I don’t remember ever seeing this green caterpillar. I found it in the butterfly garden at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor in late March. I usually only see monarch or gulf fritillary caterpillars. I had to look through tons of green caterpillar pictures to find it. This is a orange barred sulphur butterfly. I do see them here but have never seen the caterpillar.
So many little things flying around late in March. It had already been warm for a while so everything was blooming and the garden was full of butterflies, bees and other little critters.
There wasn’t many birds around though. A dove and a few bluebirds were all I could find on this morning.
I caught a swallow tail kite diving down behind the trees.
This was interesting. They have installed a wind phone at the farm. Originated in Japan, the phone is not connected but allows a one way conversation with deceased love ones. There’s a chalk board and you can leave notes. I did pick up the phone to make sure there wasn’t a dial tone (or maybe someone else on the other end?).
We had a warm morning in early January so I headed out for a quick trip to nearby Folly Farms in Safety Harbor. The neighborhood community garden has a small butterfly garden and if there isn’t any birds around I can usually find some tiny critters. There was still enough blooming to keep the garden full of bees and butterflies. The fun catch was the ladybug. I don’t see them very often.
This is a meme that is floating around social media from people in the Tampa Bay area. Maybe it’s a way of saying we have survivor guilt? For days Hurricane Ian was heading right to us and at the last minute it turned and made a direct hit south of us (The same thing happened in 2004 with Hurricane Charley). Total devastation from Fort Myers to Naples. Then massive flooding across central Florida. It was gut wrenching to watch the news. Most of St. Pete lost power but we only had yard debris so we were really lucky.
Sunset on the night of the hurricane, across the street from us.
We had super low tide the day after as well as the day of. These were taken on Thursday, the day Ian was forecasted to hit Tampa. Later that night the water came back with a surge but nothing like it was south of us.
Early Friday morning I went for a walk at the Dunedin causeway and the tide was still crazy low.
You could see where seagrass had been churned up and left in the low tide.
This is a common sight all over the bay, stranded boats. Many had the anchor come up and floated towards sea walls and bridges. Some got stranded at low tide. (Although these are nothing like the pictures from Fort Myers and south with boats on top of buildings and in peoples homes.).
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 small town of Safety Harbor was having a sidewalk chalk festival in late March. I didn’t make it to the day of the festival but was able to go on a walk down Main Street the next day. It was a beautiful late afternoon and I headed out with only my phone to take pictures.
These were some of my favorite chalk drawings. There were so many great ones. It’s amazing how creative and talented people are. I was glad I didn’t wait too late and was able to see them before people were walking on them (or the rain hit).
The flags on the street had been changed out in support of Ukraine.
At the end of December I woke up and peeked out the window. It was really foggy so I got ready quickly and headed out the door. I love it when it’s foggy. I stopped by the nearby fishing pier early that morning and could not see across the bay. I could barely make out the end of the pier.
I noticed these strands of oyster shells hanging under the pier and looked them up when I got back home. These are VOG’s (vertical oyster gardens). The water around the shore of Safety Harbor and Oldsmar (which is Old Tampa Bay) was found to be the least healthy in all of the Tampa Bay. Not surprised. There’s a new Save Our Bay program and the easiest thing to start with was using oysters to filter out the water. One oyster can filter out 50 gallons of water a day. There were a lot of these on the dock and they are encouraging people who live on the water to hang these on their docks as well. It will take several months for the oysters to start to grow on these so I’ll keep an eye out.
Next I headed to the Safety Harbor fishing pier since I was close by running errands. It was foggy here as well but that didn’t stop those kayakers from being out.
I saw several manatees coming up for air right next to the dock and was bummed I didn’t have my camera with me but these phone shots turned out okay.
I think the sun was trying to peek out by the time I left.
I was at the Safety Harbor fishing pier for sunrise in the early part of September taking shots of that big orange ball coming up.
At first Brett was like “Maybe you shouldn’t go to the pier in the dark alone.” I knew I wouldn’t be alone since this is a popular spot for sunrises. Not to mention the early joggers that are there. I didn’t realize there would be so many people there but it was a Saturday morning. It had been raining most of the summer and this was one of the first beautiful non-cloudy mornings.
Trying to get creative with different shots.
The sun was up now. I loved the pigeons all lined up on the roof. They had the best spot to watch it come up.
I know I always hate the effort to get out this early in the morning but it was a beautiful sunrise and I still had the whole day to do things.
I don’t get out for sunrise very often. During the week I’m busy with work and on the weekends I’m either heading out to a park to walk to look for birds or sleeping in. In early September I was up on a Saturday with no plans (and sunrise isn’t that early this time of year) so I packed up and headed to Safety Harbor.
You could barely see the sliver of moon high up in the sky. The line between the water and land was turning bright orange.
People were starting to show up to the fishing pier and boats were heading out.
It was such a nice morning out. Birds were cruising back and forth across the pier.
Here it comes! A small orange dot off in the distance. I walked around the park for a while and will post those pictures later.
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.