Spring is here! I was wondering if it would ever arrive. Just over 10 days ago we had freezing temperatures – coldest in 9 years they said! I have proof in photos as I will post in my spring album. Now temperatures are in the perfect 70’s. It has been very nice to be able to walk Bo later in the evenings with dusk falling near 6:45 in the evening. Tonight we saw the bats emerging from the bat house near the fishing pier at Al Lopez Park where we have been walking the past few evenings. We counted 7 of them in the time we were standing there (about 6:40 pm). It is good to know that the bats have taken up home in these bat houses, built during the demolition of the old Buccaneers Stadium. Thousands of bats lost their homes and their lives when the old stadium was torn down. They even haulted the demolition for a few days and tried to do most of it after dusk to save as many bats as they could. We have to be grateful for these flying critters here in Florida as they eat hundreds of bugs (even mosquitos) every night.
Another patron at the park found a few fish carcasses along the shore of the lake at Al Lopez park. They were probably suffering from the cold conditions and scooped up for dinner by the local racoons. The photos also in the spring album on this site show how large the plecostomus (or commonly known as the common algae sucker) can get in the right environment. This fish is commonly sold in aquarium shops and is native to South America. They can grow up to 2 ft. and can be territorial. You can see many of them in the Hillsborough River at the bend near the campground area of Hillsborough River State Park.
I love walking through the forest in the spring, so many plants are blooming, it seems like all are brushing off the drab of winter. The frost hit Tampa hard, but the forested areas seem to have taken the cold well. I have posted a few photos of the plants coming out of thie winter hibernation and even a few photos of the lovely birds that can be seen at the park.