a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, nature, perseverance, photography

Christmas at the botanical gardens….

There were actual Christmas decorations and Christmas trees to enjoy, but it was the abundance of red flowers at the botanical garden that put me in the spirit.

Not all the flowers were red however. And I enjoy the overall beauty of the place more than anything.

I wish a Merry Christmas to all, and a fresh start to a kinder, gentler New Year, at least I hope so…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, boats, butterflies, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

Birds on the beach…

Among my recent adventures was another trip to the Seacoast Seabird Sanctuary. We were nearby and my friend hadn’t yet had a chance to go there, so off we went. It is fun to see birds up close, especially knowing that these birds aren’t able to live in the wild for one reason or another. There is beach access from the sanctuary, and as you can see the summer crowds are gone, and perhaps the influx of winter visitors will also be fewer this year. Conversation yesterday revealed that lots of people don’t expect much improvement in the COVID-19 situation in 2021, which I hope is an exaggeration but I suspect it may be true. The lack of tourists might make for nice photos, but our economy is suffering. I’m sure that we will make it through this, but for now we just have to plod along. And mask up.

They sky has been dramatic lately, prettier than the camera wants to see it in these pictures. I love to see sky reflected in the water. And a butterfly, because it was there…

a second look, butterflies, fantasy images, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, simple things, weather

Fall in Florida…

There has been lots of fall foliage in my Facebook feed lately, but mostly from New England and Michigan. And just today my Facebook memories reminded me of the trees I used to see on my way home from work that I used to claim as fall color, Florida style. So today I rode up to Spring Hill to find the trees, and then headed to the botanical garden to see what was blooming.

I think the color of the trees disappointed me a little, it’s more brown than red. I think that the glimpse of those trees that you see behind houses, or hidden among other trees, always seems to be brighter fall colors. But when I haven’t been up north for a while it feels like fall to me.

The botanical garden was a surprise today. It was early and the flowers were plentiful and loaded with water droplets, and butterflies.

That orange butterfly must have been hungry because he let me get a lot of photos of him. And one photo was straight down on his back, and when I viewed it blown up in the computer all I could do was say, “Boo!” Halloween will be here soon…

And while I was zooming and cropping I loved these droplets too!

'scene' along the way, adventure, bugs, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography

Into the woods…

I tagged along with my friends into the woods at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife preserve yesterday, which always involves lots of fun. And bugs, lots of bugs. We took pictures of some of them and swatted many more.

And not only bugs, we also found a deer, a fox squirrel, and we had to search but we did find the baby alligators we were looking for. I can almost say that they are cute, but they are alligators so they won’t be cute for long. And they were calling for their mother, I think we were distressing them. We didn’t see her though, but chances are good that she wasn’t far away.

You do have to wonder what happened here. Maybe someone was extra anxious to jump in the water at Eagle’s Nest for some scuba diving. Or something like that…

a second look, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, lizards, losing it, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Marching ants…

Excuse me for using a Photoshop/Lightroom term simply to amuse myself.  I didn’t notice the ants on that flower bud, my friend did.  But I did like how clearly the ants showed up in the viewer of my camera once I did see them.  I have no clue what they were doing, but they sure looked busy.

It poured on Tuesday morning, and the thought of rain drops on the flowers at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens was what got me out the door as soon as the sun came out.  Raindrops, flowers, butterflies, and lizards were everywhere, perfect fodder for a couple of photographers who were getting antsy (pun intended) being stuck at home.

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So I googled ants and bromeliads and you are going to have to trust me that the ants provide nutrients for the plants.  Or google it.  If you do then maybe you can explain it to me because it was way over my head…

a second look, butterflies, fun, gardens, life goes on, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

The good sport…

This butterfly is the last of the pictures I took the other day at the botanical garden.  He was last because he teased me the entire time I was there, zooming past but never lighting anywhere for long enough for me to get a picture.  Maybe he wore himself out because when I was ready to leave he showed up and stayed put.  I took pictures immediately, even though it wasn’t the best angle for taking a picture.  But facing away from me as in the feature photo we can see that he seems to have been through some hard times.  A big chunk of his left wing is missing, both top and bottom.  I doesn’t seem to have slowed him down any though.  And he hung around long enough to let me circle around him for some different angles for photos.  What a good sport he turned out to be after all.

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