Aldridge Gardens

Just a few of the beautiful flowers we found at Aldridge Gardens in Birmingham during my visit with my sister. The weather was too beautiful to do anything indoors so we did a quick walk around the gardens before heading to lunch.

They had bee hives with glass sides. It was really cool to see inside the hive, watching the thousands of bees working.

Some of the critters around the lake. More to come on the gardens.

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A turtle convention at the Botanical Gardens

Turtles of all sizes were out basking in the sun in early March.

A beautiful swallowtail posing for me on a blade of grass.

A snowy egret was shuffling his feet trying to scare up a snack while anhingas, both male and females,  were posing all of the gardens.

A young juvenile eagle was flying high up over my head.

Lots of critters at the Florida Botanical Gardens in early March.

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Two lakes in downtown.

One of the black necked swans.

A black swan working on a nest.

A young mute swan.

A young and an old wood stork.

One of the shelducks at Lake Mirror.

A pied grebe hiding in the reeds,

Cormorants and anhingas drying off in the sun. The first bird in the top picture is an anhinga. The rest are cormorants. Anhingas have a straight beak and spear their fish. Cormorants have a curved beak and hook their fish.

Threes a crowd.

All taken at Lake Morton and Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland. The small lakes are just a few minutes apart so it’s easy to do quick walks around both before heading home.

Behind thick glass

Aquarium creatures in the manatee exhibit building.

Turtles swimming around in the manatee exhibit.

Watching pelicans being fed from behind the glass at the under water viewing area at the manatee hospital. It was strange watching from this perspective. Their little feet were going a mile a minute.

It’s not often you get to see a hooded merganser this close. He was swimming close to the window of the under water viewing window.

The Lowry Park Zoo is getting a new water filtration system for the manatee hospital so there are currently no manatees at the zoo. Any injured manatees are now being sent to other manatee rehabbers until their new system is in. Normally you can go underneath and see the injured manatees that are being cared for at the hospital which is part of the zoo.. It’s unfortunate that any people visiting the area are not able to see these big guys up close but the zoo really needed to update its water system. And, it unfortunate that soon it will be installed and there will be new injured manatees swimming around there again. You can read about the hospital here.

After work walk

 A lone sleepy spoonbill along the walking path.

Crazy parrots high up in the trees.

A pelican and anhinga getting ready for bed.

A green heron trying to grab one last bite before dark.

Not sure if these turtles had been napping all day or if they just climbed up to sleep for the night. There’s a fun little floating pad for them to sleep on.

This guy was relaxing.

Clouds rolling in before the sun going down.  A quick walk before dark at the office park near my work right before the time change. No more walks after work until late March.

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My once a year walk around Kapok Park

I had not been to Kapok Park in over a year.  Not much had changed at this tiny park in the middle of a neighborhood. There wasn’t many birds there.  Every once in a while something fairly rare turns up here but not in a while.  Just a bunch of herons there on my visit (Little blue, great blue and night).

The small lake is full of turtles and they always hang out at the boardwalk since people feed them.

I rarely see alligators there but they ARE there.  Any lake in central Florida is going to have a gator hiding somewhere.

Tiny lizard I saw through the boardwalk.

Pretty plants near the lake.

Yes, these dogs are supposed to be on leashes but they were having so much fun and no one else was around early that morning. I wanted to run and play with them.

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