Walking through a shower

I love these foggy winter mornings. It’s quiet and most people stay in when it’s like this. Right after Christmas I went out for a walk at the nearby Oldsmar pier. It was so damp that if felt like I was walking through a cool shower.

I then headed over to the Dunedin marina for a quick walk. The fog was almost gone but dark clouds had moved in and it started to drizzle.

I stopped at the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home (a slightly long detour) and the sun was trying to peek through.

I have been to the fishing pier at Safety Harbor a million times but I had never been in the hotel next door. I pass it as I’m doing my walk but I never stop in. I had heard their Christmas decorations in the lobby were pretty so I decided to check it out. It’s a fairly small lobby but still had a lot of history in it. One of these days I might have to eat at the restaurant here.

SkyWatch Friday

The big orange ball (not the kind you eat)

Most mornings I’m up well before the sun comes up but it’s not often I am out of the house before then. Brett was leaving for work extra early one morning in early December so I decided to head out with my camera with the short lens on it and my phone. When I got to the Safety Harbor fishing pier there was color but the ball hadn’t come up yet.

Large flocks of birds were flying across the bay. I think most of them were ibis.

Finally, that orange ball started to show up. I was lucky it wasn’t foggy this day.

It’s a beautiful sight and there were a lot of people there to see it. Most of the photographers there hang back in the parking lot to get the shots with the pier in it instead of standing on the end of the pier. I was running back and forth trying to get all of the shots in.

Standing at the end of the pier I took these with my camera.  You can barely see the skyline of downtown Tampa across the bay.

There’s something magical about standing here early in the morning waiting for the sun to come up. You’re not alone but everyone is quiet, almost whispering as if we were in a library. The joggers and dog walkers take a few minutes to stop and look. When I lived in Tampa and was working in the office I used to see the sun coming up in my rear view mirror on the way to work or through the window at the office. For now I can take a deep breath and enjoy the view.

A ring billed gull was sitting on the rail waiting for me to take a shot.

SkyWatch Friday

A warm morning out in December.

Folly Farms in Safety Harbor was all decorated for Christmas with lights everywhere. I was there early in the morning and many of the lights were still on. It was weird looking for birds and butterflies with a tshirt on and Christmas lights everywhere. The farm has a community garden and someone had sunflowers blooming in their square, in the middle of December! I could only find a few butterflies in the butterfly garden even though it was still blooming.

The only bird I found at the farm was a hermit thrush. I had not seen one since 2018 and I had just seen one in my backyard before finding this one at the farm. I had to wonder if it was the same one from my yard even though I was 15 minutes away.

I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home and found some black capped (or nanday) parakeets in the parking lot. They were eating seeds from the top of the trees. They blend in well in the trees and I might not have seen them if they hadn’t been screaming.

A manatee was close to the pier but the dolphins were pretty far out in the bay.

Watching the ibis feed off tiny crabs in the water.

Pelicans were cruising by the pier.

There were several osprey out diving for fish in the bay but only one came close enough to try and get shots. He swooped down and grabbed that fish so fast and then went the other way. I was hoping he would fly towards me. Oh well. I’ll try again.

Inspire Me Monday

 

Chasing the clouds

The clouds started to move in on my early morning walk at the Dunedin marina. The wind had cooled the air down so I wasn’t in a hurry to get home.

I could see it raining far out in the gulf. I decided to head south down the beach to see what storms I could find.

I stopped at Sand Key Park, just south of Clearwater Beach. The sun was out over the beach but a nasty storm was heading inland quickly. I didn’t see any lightning but here that can change in a second so I didn’t stay long. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any rainbows.

Heading back over the mainland, the storms stayed right behind me.

SkyWatch Friday

I stopped at the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home. The clouds were just rolling in here.

 

Walking in the drizzle

It was cold and drizzly right after Christmas but I was determined to get out for a walk. I headed to the Safety Harbor fishing pier as the rain was slowing down. It was barely a drizzle when I got there. There were a few other people out, joggers and dog walkers, as well. I left my camera at home and only had my phone so I was traveling light.

People have started putting locks on the fairly new boardwalk nearby. I guess they are copying the Love Locks bridge in Paris where people write their names and loved ones on the lock, lock it on the bridge (to lock in your love) and throw away the key. There were over one million locks in bridges around Paris and it was starting to do damage to some of them. All of the locks were taken down and now it’s illegal to do so. I’m assuming these will eventually get taken down as well. Many were starting to rust.

The sites around the spa and downtown Safety Harbor.

A great blue heron walking along the dock at the marina and a night heron were a few of the birds hanging around the marina.

My Corner of the World

Saturday morning walk

Was he chewing on a four leaf clover?

A pop of yellow from a yellow rumped warbler. After a quick walk around Possum Branch on Saturday morning in mid-January, I headed home but stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier for a quick walk on the pier.

It was a quiet morning at the fishing pier.

The bright red beaks on the ibis stuck out on this drab morning.

The grackles were picking snacks off the oyster bed.

 

Pigeons are like snowflakes. No two are alike. There’s always a large flock of them at the Safety Harbor fishing pier. It was interesting to see how many different color patterns they had.

Fun morning out

I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier in early November and it was really low tide. I think this is the first time I could walk all the way under the fishing pier. The pier was closed due to damage from Thunderstorm (or mini hurricane) ETA so the only thing on it was a cormorant.

At first glance it only looked like minor damage around the yacht basin.

This vulture found a dead fish that must have washed up on the grass when the tide got crazy high during the storm and got stranded. He was having a feast.

Pretty pelican in the mangroves.

Out on the open field next to the pier, I saw this dog enjoying getting a good brushing. Then he was ready for some play. I struggled getting him catching the frisbee. He kept going the other way and if I went around I’d be taking the picture into the sun. He was definitely a frisbee catching expert.

Watching the board show

Kiteboarders at the Safety Harbor fishing pier in mid-April. These guys were doing the safe distance exercising thing.

Out in the bay.

I went out for a walk late one Sunday in mid-April and stopped by the fishing pier to see if there were any manatees hanging around. The fishing pier was roped off and it was going to be hard to spot them from the park. The park next to the pier was full of people although there wasn’t any big groups and everyone was spread out. The wind was gusting so there were several kiteboarders flying across the bay. It was fun to stand and watch them cruise by for a while.

SkyWatch Friday

A quiet Saturday morning.

I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier at the end of March and got lucky seeing manatees. I usually see them most of the time but occasionally they are a no show. This time there were several together close to the pier. They were rolling around as they cruised by.

A few of the birds flying by the pier and a pelican sitting in the mangroves.

This family was already starting the social distancing thing. Kayaking out to a spit.

There was hardly anyone on the pier and I sat for a while taking in the quiet staring at Tampa far off in the distance.

The yacht basin next to the pier.

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A perfect winter morning.

Sailboats far across the bay.  The above was taken with my 300mm lens. The below was taken with my phone so you can see how far away they were.

What a perfect winter morning in early February. It was sunny and 72 degrees. I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home after my walk and the park and pier were packed with people hanging out. There was a kiteboarder skimming across the bay in front of the fishing pier and someone flying a kite next to the pier. People were out walking their dogs and kids were playing in the field along the water. Sailboats were cruising by. This was our early spring. Soon it will be too hot and no one will be here but the skeeters and the pigeons

Pigeons in the park. They don’t get a lot of respect but they are really pretty when the sun hits those iridescent feathers.

A pelican flying into the mangroves next to another one that was napping.

White pelicans flying high up over the fishing pier.

A juvenile blue heron looking for food in the muck at low tide.

SkyWatch Friday