The same things from a different park

I headed down to Fort Desoto early one Saturday morning only to find it was closed for a marathon. So I decided to head to a park I had not been before. Maximo Park sits on the water right next to the interstate and was only minutes away from Fort Desoto. I had not been here before but had not heard much about it. It’s a small park near a marina and the people were lined up at the boat ramp to get their boats in for the day. Across the bay you can see the new bridge near Fort Desoto going up. You can buy bait fish right out of the water (for the lazy people who don’t want to pull their own bait fish up with a net).

It was a quiet day for birds but above are a few that I found including the vulture sunning himself.

Was it starting to look like fall? Looks like poison ivy with those red leaves of 3.

I stopped by Sawgrass Lake Park on the way home for a quick walk and saw this soft shell turtle crossing the parking lot. A man came over and picked him and moved him on his way. It’s rare to see these guys out of the water up close. They are usually pretty skittish.

This is one spoiled duck.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

An early June trip to Chesnut Park

Visiting my “deer” friends at Chesnut Park.

The usual summer birds were there. A catbird, palm warbler, white eyed vireo and a red-winged blackbird.

A tiny gator getting some rays.

A lone muscovy hangs around the pond.

Wood ducks stay far away.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Fun stuff at Bok Tower Gardens

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It didn’t feel like fall or Halloween until I went to Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida. They had some fun decorations around the gardens. The scarecrows were made by local school kids.

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The gold door to the the bell tower.

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I was disappointed that the only bird at the feeder was a red-winged blackbird.

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It was a beautiful morning. The moon was still out while I walked the trails.

I recently spent several hours walking around the gardens at Bok Tower. It’s about an hour and a half from where I live in Tampa but worth the drive. The gardens have a huge variety of things including flowers, trees, birds, butterflies and other tiny critters to practice photography while getting in a good walk.

Critters at Chesnut Park.

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Some of the summer birds at Chesnut Park in mid-June.

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I don’t see Cooper’s hawks that often. This one was watching his nest, far into the woods. We couldn’t see the babies but we could hear them crying for food.

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Not great shots but I couldn’t resist. The above two shots are of a blue-gray gnatcatcher nest high up in a tree. It looked like a golf ball from the naked eye. I think there were 3 babies on the nest. By the time you could see them, they were outgrowing the nest. These are extremely zoomed in and cropped. Thanks to Joe with his scope that knows every bird that is born at the park.

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Even smaller critters have taken over. Grasshoppers and butterflies were everywhere.

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This little beauty had deer flies on her face. They are worse than mosquitos.

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Taken with my phone, a shot of the swamp from the boardwalk.