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The Daily Bucket is a regular series from the Backyard Science group. Here we talk about Mother Nature in all her glory, especially the parts that live nearby. So let us know (as close as you are comfortable) where you are and what's going on around you. What's the weather like? Seen any interesting plants, bugs or critters? Are there birds at your feeders? Deer, foxes or peahens in your yard? Seen any cool rocks or geological features? Post your observations and notes here. And photos. We like lots of photos.  :)
Located just outside St Pete, Florida, the Pinellas County Botanical Gardens and Arboretum has 25 different themed gardens in its 150 acres, including palms, tropical fruits, wetlands, Florida natives, and the Wedding Garden, ranging from formal stylized gardens to wild nature trails. It's also a great spot to see wading birds and other wildlife.

Some photos from a recent visit:

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Pine forest area.

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Formal Garden

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Dolphin Fountain

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Palm Trees

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Moorhen dabbling for plants

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Little Blue Heron

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I thought this Anhinga may have speared more fish than he could handle . . .

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 . . but with some tossing and bashing and footwork, he managed to swallow it without choking.

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Brown Anole lizard, an invasive species

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Green Anole lizard, our native species

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Swallowtail Butterfly

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Coontie, a type of cycad. The Seminole Indians made flour from its roots.

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I'm not too up on my wildflowers, but I think this is a Spiderwort.  (Most of the plants at the garden are identified, but this was in the wild area.)

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A youngling Bald Cypress Tree

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Immature banana bunch

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Papayas

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A colorful Bromeliad fruit

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Water Lily

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Queensland Bottle Tree. Not hard to see how this got its name.

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Distinctive bark of the Gumbo Limbo Tree

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Bottle-Brush Tree

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Marlberry

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Plumbago

And now it's your turn--let us know what's going on in your neck of the woods.  :)

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