Working from home

More storms were coming in mid-July. It had been raining for days and Thunderstorm Elsa was about to hit the Tampa bay area in the middle of the night. Earlier in the afternoon, it had been upgraded to a Hurricane 1 but we got lucky and the storm fell apart right before it hit and we only got rain. Two days before, the city was getting ready for the storms and moved all of the cranes working along the Howard Frankland bridge closer into the bay. They tied them all together to create one big crane raft. It was weird to see driving across the bridge. I crossed this bridge everyday for 18 years going to work but now I rarely do since I’ve been working from home.

With all of the rain we had, mushrooms were popping up everywhere around the  neighborhood. The orange ones were in our mulch.

This guy was squirming his way across the driveway.

One morning before work I went for a quick walk in the neighborhood. I saw this muscovy duck sitting high up in a tree. I’ve seen them in trees before but not usually that high up. Then I saw the egg sitting right where the branches split off. Sadly it probably fell at some point.

Back at my house, we had 4 ducks hanging out in our backyard for several days. I think they were looking for fallen bird seed. The doves usually eat that pretty quick so there isn’t much left for the ducks.

While sitting at my desk in the bedroom I had been seeing this lizard walking across the screen almost every day for a week. She has that same short tail so I knew it was the same one. She kept me company for a while. Of course one day I had to stand up and snap a picture.

Then one day I saw this. I guess she found a boyfriend. After this I didn’t see her again. I miss that short tailed lizard.

At lunch I can usually catch squirrels chasing each other across our screened porch. While it’s cute, long term they can do damage to the screens so I try and chase them off but it doesn’t always work.

I’m still working from home. We were suppose to go back in the office, at least part time, in the middle of this month but it has been pushed out to early 2022. I don’t miss sitting in traffic, especially crossing that bridge for 45 minutes every night. If it was crawling, I would look for dolphins or count the osprey eating fish on the light posts (22 was the highest count several years ago). I don’t miss seeing my co-workers since we have video calls on Teams several times a day.

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Saturday morning at the botanical gardens

Pretty things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo at the end of May.

Little critters.

Squirrels were busy eating fruit all over the gardens.

The squirrel in the two bottom pictures were eating the above. A lychee tree.  My husband grew up eating his Mom’s homemade lychee ice cream but you don’t really see it here in central Florida.

A very young titmouse was following Mom around. She was trying to get him to feed himself but he just kept yelling for her to feed him.

A green heron creeping along a branch in the parking lot.

The sun coming through a papaya tree.

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Are there babies yet?

The trees were still bright red in early February, showing a pop of color across the pond.

The usual birds were still at Possum Branch Preserve. A grebe and a tricolored heron were easy to photograph.

We had a new visitor to the pond. A few glossy ibis showed up. It’s the first time I’ve seen a glossy ibis in this part of Pinellas county and the first I’ve heard of one being at this pond. They were pretty skittish but one let me get some good shots when I hid behind the tree. He was busy eating the pond bugs.

I stopped by a nearby park to see if the great horned owls were still nesting. It was quiet this morning and the other photographers there thought there were babies but no one has seen them yet. I was thinking it was a little early anyway. When I got home and cropped up the shot of the mom sleeping in the nest, I could just make out some white fuzz under her chin so there was at least one baby in the nest. It was going to be a while before we really got to see anything.

Dad was on a branch farther up the tree.

Some cute little squirrels were hiding in a tree nearby.

More shots to come of the baby owls and those cute little squirrels from a later trip.

My Corner of the World

One last visit to the turtle pond.

The squirrels were getting frisky in late May at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Not many birds at the gardens. A pileated woodpecker and a young moorhen.

Grasshoppers are everywhere right now. They can wipe out a plant in no time. You can see them eating the leaves in both of these shots.

It was a quiet morning at the gardens but I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so I went for a quick walk at nearby McGough Park and to visit the turtles there. Most of the trails here are very narrow so I stayed off those to keep away from having to pass people. I probably won’t make it back to this park until next spring.

The wooden owl in the parking lot.

My Corner of the World

A quiet morning at Chesnut Park.

The baby deer from this summer were almost grown up in late mid October. You can barely see the spots on the first two.

The squirrels were busy eating.Some had better snacks than others.

The usual birds were chilling or hanging.

The day after we got back from Boston I was craving a walk in woods so I headed out for Chesnut Park near my house. Back to my shorts and tshirt routine. And now it’s December 2nd and I feel like I should be posting pictures of snow or Christmas decorations but it ‘s just another day in paradise here in central Florida.

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Tiny critters in the flowers and the trees.

Lots of tiny critters in the flowers at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The squirrels were busy eating.

A young mockingbird sitting high up in the trees. Not many other birds out in early September.

A flock of anhingas go flying by overhead.

It was hot. The gardens were very quiet with only a few tiny flying critters but I got a good 2 hour walk in that morning.

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Carrying a heavy load

Someone was feeding the wildlife peanuts from their car in the parking lot at Chesnut Park recently. Several titmouse came down to the ground to get the peanuts. They were all able to get that big load up in the tree to snack on.

 

Squirrels were taking off with the loot as well.

One titmouse was showing off his prize up in the tree.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Breakfast time at Chesnut Park

Someone had been to the boardwalk before me this morning and left food for the little birds but it was the squirrels who were having a feast.

The deer were grazing along the drive when I got there.

The bunnies were feasting as well.

Looks like the cardinals were also pigging out.

There are signs that say “Do not feed the wildlife” but someone puts out seed early in the morning on the weekends. I get to the park by 8am so someone must be there right as the sun is coming up. I wouldn’t be telling on anyone even if I did see them.

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Twins

Mom was napping close to the trail.

The barred owl twins were close by, very curious about everything.  They were checking out every bird, butterfly or bee that came by. They were only a short time away from fledging, days or maybe a week.

A ruby throated hummingbird was sitting on a nest near the nature center. It looked like a bug sitting on top of a golf ball with the naked eye.

The squirrels were being their usual cute selves.

A walk through Lettuce Lake Park in late March.

On the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve

The squirrels were busy grooming and eating.

Plants along the trail.

Roadblock on the trail. I was almost all the way down Marsh Rabbit Run trail when I saw this. My choices were to sit and wait and see if he moves or turn around and go back. I sat down on trail for about 15 minutes when a park ranger came from the other side of the trail in a cart and spooked the gator off the trail. The park ranger said he slept there for over 2 hours the day before. I probably would have given up and turned around after half an hour if the ranger hadn’t come by. That little moorhen was not as close as it looks in the shot. He was busy preening and ignoring the gator.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World