End of summer colors

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These were all taken at the Florida Botanical Gardens in late October. Some things were just starting to bloom and some things were starting to look tired.  The purple coneflower were all at the end of their season but red berries were sprouting up everywhere and bananas were growing in the fruit garden. Of course there’s always something growing in central Florida.

What fall looks like here

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In mid-December I headed out to Honeymoon Island for a long walk on the nature trail. I was hoping to see the eagles or the owls. Both should be nesting by now. The only thing I saw up close were a million mosquitoes. It should have been cool and windy but it was over 80 degrees and the humidity was high by 9am. I had 2 coats of repellant on and still came home with 15 mosquito bites. I did manage to see the very tip of the eagle’s head while she sat on the nest which is a good sign that she’s sitting on eggs.

Shine the Divine

Other stuff at the Largo Nature Preserve

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Flowers and plants along the trail at Largo Nature Preserve.

 

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The birds here aren’t the only ones who hang out on boardwalk. This squirrel was eating right over my head. I was watching him walk out on the branch and grab the little berries. He did not care that I was a few feet from him.

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I saw this cute retired couple walking along the trail, still holding hands.

The neighborhood pond

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I stopped by a neighborhood pond to see what was floating around in it. I parked my car and got out and saw two sandhill cranes in someone’s yard. Just relaxing under a tree. They stayed there while I was walking around the lake. When I got back to my car, they were walking around in the street.

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Nothing too exciting in the pond. A great blue heron was hiding in the reeds.

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My favorite muhly grass was pink and the red berries were out.

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A red bellied cooter and a soft shell turtle were basking in the sun.

Not much floating in the pond right now. Hopefully, some winter ducks will show up.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

December walk at Honeymoon Island – Skywatch Friday

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A common sight on the nature trail at Honeymoon Island.

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Some of the burnt trees have osprey nests in them. It’s not quite nesting season so they were all empty. All of the osprey were out catching breakfast.

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Another typical sight at Honeymoon Island.

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One of the many yellow rumped warblers. I’ve taken a ton of pictures of them in the last few weeks.

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I don’t see eastern towhees very often. This is my 2nd sighting of a towhee in Florida.

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Not sure what this was up so high. It’s probably a palm warbler.

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The red berries everywhere make the trails look like Christmas. This is a nasty invasive tree, a brazilian pepper tree. They spread like wildfire and take over native plants. Birds eat the berries and disperse them everywhere. It’s now illegal to sell, buy or move them. Many parks have pulled them out. They are pretty when the berries are in full bloom.

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This dog was having fun in the water.

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Ring billed gull guarding a shell.

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Another one in the water.

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Raccoon prints on the beach.

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It was another beautiful morning in Florida during December. It started out cloudy and cold but the sun came out after the first hour I was there and it got hot. I’m glad I brought my bottle of Off. The mosquitos were still there.  We need a week in the 40’s at night to make them fly south. Maybe January.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday