Between Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL the city of Largo features among its natural attractions three quite large nature parks and freshwater lakes. Walsingham Park is situated on 354 acres, divided by 100-acre Walsingham Lake and features a boat ramp, fishing, a 6 mile trail and lots of exotic wildlife. Connected to this park and just across the road is the Florida Botanical Gardens which sports 182 acres of nature trails, aquatic habitats, event venues and cultivated gardens. With easy access and parking near most of the shore, Walsingham Lake is perfect for some really unique setups without having to haul your equipment long distances through trees and brush. The lake is teeming with birds, turtles, fish and a few gators so find a comfy, safe spot and get some amazing shots.
Only about a mile away, John S. Taylor park sports a 53 acre lake, boating, trails and frisbee golf. Careful though. A few weeks after I got the shot below of a gator that had to be at least 10 feet long, a frisbee golfer got a face full of alligator while trying to retrieve a frisbee that went into the lake!
There’s just an incredible amount of birdlife in these parks and some like egrets, heron, limpkin and anhinga are quite large and can be approached close enough for spectacular shots even without a super-telephoto lens. The large lakes also make great hunting grounds for osprey which are common in the area nesting sometimes in some very interesting locations as shown in this “Osprey nest” video.
There’s also lots of interesting coastal areas to explore like Sand Key Park, Honeymoon State Island Park and Caladesi State Park so those as well as George C. McGough Nature Park will be on the list for future photo safaris!