Colors in the 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.

A little blue heron on our neighbor’s dock.

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Always a perfect sunset

Nothing says Florida like a walk around a marina especially right before sunset. If you want to get a good sunset spot here, you have to get here early.

This was actually back in late October when I headed out for a long walk before sunset at the Dunedin marina. Even thought it sits on the intercoastal waterway and Clearwater beach is across the water, the sunsets here draw a large crowd. There was still plenty of room around the pier and marina the night I was there. It’s totally worth getting up off the couch on a late Sunday afternoon and driving 30 minutes away.

Since parking is hard to find around the marina, a lot of people who live close by have golf carts. It’s easier to get a spot for dinner at the nearby restaurants. The one above was decorated and they were very friendly, talking to everyone. I had to take a picture.

It was time to start hiking back to my car but I turned around and took one more shot.

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Late day walk at the pier.

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.

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Sandcastles

This was one of those “got to get out of the house” moments. I had read there was a sandcastle exhibit taking place in late November and of course it was a beautiful day so I headed out to the beach late in the afternoon. The area that had the food and booze tents were packed with people so I stayed away and wandered over to the sandcastles. While they looked really cool, I have to wonder if they are permanent sculptures made out of sand and put on the sand for the event. They looked different from the ones I’ve seen before at the judged events. Almost as if they had been made somewhere else and plopped down here.

The sun was starting to come down late in the day.

There were lots of kites on the beach.

On the way home, I stopped by the famous “chicken’ church. I had recently heard about it and it’s located a block away from the main street on the beach. The way the windows are placed on the tower does remind you of a chicken. It’s a cute little church.

Driving back over to the mainland, there’s a small park along the water and I got out for a few minutes to walk around before heading home. There were several damaged boats that are still stranded from Hurricane Eta that came through in early November including one that was half under water.

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Sunset in the fall.

I peeked out the window right after work and saw the sun out with no clouds which hadn’t happened in a while so I jumped in my car with my camera and headed out to Cypress Point. It was a nice cool breezy night out.

The sun was going down on the picnic area.

The tide was really low so I could go behind this little tree area.

This is the perfect time of year here. Cool weather, low tides so you can walk out far and clear skies.

Heading back to my car right before the end, I turned around and took this with my phone.

Out and about one afternoon

I headed out to Fort Desoto late in the afternoon in early November. There wasn’t a lot of birds around later in the day but it was a beautiful afternoon.

Way out in the bay,

The sun was started to get lower at my favorite spot.

I drove over to the gulf pier before leaving.

Looking back at the old smoke stack.

Silhouettes of birds flying near the pier.

The sun still had a ways to go and I had to get home so I quickly snapped the above.

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Trying to get sunset pictures

I ran out after work to try and get some sunset pictures since it was sunny at my house but 15 minutes away and the clouds were out. I thought I would try and work on my long exposure shots but couldn’t seem to get them right. The shots were either too dark and the water didn’t look like silk or they were too blown out. I didn’t really like any of the ones I came home with. Going to try again when the sun it out.

Trying not to step on the horseshoe crabs coming up in the tide.

I do like this shot, taken from the parking lot.

I took this pano with my phone.

Later that week I went out to Sand Key and the sun hid from me again.  A cloudy time on the beach is still better than being at home!

 

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Backyard visitors in October

Some of the birds visiting my feeder in the backyard. I usually only get house sparrows and blue jays but the woodpecker was fun to see.

The common ground dove was waiting his turn for the feeder. I’ve since redone that hanging plant with mums.

Once in a while I get a cardinal as well.

Other bigger birds cruising by were a little blue heron, a white ibis on my neighbor’s broken dock and a great blue heron. All of the above were taken through the bedroom window.

When I saw the osprey on my neighbor’s sailboat mast, I ran out and took the picture from the backyard. For years there was an osprey that slept on the mast every night but she hadn’t been doing do that for about 2 years. Just recently one has been stopping by for a while during the day. I wonder if it’s the same bird.

Things growing in the yard including the pink muhly grass in front of our screened porch.

Sunset in the back yard.

Sunday night walk in Dunedin

I headed over to Dunedin fairly early for a long walk in late September. It was a hot sunny night. At least there was a breeze coming off the water.

The building above was built in 1927 and had been many things including several hotels up until the 60’s, It became Trinity Collage until 1988. It’s now run by the Marriott Corporation under the Fenway Hotel name.

It’s always a beautiful walk along the water here.

The pier is a perfect place to catch the sunset.

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Rain or sun?

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.

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