Last visit to my favorite place for a while!

In early March I hurt my back and ended up with a compression fracture. I had to take it easy for a while and after two weeks without long walks in a park I decided to take a road trip across central Florida to look for the whooping cranes. I figured it was easy to sit in a car and I’ve been saying I was going to go over there but just never took the time. This was also right before the big lock down. On the way home I decided to stop at Circle B Bar Reserve for a quick walk even if it was just a few minute in the parking lot. I felt pretty good (was wearing a back brace around my waist) so I walked a little ways down the main trail. It felt good to be out. I’m glad I made the effort because they closed the reserve down the next week for a while. I found the whooping cranes, more on those later. Above are sandhill cranes that were right up on the trail.

Lots of the usual birds there including the great blue heron yelling at an intruder.

It must have been soft shell turtle day because I saw three different ones on my short walk. They were up on the trail. They are usually skittish but one stopped for a pose.

I’m going to miss the tree twins.

A small part of the marsh at Circle B Bar Reserve on a beautiful day.

My Corner of the World

A typical January walk

Heading out on the trails, something flushed a flock of ibis across the marsh.

A perfect morning in January, cold and clear.

Morning glories along the trail.

The usual birds.

Crazy face hiding in the bushes.

Right over the trail, this osprey was eating fish.

A typical morning walk at Circle B Bar Reserve.

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The old trees at the Reserve

I was looking through some old folders recently and came across some pictures I had taken of the great old trees at Circle B Bar Reserve. Some have changed a lot, some have not changed at all and some are gone.  The ones above were taken in December, 2010. They were full of wood storks and the marsh was full of coots. We rarely see coots there now.

The same tree, taken this past December.

Same trees as the first two pictures, taken in January of 2013.

The trees in the fog, taken in December of 2017.

This was taken in 2009. I loved the old tree full of moss.

My first trip to the reserve was in October 2009. The marsh and trees were full of birds.

 A very rare time I was there for the sunrise, back in November 2011.

 

Taken in 2011, some of the frequent visitors called this the “Magic” tree. It use to always have birds on it.

The same tree in 2013. Not long after this, the tree disappeared. It  must have fallen down from old age.

A recent picture of the tree that greets you on main trail. It’s rare to not stop and take a picture of some bird on it.

SkyWatch Friday

Feeling like Tarzan

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Lettuce Lake Park has an observation tower on the boardwalk that is several stories high. On the top level you can see into the tall trees that have been growing there forever. The park has some great really old trees that you can only see the bottom of the trunks from the boardwalk. You have to climb up high to see the tops. It’s worth the climb.

Did I land in Oz? – Skywatch Friday

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“Ding dong the witch is dead.” I tried to watch the movie “Oz, Great and Powerful” over Thanksgiving weekend and I just couldn’t get through it. I guess I’m still partial to the original Wizard of Oz. I’m bringing this up because this place makes me think of what Oz would look like (you know, if it was in central Florida). At least in mid-November. Finally, the reserve was covered in the burr marigolds that come out each fall. Last year the amount of yellow was disappointing so this fall it was nice to see the area covered in them.

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My friend Pam was taking pictures of the flowers with her old film camera. I’m still waiting to see those pictures. I know, back in the old days it used to take forever to get film back (way before the one hour photo shops).

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A blast of yellow. And to think most of the north was covered in snow when I took this.

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Old cypress trees covered in moss along one of the many ponds.

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Traffic jams on the trail the weekend before Thanksgiving. Did everyone get that shot of the coot???

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The magic tree down on Wading Bird Way is looking pretty sad.

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There’s something magical about walking out on the trail and see the marshes covered in yellow flowers. I wished they lasted longer than a few weeks. Maybe by the time the flowers die, the white pelicans will have arrived and we’ll have something else to get excited about. There’s been a few flying overhead but not any swimming in the ponds or lakes yet.

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