Late August into early September brought some beautiful skies to our neighborhood. These were taken with my phone from the front yard or the backyard. The rainbows always end up in the backyard since the storms usually come late in the day and the sun is setting from the front. We were getting them almost every day for a week.
I was out for an early morning walk and stopped by RE Olds Park (named after Ransom Olds who invented the Oldsmobile and developed what is Oldsmar now) to see if there were any storm clouds moving in. After walking the pier I looked up in the big tree at the end of the pier and saw an eagle sitting there. I was bummed I didn’t have my camera. I took the above with my phone. I was glad to see it back here. Last fall I saw them here pretty regularly.
The storms were far away this morning but I could see a little bit of lightning so I didn’t stay long on the pier. They were coming off the gulf coast.
A few days later I stopped by the pier again with my camera and of course there was no sign of the eagle. This time there were storms out in the bay and over land. The sun was out over the park but there wasn’t any rainbows.
I caught some great blue herons cruising by.
I was surprised to find black terns here. I’ve only seen them at Gandy beach before. There was a small flock of them flying around trying to get bait fish. They were in all stages of molting with a few still having mostly black feathers. By now they are somewhere in South America for the winter.
A pelican with a pouch full of bait fish.
A creepy mangrove crab was walking along the railing.
The clouds started to move in on my early morning walk at the Dunedin marina. The wind had cooled the air down so I wasn’t in a hurry to get home.
I could see it raining far out in the gulf. I decided to head south down the beach to see what storms I could find.
I stopped at Sand Key Park, just south of Clearwater Beach. The sun was out over the beach but a nasty storm was heading inland quickly. I didn’t see any lightning but here that can change in a second so I didn’t stay long. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any rainbows.
Heading back over the mainland, the storms stayed right behind me.
I stopped at the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home. The clouds were just rolling in here.
Usual visitors to the backyard including a Carolina wren, a titmouse, a chickadee and a very young bluebird.
I caught a great crested flycatcher getting a drink at the bird bath. You can see a little bit of orange in her tail feathers in the bottom picture.
Brett yelled from upstairs (I was in the kitchen) “Look out the back window.” I grabbed my camera and ran outside to get a shot of this guy on the fairway. Even though my camera was in my backpack in the closet, as soon as I ran outside the lens fogged up. I stood there for a few minutes and then this was the only shot I got before some golfers came through and he took off.
Caution – beetle porn. I saw these 2 on the window sill and had to go out and get a shot. The green beetles are native to Florida and are harmless.
My jaw dropped when I saw this out of the back window. I took this shot from inside as they cruised across our little backyard.
As they were leaving the yard I ran outside and got the above. They made their way down the back of our townhomes, towards the woods at the end. What a treat to have 5 baby turkeys in your backyard
Shots from my backyard on different nights in the last few months. The pink and purple ones are from the same night (and I did not change those colors). It was from right before the storm came in and then you can see the rain moving down the channel. Even though we can see all of the neighbor’s yards, we have a great view of the sunset.
We had a male house finche at our feeder for several days in April. This was the first time in years that I had seen one here.
Starlings have been nesting in our neighbor’s boat lift. I think this is a young one. They usually hit the grass when the babies are first flying and pick out all of the bugs but lately we’ve been getting a lot at the feeder.
Storms were coming on a Saturday morning in mid-February. I still had to get out so I headed down to Fort Desoto and brave the weather (to really look for some owls). The clouds were starting to roll in when I stopped at the bay fishing pier. The wind was blowing so hard that there were no one out fishing. Walking halfway out I saw a common loon all alone. I was hoping he would get closer but he stayed pretty far out.
A great blue heron flying in and landing in front of me.
A cormorant sitting in front of the bridge.
White ibis fly by in front of the clouds.
I headed up to north beach to look for shorebirds but only kiteboarders were there. The sun was trying to peak out but it didn’t for long.
In the other direction, a kite surfer was struggling to stay up.
Back at the gulf pier, the storms were coming in from the south and it started to sprinkle so I pulled my umbrella out of my backpack and walked around a little while longer before heading home in the rain. Even on a dark cloudy day this is a magically place (unless you are just looking to get tan).
I needed to get out of the house and go for a short walk so I headed down to Fort Desoto to walk out on the fishing pier. It was a dark and windy late morning and was threating to rain so there wasn’t a lot of people out.
The laughing gulls were driving the pelicans crazy. They would wait until the pelican had a scoop full of fish in their beaks and then try and steal one from them. Or at least catch any smaller fish that fell out of the pelican’s mouth.
A willet on the jetti.
Far down on the beach, I could see a wedding taking place. Looks like it had just ended. Good thing since it was starting to drizzle.
Kiteboarders were having fun at the other end of the park facing the Skyway bridge. I don’t often see girls kiteboarding but the one in the bottom shot was keeping up with the boys.
The rain was starting to move in so I headed home.
At the end of October, before the time changed, I could get out for a quick walk after work before dark. I headed over Safety Harbor hoping to get some lightning shots. I could see the storms south of the causeway but they were heading towards Tampa.
Since it was low tide, there were a few birds walking around in the muck right off the fishing pier, probably eating crabs.
The mangrove crabs are very skittish but I manage to catch a few of them scurrying away.
The big beautiful oak tree in front of the library. There’s usually a lot of people in the tiny park here but I think the threat of storms kept everyone at home.
Walking around by the yacht basin, I saw an eagle sitting on one of the poles. I was able to snap the above before he took off. I know they nest near Philippe Park north of here but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one in the fishing pier area.
Even though lights were showing the way to the boardwalk, it was starting to drizzle so I headed home.
It looked like there were some good storms heading toward the beach in late September so I headed out after work to Clearwater Beach and Sand Key Beach. Stopping along the causeway I could see rain across the intercoastal waterway.
I got over to Sand Key and there were a few people on the beach but it was pretty deserted. It was late in the day so without the sun out for a sunset, most people went home. There were some cool clouds out in the water but I didn’t see any lightening at all. Another reason to stay close to the bathrooms in the parking lot. Those bolts could have hit at any time. There were still a few people sitting out right in front of the water.
The sun peaked out a few times and I turned around hoping to see a rainbow but that didn’t happen as well.
The storm was moving quickly so I headed back to my car.
I stopped at the marina that sits next to the bridge to walk around and watch the storm move in. It was nice to get out and walk around before dinner.
I wanted to get out of the house on a Sunday early evening so I headed over to the Courtney Campbell Causeway walking trail. When I got out of the car, there were 3 spoonbills feeding right along the trail. I was wishing I had my long lens but I was traveling light so shot the above with my phone.
Halfway across I could see a storm coming into the bay so I was walking pretty fast.
Almost back to my car and the storms moved over near my neighborhood.
I made it to sunset without getting rained on. The sun peaked out right before it went down. Over to the right, I could see it raining in my neighborhood.