Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gopher Tortoise





As the sign suggests these Gopher Tortoises really were everywhere along the dunes.  I passed at least 5 different tortoise on my walk.  They dig burrows in the sand and weren't so shy that I couldn't get a few photos.  This guy, in particular, did not seem to notice or care how many people walked by while he had his dinner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Barefoot Beach




We really put every moment of our trip to Florida to good use.  So much so that we really came home from our holiday needing a holiday.  But as I look back through my photos I don't regret a moment.  These are from a little beach near our hotel, Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park.  We had to travel through swank housing on a private drive to get to it.  I thought I might be hunted down if I took any photos of the fancy houses along the road so I kept the camera put away until we got to the beach itself.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Champs



This year has been so incredibly busy.  I think our activities are winding down, giving way to free time and relaxation, hopefully.  Here are images from Indoor Champs.  They came in 3rd place this year, a lovely end to a great season. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Study in Grey




As winter started to wrap up I noticed a definite pattern.  First of all, I'm teaching Mon-Thurs at 8am so I did most of my walking this winter on Friday mornings.  The last month or so it would be bright, sunny, and even warm on say, Tuesday, and cold dark and raining on Friday.  I'm pretty sure this happened every week for the whole month of March.  As a result I saw a lot at the refuge but didn't have much light to record it.  But the light works for a situation like this.  I do love these tangles of grass.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Keeping Up




It seems like all winter I was struggling to find images to blog and now with the huge influx of Florida photos and spring arriving here I can't keep up.  But as I'm sorting and organizing I find a few more photos of winter to post.  And as I struggle to breathe in the heavily pollinated air I think back to how nice it was to walk in the snow.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Barred Owl





I was able to find a lot of the birds I hoped to find in Florida while I was planning my trip.  I had read about a Barred Owl's nest at Corkscrew before arriving so this was something I wanted to see.  We found it because of the collection of people standing below.  They were discussing the absence of the "limbing" out juveniles.  We say "branching" in these parts.  But anyway they all walked off without finding the young owl.  As soon as they walked away the  epiphytic plant on the branch above shook out it's feathers.  The owl had been sitting above our heads the whole time.  I later saw the adult which I found when it began to call, a thrilling sound, but never got a good shot of it. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Red-shouldered Hawk




Just around the corner from the Painted Buntings we spied this Red-shouldered Hawk, two actually, and a nest.  The nest was not so high off the ground, much closer than any I'd seen before.  The hawks seem unperturbed by the people on the boardwalk and went about their hunting and feeding business.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Painted Bunting




A whole slew of photographers hovered around this feeder not far from the entrance of Corkscrew Swamp.  These Painted Bunting were totally worth the wait.  An Indigo Bunting also darted in and out.  You know you are going to have a good hike when you start this something this great.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Horned Grebe





The wind blew this Horned Grebe right to me all the way across the impoundment on Saturday.  He's transitioning into breeding plumage which I sure would like to see. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary






Today is my Mom's birthday and to celebrate we can look at some of the photos I took at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary which my Mom said I absolutely could not miss.  It was a great preserve and possibly the longest boardwalk I've hiked.