Tampa Area Trip Part I: Clearwater Marine Aquarium and More!

I recently returned from visiting my fellow photographer friend Terry in the Tampa, FL area.  We packed a lot of photography into just a few days.  In this first post, I will be sharing photos I took at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, as well as the George C. McGough Nature Park and Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The first morning we went to Indian Rocks Beach where I dipped my toes in the Gulf of Mexico!  Photo credit to Terry.

Next we headed to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  I got to pet a stingray for the first time!  Luckily their stingers had been clipped so they weren't able to sting.

It was hard to get good photos through the glass (ha!) but this turtle came nice and close for me to snap a pic with my 50mm lens.

This is Winter, the famous dolphin who lost her tale and had a prosthetic made for her.  There were two movies made about her, Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2.  Naturally, when I got home I watched them both.

This is Walle, one of the resident river otters.

This is Nicholas the dolphin showing off his skills to guests.  Nicholas and his mother beached themselves when he was just a baby.

Nicholas again.

A staff member gives a presentation featuring one of the resident dolphins.

This is a spotted moray eel.

Next we went to George C. McGough Nature Park in Largo.  It's known as the turtle park for its large population of turtles.

I photographed this monarch butterfly atop a flower.

This is Spice the screech owl.

This is Twain the Mississippi kite.

I photographed these two American kestrels at the information center.

This is Lucy the screech owl.

A short walk from McGough Nature Park is the Florida Botanical Gardens, where I captured the above and below scenes.

Stay tuned for my next post, where I share photos I took of the Gulf Coast sunsets!

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