I was heading down to St. Pete and stopped by Crescent Lake Park to see if there were any white pelicans still hanging around. They usually spend a few weeks here in the winter but it’s hit or miss whether they are here or floating in the nearby bay. When I first got out of the car I noticed a few scattered around the lake.
Then I noticed more hanging out in the shade under the big banyan tree. They were all busy preening so they must have just finished a morning swim.
I heard something over my head and looked up and saw this starling sitting in a hole. He might have been checking out the hole for future nesting spots.
This ring billed gull was swimming in the shade near the white pelicans. His red accents really popped in the shade.
After snapping the white pelicans I headed down toward North Shore Park and saw this big tree blooming so I had to pull over and take a shot. This was in mid-February and I had missed it’s full peak but it was still pretty.
All was quiet on the little beach on the bay.
One more stop just south of the St. Pete pier before heading to my chiropractor who’s office is nearby. It was a beautiful cool morning out and was worth leaving an hour early.
I love coming down to North Shore Park to walk. It sits on the bay side of St. Pete and the water is usually pretty calm. There’s a long paved trail that’s always busy with joggers and walkers. Occasionally I find an interesting bird.
Far out across the bay you can barely make out two dolphins coming up for air as they cruise by the pelicans. Even from far away it’s cool to see the dolphins.
The tide was low and the birds were pretty far out in the muck.
It was a two waterfront kind of day in late October. I went for a walk along the waterfront on the bay in downtown St. Pete early in the morning and then went to the Dunedin marina on the gulf side for a sunset walk.
I got to the marina late in the day right as the moon was coming up.
Fun boat at the marina.
This little spot is one of my favorites to catch a sunset. I think it’s also a lot of other people’s spot as well because it can get pretty crowded on the weekends.
Maybe it’s because watching the sunset here makes you feel like you are on vacation. Until you drive home and have to cook dinner and do the dishes. Then back to work the next morning.
The rain was moving in but I wasn’t ready to go home. I was hoping for either lightning pictures or at least a rainbow. I got neither but it was still fun being out. I headed over to tiny park on the other side of the St. Pete Pier. I could see the heavy rain out in the bay towards Tampa.
A pano of the Pier (on the left) to the small private airport tower (on the right). Typical Florida summer day, rain on the left, blue sky on the right.
Turning around I could see the downtown St. Pete skyline.
One sailboat was heading out for the bay. I hope they dodged that storm coming in. It was suppose to rain all day so I was surprised to see them going out.
Across the yacht basin, I could see the big model airplane. A tribute to the first commercial airline that started here.
The tiny beach at North Shore Park, near downtown St. Petersburg was not as welcoming as these pictures look. They had just raked the beach of the dead fish from red tide but the fish were still floating up on the beach. At least the smell wasn’t bad and it was such a beautiful Saturday morning. The storms were coming in a little early since this was right before lunch.
The resident hybrid great egret/great blue heron was lurking around, trying to find a live fish to eat. Most of the birds don’t eat the dead fish but a few do and they get sick. The bird rescues are all full of sick fish from the red tide.
I stopped at Crescent Lake Park on the way home for a quick walk to look for otters. No luck on the otters but I did see the above in the vegetation in the lake. A juvenile little blue heron, a great blue heron, a blue jay, a snowy egret and a green heron.
Another “get out of the house” moment. I headed down to the St. Pete Pier late in the day in early December. I knew it would be crowded but went early enough before the dinner crowd. Standing out on the pier, I could see Tampa across the bay in the bottom shot.
The new cool sculpture on the pier. The first commercial airline started right here back in 1914 with a commercial flight from St. Pete to Tampa with paying customers.
Heading towards the end of the pier.
Looking up at the back of the building on the pier, it looks a little like a space ship.
Looking towards St. Pete, the sun was just starting to go down.
Walking around past the park, I could see a dolphin swimming around by the pier.
Looking out on the bay, the sun had gone down behind me.
As it gets dark, the netting over the grounds before the pier turns pink. The crowds were starting to come in so I headed home for dinner.
Far out in the bay, it was rush hour traffic on a Saturday morning. Lots of boat activity on this beautiful morning.
I found another great blue heron/ great egret hybrid at the small beach near downtown St. Pete.
After a quick walk around North Shore park, I was heading back to my car and saw the above flying into the trees in the parking lot.
All of a sudden, the tree was full of nanday parakeets. Even at the end of summer, they were in pairs and flirting. Maybe they are like humans and flirt all year round instead of just nesting season. Although due to the warm weather most of the year here, nesting season could still be going on. This couple was very affectionate.
The next tree over had monk parakeets in them. This one kept chewing on a branch.
Then his mate flew in and they started preening each other.
There were so many parakeets here on this particular morning that the sound was deafening. The wild parakeets in the area have really taken over. They are very comical to watch and are not skittish at all.
For my Sunday night walk in late July, I decided to go to the new Pier in downtown St. Pete. Brett went with me since he wanted to see it as well. We parked far away behind the Vinoy hotel and tried to stay away from the crowds as we walked around the yacht basin. It was a beautiful night to be out and everyone had the same idea.
The netting over an open field before the pier changes color at night.
Looking down at the pier from the elevated platform. We didn’t walk past this point since the pier building at the end looked very crowded. There are restaurants at the end but you had to have a reservation to go in and masks were required. We thought we would save that for another time.
A pano of the area taken with my phone.
There’s a small public beach right next to the pier.
Looking back at downtown St. Pete, the sun was just starting to go down.
Some of the artwork around the pier area. It was a fun walk and I plan to get back there during the week after work hoping it won’t be so crowded.
After leaving Crescent Lake Park, I headed over to the bay to see what the new St. Pete Pier was going to look like. Last time I was in the area, it looked like a shell. This was before the big opening back in early July. They were still putting the finishing touches on it but it didn’t look like much from across the Vinoy yacht basin.
Above is an old shot of the original pier that I grew up visiting when we came to visit my grandparents. Several functional piers were built in the early 1900’s but the first “attraction” pier was built in 1926. (Pictured below from the St. Pete. Pier History site). It was demolished in 1967 and the new pyramid pier opened in 1973. I also found a mural in downtown St. Pete of the pyramid pier painted on the side of a building.
Zooming in, far out in the bay near the pier, there’s always a lot of activities going on in the water and you can see the Tampa electric plant.