raining over our house but I could see the sun down the channel. After the rain stopped, I ran outside and got the rainbow from the backyard and the front yard. The skies here have their own personality.
There’s a duck couple that’s been spending afternoons sleeping under our tree in the backyard. Sometimes I peek out the bedroom window to check on them but they are very skittish. They can see me barely move the blinds.
A few of the birds that have been visiting the bird feeder.
I looked out the window and saw something moving in the channel. I grabbed my camera and ran out to the dock to catch 2 manatees rolling around at the end of the channel. After I snapped the above they started heading out to the bay.
Some of the critters in the yard including this juvenile black racer that was climbing up the wall next to the front door.
A faint rainbow in the backyard. It’s the beginning of rainbow season with the summer rains starting in June.
An osprey on my neighbor’s sailboat mast just after the rain.
Heading home after work, I stopped at an office parking deck after I got over the bridge into Tampa. Storms were moving in over the area. I could see it raining on one side of the bridge and sunny on the other side. Typical Florida weather.
Driving into my neighborhood, it had just stopped raining and the sun was peeking out.
A rainbow in front of my house.
Later that week, we had other storms coming across our neighborhood. I was able to catch the lightning in the backyard with my phone.
A few of the 4th of July fireworks from my driveway. Many of my neighbors were setting them off.
Lots of rainbows during the summer rains.
I was standing under the bismark palm tree trying to get some storm shots in the backyard and almost ran into the above. A harmless spiny orb, very common here but I really wouldn’t want to have to pull him out of my hair.
The sun was trying to peek out after a storm.
Dark clouds were swirling in the backyard right before dark.
Lightning shots taken with my phone in the backyard.
Standing on the Safety Harbor fishing pier, I could see a storm over my neighborhood across the bay.
I’m always looking up in the yard during the rainy season.If I hear thunder on one side of the house and the sun is out on the other, I always run outside with my phone hoping to see a rainbow.
Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.
One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.
A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.
Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.
Late summer babies. Blondie came back in August with another new baby.
The usual critters in our yard during the past few months.
One day I came home from work and grabbed the mail from the mailbox that is on the side of our house next to the front door. This guy came out with the mail. I dropped the mail to the ground and was glad he didn’t land on me. I think I woke him up.
The muhly grass blooms pink in the fall. These started blooming in late October.
I was watering some hanging plants right before dark in the backyard when I noticed this face peeking out of my neighbor’s dead palm tree. The house next door had been empty for at least 2 years. I think the lady that lived there was now in a nursing home. This was the first time I had seen a screech owl in our neighborhood.
Over the next two weeks I was able to catch the above. He (or she) would stick his head out right before dark. In the last two shots, he woke up earlier during the late afternoon. I would sneak around the backyard and hide behind a short palm tree to get pictures. I didn’t want to scare him away.
After 3 weeks of peeking out the side window right before dark every night, I came home from work and saw that the dead palm tree was gone. I ran outside and realized my neighbor’s entire backyard had been gutted and cleaned up. I was heartbroken. After 2 years it gets cleaned up now??? Then I heard a peep and saw the owl sitting in a palm tree that was still standing next door. He was looking at me like “Where’d my bed go?” I would assume he was sleeping when someone came in and started to saw the tree down. He must have flown out in panic. I can only hope he didn’t have eggs in there yet. I had not heard any baby noises yet. I stood there in the backyard crushed that my new friend had lost it’s home. I never saw him again after these shots were taken. I’m sure he moved on. I don’t know if it’s too late to put up a nest box in our yard.
Other critters in the backyard.
I was able to catch the sunset in the backyard while I was trying to get shots of the owl. One night I caught this rainbow driving into my neighborhood.