I had my first real close encounter with a big one recently at Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve been visiting this park for over 10 years and until recently, I always joked that the gators were fake. They never seemed to move, just sleeping on the other side of the pond. I was at the park early and the water levels along the trails were high. The first picture was taken with my 300mm lens so I wasn’t that close. The second one was taken with my phone. That’s my shadow at the bottom. There were people coming up behind me and once the big guy crossed the trail, we all headed down together. Our theory was safety in numbers. By the time we got to were he had crossed, we saw him swimming half way across the lake.
Another big one on the same morning, taken with my 300mm lens.
A few tiny ones on the trail.
One of the “really” big ones across the lake, on the other side of the bank.
Otherwise, it was a slow morning with the usual turtles and warblers.
It finally looks like fall in late December.
Linking to My Corner of the World.
Lots of cute little birds around the nature center in mid February: palm wabler, blue gray gnatcatcher, female indigo bunting and several female painted buntings.
Of the course everyone wants the shot of the male painted bunting. We knew there was at least one there but after searching over an hour, I was about to give up when this guy above stopped for a second before taking off again. I snapped this quickly before he was gone only to get a blurry shot.
Red leaves in the winter.
Linking to Wednesday Around the World.
Carolina wrens were singing all over the park.
My favorite little titmouses.
Chickadee checking me out.
A juvenile little blue heron looking for gators!
There was one close by.
Fall in the summer.
Someone had been feeding the squirrels right before I got there.
A juvenile little blue heron in the swamp.
A very young night heron.
Another young little blue heron across the lake. Trying to blend in.
A downy woodpecker working on a hole.
“This tree smells funny.”
It looks like fall, but looks are deceiving. It was still over 80 degrees in late October.
Creepy crawlers along the boardwalk.
Weird bugs in the water right below the boardwalk. They looked like water roaches.
Stuff from my late October walk at Lettuce Lake Park.
Looks like fall in the spring.
Is that a squirrel up there eating the leaves?
This one was hiding his meal. I guess he thought I would steal it.
Another one cleaning his tail. Or maybe he was still hungry.
An osprey sitting in a nest across the lake.
A pileated woodpecker in the trees.
Flowers were already blooming in early March.
More things from my trip to Lettuce Lake Park in March.
It doesn’t look like fall here until late January or early February. And then days later the spring buds start popping out.
Chowing on something.
Pretty pied grebe.
A quiet morning at Chesnut Park in mid-February.