A few fun things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
The beautiful silk floss tree that blooms in the fall. I always forget about it the rest of the year since it’s just full of green leaves. I forget about the pink flowers and am always surprised and amazed when I see this tree in late October. This was towards the end of the bloom and the ground was covered in the pink flowers.
Not many birds. A local red belled woodpecker and a wood duck couple.
The above was hanging on a tree in the woods at the gardens. Kind of creepy but also cool.
People come to this lake to feed the ducks and swans but it’s mostly the ibis that get fed. They fly in by the hundreds and attack the person holding the food.
A few random ducks.
You can always find wood ducks at this lake.
There was a pair of coscoroba swans (smaller swan with the bright pink beak) but I think there is now only 1. I think the mute swan has become friends with the coscoroba. They were hanging out together and flirting.
It’s mating and nesting season for the mute swans at Lake Morton.
This couple was hanging out under a tree near the edge of the lake. She wanted to nap and he was getting frisky.
There’s been an explosion of wood ducks at the lakes in downtown Lakeland. Lake Mirror had 3 families with babies and Lake Morton had at least 20 adult wood ducks hanging around. One of the cypress trees had 6 males sleeping up in the trees. Two or three years ago you would be lucky to find more than 3 or 4 at the lakes. I’m not sure why they started hanging out in the busy area, maybe for the handouts.
Baby wood ducks are the cutest duck babies. They have a pretty pale face compared to the mallards which have a lot of pattern on their faces. There were several wood duck families at my favorite lake in Lakeland recently. One of the families with older babies were all napping under a tree. Later, the younger babies were running around chasing after each other and trying to keep up with mom.