Those crazy Florida skies in August

As August starts to roll around, the summer rains come in. Usually in the late afternoons (although some days the rain can start in the morning and continue all day).Most nights the sun would peek out right before it set which makes for amazing colors through the clouds. I am constantly running outside to check the skies and take pictures. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m crazy. All of the above were taken from my yard with my phone.

I was running errands and caught this tiny lightning bolt walking back to my car. It’s better to run errands on a day like this in August. It’s cooler and less people are out. Although you have to be okay with getting wet if a super soaker happens that even an umbrella won’t help.

Catching a storm coming in at Davis Islands.

While out running errands, I stopped at a fishing pier in the northern part of Tampa bay. This lesser known pier is a great spot to catch the storms rolling in. There wasn’t any lightning from the clouds or else I would not have been out here on the pier. I headed back to my car long before the rain hit.

SkyWatch Friday

Typical Florida weather

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I took a walk on the walking bridge across Tampa Bay recently on a Sunday night. I was traveling light and only took my phone so all of these are phone shots.

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Occasionally you see some critters swimming by. I think this is a cow nose sting ray. They are pretty common in the bay.

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A storm was moving into downtown Tampa but behind me the sun was still out.

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A brief glimpse of the sun before the clouds moved in.

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Then it got bad so I snapped the above and headed back to my car right before it started pouring. This was pretty far away and the picture is cropped up. I would not want to be out on that bridge if the lightning was any closer.

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My first white winged scoter – Skywatch Friday

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After two trips to the little lagoon on the Tampa side of Gandy bridge, I finally saw the white-winged scoter. It’s either a female or juvenile. She’s been there for a while, maybe two months. She was sitting on the little sand bar far out in the lagoon.

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She got up and walked around for a few minutes. These are extremely cropped and it was raining but hey, at least I can finally add this duck to my list.

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I’m not sure what was in this spot many years ago. The lagoon has a concrete wall around it that is falling apart in some places.

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The sun was going down quick and the rain had stopped even though it looked like it would start up again.

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The scoter got in the water and floated around. She was not going to let me get close.

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The shallow area was full of live conch shells.

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Taken with my iphone, a view of the bay from this small park.

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Last shot before dark.

After a week of pouring rain, I stopped by the tiny park and saw the white-winged scoter. It’s a rare sighting for the Tampa bay area. Did she get lost during spring migration? She didn’t look injured. Will she leave and go south for winter? Everyone here is wondering. It was only a drizzle while I was there but it kept others away so I had the whole place to myself. I should stop here more often after work but the bugs were terrible. Worse than the other parks I walk at after work. Maybe in the winter they won’t be so bad.

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Storms in the Tampay Bay area – Skywatch Friday

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I walked out the grocery store and saw this. Of course, no one was running for cover. Everyone was taking pictures of it with their phone cameras. I joined in. I stopped by the grocery store after work on the Monday after the 4th of July. I usually go later in the week but since we had been out of town for the last week we really needed stuff.  It was just a water spout, not a full blown tornado, that had come onto land from the bay which was about a mile away. There had been several water spouts seen in the Tampa Bay area in the last month so no one was completely surprised to see this one.  It hung in the same spot for a few minutes then started to fall apart.

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You can see it starting to fall apart at the bottom. People were heading to their cars at this point. This was my first water spout sighting so it was pretty cool even though I was ready to make a run for the meat locker if it started to move towards us.

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Clouds moving in around the Sunshine Skyway bridge area. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon so I headed to the outlet mall south of Tampa.

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You could see where it was raining on the right side of the bay.

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Coming home from the outlet mall.

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Rain to the left of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

It felt like it rained every day in July. Almost every day anyway. I kept missing great storms for one reason or another. Stuck at work mostly. All of the above were taken with my Iphone. I’m getting hooked on using the panorama feature.

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