A quiet morning at Lettuce Lake Park

Things up in the trees along the boardwalk at Lettuce Lake Park.

You can usually find several night herons in the swamp.

The view from the tower above, taken with my phone. It always makes me feel like I’m somewhere else other than close to downtown Tampa when I’m standing up here.

Looking into the swamp from the boardwalk. There’s gators hiding in there somewhere.

At the end of the boardwalk, the HIllsborough river floats by and turns the corner.

Under the trees along the trail, it was quiet early in the morning. I had the trail all to  myself

SkyWatch Friday

Back on Alligator Alley

Things along the trail including a snack left behind by some bird.

A great blue heron strutting along.

Alligator Alley trail was finally opened after being closed for 2 years. When Hurricane Irma came through in 2017, part of the trail was washed out. The county finally rebuilt the trail and it was great to walk down it after all that time.

The view along the lake.

The marigold were still out in late November, washing the trail in yellow.

SkyWatch Friday

The view along the trail through my phone.

I knew it was going to be a beautiful morning when I walked out on the trail to this.

After 12 years of coming to Circle B Bar Reserve, I still love walking these trails even with all of the dead trees in the background.

Things close to the trail, although I cropped up the one with the big gator so he wasn’t that close.

An alligator cruises by a great blue heron.

The view from the blind on the dock.

Sitting on a bench near the nature center before heading home.

I had just replaced my old iphone with a new one days before so I was taking lots of pictures with it.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Alligator Alley trail is back open.

Birds up high.

A few down low.

Wild hogs hiding in the bushes. Not sure where the term “pigtails” comes from?

One of the main trails, Alligator Alley, was finally back open after closing in September of 2017. When Hurricane Irma came through, the trail was washed out and a lot of damage was done to that part of the park. The raised trail across the marsh was finally rebuilt and it was great to walk down it again in late January.

Out on the dock you could see the bald cypress trees going bald for the winter.

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Foggy start to the morning

Walking out on the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve, the fog was just starting to lift.

On the other side of the marsh, the sun was trying to break through.

Great blue herons in the fog.

A few critters along the trail. That big one always sleeps in that same spot across the ditch.

Lots of the usual birds along the trail.

A bright red flash of fall in the moss. It usually starts to look like fall around here in January.

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A trail, a river and some red bugs

Across the street from Lisa Falls is one of the entrances to the Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail. We only did a short hike since it was getting close to lunch and we were already hungry.

We came across a river with a little bit of water flowing so we followed it for a while.

We saw these red bugs all along the trail but I couldn’t find any info on them. Does anyone know what they are? They were everywhere.

More from our hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon in October.

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No donut at Donut Falls

We headed out early in the morning driving through Cottonwood Canyon. Our destination was Donut Falls. It was an easy mile and half hike up the mountain and the weather was cool. We took our time, stopping to take pictures along the way. The trees were beautiful and we saw only a few other people. I had read that during the summer months the trail has traffic jams with so many people so I’m glad we were there in the fall.

We should have known there would be very little water at the falls due to the drought but it was still worth the hike. We didn’t feel like sloshing through the water to get to the cave that has the hole where the water comes through so no donut fall shots. We worked up an appetite and headed back to Park City for a late lunch.

A quick video of the wind blowing through the trees along the trail.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

 

 

A quiet walk on the trail.

Plants along the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid May.

Not as up close as it looks. They were swimming out in the lake.

It’s rare now to have quiet time on the trail here. Even early in the morning there are usually a lot of people out. I was there in mid May on a rare Friday off and it had been raining off and on. I got sprinkled on a few times but at least it wasn’t hot.

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On the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve

The squirrels were busy grooming and eating.

Plants along the trail.

Roadblock on the trail. I was almost all the way down Marsh Rabbit Run trail when I saw this. My choices were to sit and wait and see if he moves or turn around and go back. I sat down on trail for about 15 minutes when a park ranger came from the other side of the trail in a cart and spooked the gator off the trail. The park ranger said he slept there for over 2 hours the day before. I probably would have given up and turned around after half an hour if the ranger hadn’t come by. That little moorhen was not as close as it looks in the shot. He was busy preening and ignoring the gator.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World