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A clean slate…

One day ends…

Another day begins…

A clean slate…

The usual morning crew, plus one…

This hawk has been sitting on various lamp posts and sounding off when I’ve been walking in this neighborhood. Finally I was able to get a picture, though not such a great one with the phone. I love the phone but there are limits to the pictures you can get with it.

This Great Blue Egret finally emerged from the shadows and posed for me.

And when you are reading this we will already be heading out on our next adventure. I’m listening to torrential rain as I’m writing this, and hoping for better weather in the morning. What will the day bring I wonder?

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Be creative…

There was a new message waiting for me at the park this morning. I heartily agree with the message, and even the spelling was creative. I could have called this post ‘the blue hour’, or even simply, Happy Halloween, but my little creative friend won my heart today.

Yesterday I saw the family putting this display up, and when we came home last night I didn’t think a photo would work in the dark. But this morning I realized that the iPhone would work well enough, so I walked up the street to check it out.
I loved the horse best…
I guess this is why they call it the blue hour.
Still water makes for great reflections.
The few clouds that were there certainly got pretty. And the birds were arriving as I was heading back.
All in all another pretty morning.
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Making do…

All day the plan was to go to Dunedin for dinner, plus take in the sunset of course. But as the day went on the clouds got heavier and it started to rain. Much too late to go anywhere we saw that the clouds were breaking up a bit, so we went out in the drizzle and got some shots.

I see the raindrops in this picture when I look at it on my huge computer screen.
This turtle is enormous, we decided that he thought we might have a goodie for him. We didn’t.
This duck was probably thinking the same thing. She also was out of luck.

Later I saw pictures of the sunset from Dunedin and it was very nice. We missed a chance, but maybe it will work out next time.

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It was beach-y…

,With day after day of rain, and a potential tropical storm ready to make landfall in a couple of days, I thought I’d lose my mind if I didn’t get out and go somewhere. To the beach, I thought. Dramatic clouds at the beach could be nice, especially when you are desperate. But then we remembered that the Skimmer chicks might be seen at the beach, so off we went with that vague notion and yet we managed to find them. It was a beautiful day, so unexpected, and with a great photo op to boot.

Skimmers on the beach. This row of adults will attract the babies when they are old enough, and thus they will learn to fly and fish for their dinner.
The nesting area is cordoned off, and a helpful volunteer gave us the run down on the nests. Which are just depressions in the sand where they lay their eggs, but in a spot vulnerable to people as well as predators.
Someone is looking for mommy.
And looking some more.
Found her.
Sounding off.
And a black crowned night heron at the sanctuary.
This eagle lives at the sanctuary also.
And a resident White Pelican.

The skimmer chicks will be susceptible to the storm, so we have to hope that it doesn’t hit with a lot of force when it gets here. Let’s all cross our fingers…

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Wishful thinking…

There is a consistency to my vague desire to find the perfect place to live these days. Aside from the basic affordability, the most important, and unobtainable, wished-for aspect, I want built-in photo ops on my doorstep. With that in mind downtown Lakeland might be just the spot for me.

Who wouldn’t love to have this park right outside their front door?
Each year they have an event where they capture, band, and give veterinary check -ups to the resident swans at the lake. TV coverage of the event this year was how I knew the swans were even there.
While swans are always lovely, I don’t know if I would have wanted to stop here on our way home, very loosely ‘on our way home’, were it not for knowing that they had black swans here. Now seeing them was worth the extra mileage.
These were a treat to see.
A youngster perhaps, judging by the lighter feathers?
I think that this one was preparing to audition for Swan Lake.
And a snowy egret in her golden slippers. She didn’t seem to mind being out numbered by her bigger feathered friends.

Birds do seem to dominate the Florida photo-op scene, don’t they? I’m lucky to live here where affordability is at least possible. Not to mention the photo ops.

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Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive…

Years ago a friend had lived in the vicinity of Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive but had never visited the area, so we decided to correct that oversight yesterday. You might think that such an overcast day wouldn’t have been the best day to go, but we weren’t baking in the sun plus there was a great breeze, so it turned out to be a perfect day.

The terrain is flat, and there is no relief from the sun.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the area.
We were in and out of the car as we stopped for pictures while we made our way around the loop.
You might have guessed that alligators would be plentiful there.
Dragonflies were plentiful too, but they didn’t stop long at all.
And the graceful egrets were in attendance.
There were egrets around every bend in the road.
Red-winged blackbirds aren’t so easily spotted, so I was pleased to get a photo.
Great blue herons were well represented also.
We stopped for lunch at a conveniently placed picnic area. Others preferred sushi.
This female grackle watched over the action.
Aside from this squabble it was a nice, peaceful day out in nature after several days of rainy weather.