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

 

Looking for manatees

When my sisters were here over Thanksgiving weekend we went out looking for manatees. The most dependable place to find them is at the Manatee Viewing Center at the Tampa electric plant on the other side of the bay. The manatees congregate here in the winter months due to the electric plant’s discharge canal where the water that cools the electric plant is sent back out into the bay warm and clean. I’ve been there before over the years when you could see hundreds of manatees near the boardwalk but this time there were none. You could see a few far out in the canal but they just looked like bumps floating in the water. We would have been crushed if we hadn’t seen the below the day before.

Another reliable place to see manatees (and much closer to my home) is the Safety Harbor fishing pier. We were out running around one afternoon and stopped by on the way home. We counted at least 6 swimming around the pier so we hung out there for a while watching them come up for air.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Sunset at the fishing pier

IMG_5053

This is a pano of north Tampa Bay taken with my phone at the Safety Harbor fishing Pier.

IMG_5058

After an early dinner, we walked down to the fishing pier to watch the sunset.

IMG_5071

IMG_5073

The sun actually sets behind the trees but it was still a beautiful night out. These were taken from the end of the fishing pier looking towards the marina.

IMG_5075

IMG_5077

IMG_5081

The sun was going down on the sailboats.

SkyWatch Friday

Under the fishing pier

DSC_9294

Manatee snout coming up for air.

DSC_9310

Stingray in the shallow water.

DSC_9316

I think he was eating the dead fish parts that the fishermen had thrown over the pier.

DSC_9301

Blowing his nose.

DSC_9302

Do you think he needs a kleenex?

DSC_9312

The water was clear enough that you could see what was floating on the bottom. I’m surprised the pelicans didn’t get this stuff when it got thrown over.

DSC_9313

Lots of stingrays around the pier.

DSC_9297

Pretty pelican floating around.

manatee

Taken with my phone camera, this guy swam right up to the pier.

manatees

Even more were swimming towards the pier.

pano

Pano taken with my phone camera. This is the view from the pier.

It was a busy morning in early December at the Safety Harbor fishing pier. Lots of people out fishing and I counted 8 manatees floating around near the pier. I think that’s a record. The water was clear, the sun was out. Perfect day for a walk.

Safety Harbor sunset – Skywatch Friday

DSC_7832

I just missed the sun going down on the buildings in downtown Tampa. As I was crossing the Bayside Bridge after work, I could see the sun shining down and making the buildings across the bay look orange. By the time I got to the Safety Harbor fishing pier, I just missed it. The sun had gone down too low.

DSC_7855

It was a cool, windy night. This guy fishing in his kayak was bundled up.

DSC_7861

Birds heading home to sleep.

DSC_7843

Pelican flying over the pier as it was getting dark.

DSC_7864

A peaceful quiet night on the water.

pier

Panorama taken with my phone from the parking lot.

I was meeting my husband for dinner near the Safety Harbor fishing pier and had a few minutes to spare. I stopped at the pier and took a few pictures but it getting dark quick. Most nights I’m driving home in the dark so it was nice to see a little daylight even for a few minutes.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Safety Harbor lightning – Skywatch Friday

fence

I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home recently and was kind of bummed the weather looked so bad. This was taken with my phone. I was thinking about jumping back in the car and going home but I thought I’d walk around the area for a few minutes.

DSC_4996

The only bird I found there, other than a few laughing gulls flying over head.

DSC_4914

The exposed sand along the seawall was covered in fiddler crabs. They are very skittish and kept running back in their little sand holes. I finally was able to get a few outside.

DSC_4948

They are very tiny, this is extremely cropped.

DSC_4907

Even with the threat of rain, there were a few people on the pier. Manatees were swimming close by but the water was too dark to get any pictures.

DSC_4981

I realized it was raining north of the pier and lightning was popping up.

DSC_4977

I only had my 70mm – 200mm lens with me and these were handheld.

DSC_4961

There was a lady on the pier as well who was taking pictures and she had a lightning trigger on the top of her camera that automatically shot pictures when it detected lightning. I had not heard of that accessory but it might be a cool one to look into. That would mean I would have to spend more time standing around waiting for storms. On the weekends,whenever I hear thunder starting I think “I should pack up and go to the airport parking deck to try to get lightning pictures.” It’s hard to get out and do that. I’m usually getting dinner ready or doing chores. Maybe a new toy would motivate me. Anyone have any experience using one?

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday