It was time for a road trip. We headed up to Atlanta for a long weekend to visit friends. I was also hoping to see some fall leaves but we may have just missed the peak season.
Along the way we passed miles of cotton fields that were ready to be picked. It almost looked like the ground was covered in snow as we whizzed by.
As we got closer to Atlanta I could see lots of color. There was still a lot of yellow, orange and red in the trees so we didn’t miss the season completely.
Passing by the iconic Olympic torch tower. This replica was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics that was held here. At the time you were able to climb the stairs and see all around Atlanta but it has since been closed. We were living here at the time and my sister and I spent many nights down at the Olympic park during the games.
The parking lot at our hotel was like a fairy tale with all of the bright colors.
An early morning walk before heading out for the day.
We stopped at a friend’s house for lunch and her camellia bushes were still blooming.
She also had some little green critters hiding in her garage.
Late August into early September brought some beautiful skies to our neighborhood. These were taken with my phone from the front yard or the backyard. The rainbows always end up in the backyard since the storms usually come late in the day and the sun is setting from the front. We were getting them almost every day for a week.
I was heading out to the Dunedin causeway for a walk when this rainbow popped up.
Out on the causeway I could see rain far out in the gulf and I didn’t see any lightning so I started a quick walk but stayed close to the car.
When I got to the nearby bridge I could see rain all around me out in the water but the sun was out over the causeway. Even with the sun out the wind was blowing pretty hard so it stayed cool for my walk.
This great blue heron hangs out under the bridge. There’s usually people fishing under here so he’s hoping for a handout.
There’s a small tree on the causeway that has tropical white morning glory (also know as moonflower) all over it.
Right when I got back to my car most of the rain had moved out and a rainbow came out. I love mornings like these when the sky does crazy things.
Usual visitors to the backyard including a Carolina wren, a titmouse, a chickadee and a very young bluebird.
I caught a great crested flycatcher getting a drink at the bird bath. You can see a little bit of orange in her tail feathers in the bottom picture.
Brett yelled from upstairs (I was in the kitchen) “Look out the back window.” I grabbed my camera and ran outside to get a shot of this guy on the fairway. Even though my camera was in my backpack in the closet, as soon as I ran outside the lens fogged up. I stood there for a few minutes and then this was the only shot I got before some golfers came through and he took off.
Caution – beetle porn. I saw these 2 on the window sill and had to go out and get a shot. The green beetles are native to Florida and are harmless.
My jaw dropped when I saw this out of the back window. I took this shot from inside as they cruised across our little backyard.
As they were leaving the yard I ran outside and got the above. They made their way down the back of our townhomes, towards the woods at the end. What a treat to have 5 baby turkeys in your backyard
It was sunny and hot early in the morning during my walk around the Safety Harbor marina. I was traveling light so all of the shots in this post were taken with my phone. The local news said this was the hottest July on record in 40 years.
Another sunny morning at the Dunedin marina.
A rainbow on the 4th of July, coming home from a late afternoon cookout with friends.
We had an early dinner in Tampa one weekend and hit the causeway coming home right at sunset. Brett was driving so I snapped this through the windshield.
From partly cloudy to dark clouds during my walk around Olds Park.
A sun halo in our backyard one day around noon.
A walk at some parks near Tarpon Springs. This was the first time I had seen this mermaid statue. She is called “Ama” and was installed in 2014 as part of the Amaryllis Art for Charity project. There’s a small sponge on the base to represent the sponge diving industry here and there’s a small manatee on the left front of the base. Manatees are common in this area.
The skies from my front and back yard in late summer are insane. Some nights right when the sun hits after the rain has moved out, it looks like the sky is on fire. These were all taken in late August and early September.
The above was snapped with my phone through the glass door and the screened porch. The smaller ones before this were too close to be outside. The next day I found out it hit my neighbor’s house. It fried his fuse box and burned one side of his house. It took several days for an electrician to come out and fix everything so you really don’t know when it’s going to hit.
Lightning on the side of the house (I was standing in the garage). It’s weird the way the 2nd one was brighter in the middle.
Most nights if the sun peaks out in the backyard after a storm, I get this in the front yard.
I was thinking it might rain but I wanted to get out of the house for a short walk so I headed over to the Courtney Campbell Causeway nearby in late June. The rain held off for a while and I was able to catch the rainbow going across the causeway. You can see a faint 2nd one above it.
There were pockets of rain all across the bay. It looked like it was coming right for me so I headed back to my car after snapping the above.
Instead of going straight home I stopped at a nearby parking deck to see what the sky looked like from higher up.
Making a pano with my phone, the rain was on the left side and the sun was coming out on the right. Another typical Florida summer shot.
When I got home, the clouds were rolling into my neighborhood.
A few of the birds that visited our backyard in the recent months. A little blue heron on our dock, a great blue heron on our neighbor’s completed demolished dock (after Hurricane ETA), and the phoebe on our fence. I see the little phoebe almost every day. Maybe because I don’t have dogs he looks for his meals here. He eats flying insects instead of seed so he doesn’t visit my feeder.
The starlings have a nest on my neighbor’s boat lift.
An osprey sitting our a neighbor’s sailboat mast.
We usually get spotted sandpipers in the winter. They hang out in the muck at low tide.
A few creepy visitors include a mangrove crab and a spiny orb.
Squirrels constantly run across our screened porch which is cute but long term they pull out the screen and tear it up so sometimes we yell at them to get off.
Pictured above are some of the shots I took from the front yard and the backyard during the month of August. Usually taken late in the day or right before dark. The skies always light up this time of year with so many storms coming through. If the sun peeks out right before sunset then the clouds turn a bright orange. These were all taken with my phone and just cropped up a little.
In the above picture you can see the silhouette of an osprey on top of my neighbor’s sailboat. She’s been back again, sleeping there and then leaving at first light in the morning.
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.