It was early December and I was ready for another morning out with my camera. My first stop was the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. I ended up only taking a few pictures while I was there. I was busy looking for birds of which I found none.
I left the gardens and stopped at nearby McGough Park to see if there were any birds there. No birds but a lot of other critters. The bees have taken over this owl nest box.
A few of the turtles in the turtle pond.
Some of the permanently injured animals that live here (the nature center here houses animals that cannot be released back into the wild). Both owls had injured eyes.
On the way home I stopped at the Largo Nature Preserve and did find a few birds here. You can usually find limpkins along the boardwalk here and they are use to people walking by. This one was sitting on the railing and made no attempt to move as I walked by. This is not cropped.
Not surprised to find the usual birds here. A blue gray gnatcatcher, a black and white warbler and a yellow rumped warbler.
Another usual bird, a pine warbler, was pigging out on caterpillars. He ate several while I was snapping and I was lucky enough for him to show them to me.
This beautiful hanging orchid plant was blooming in mid-April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
I love these spikey pods that bust open and are filled with fuzz. I still can’t figure out what these are.
A butterfly had landed high up on this silk floss tree.
Tiny critters in the butterfly garden. There were a lot of monarch caterpillars on the big milkweed plant. I think the bottom caterpillar is an orange barred sulfur butterfly.
Usual birds here are the dove and the brown thrasher.
And of course I can’t walk by and not take pictures of the wood ducks floating around. This time I also saw some on the fence.
A crow flying by with an egg in his beak. Probably a turtle egg.
I stopped at nearby Largo Nature Preserve after leaving the botanical gardens and it was pretty quiet there. I did notice some heads sticking out of holes in some dead trees near the parking lot. A screech owl had been nesting in one. I never made it back here to see if there were any babies. A red bellied woodpecker was checking out the other hole. Probably just started to work on a nest.
I went to visit the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo in early November to see one of my favorite trees. The huge silk floss tree was bursting with pink blooms. It’s weird to see all of these blooming pink flowers in November, even in central Florida. Even the birds like the tree.
Other flying critters.
A scarecrow was still guarding the pond.
There was a crew there putting up Christmas lights in the trees. It takes them so long to decorate the gardens that they start early.
A few fun things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
The beautiful silk floss tree that blooms in the fall. I always forget about it the rest of the year since it’s just full of green leaves. I forget about the pink flowers and am always surprised and amazed when I see this tree in late October. This was towards the end of the bloom and the ground was covered in the pink flowers.
Not many birds. A local red belled woodpecker and a wood duck couple.
The above was hanging on a tree in the woods at the gardens. Kind of creepy but also cool.