One of the superfun things that Tim and I did over the weekend was go to Little Manatee River State Park. We hiked around on the trails and, obviously, took some photos and had a very nice time. I had never heard of either Wilmauma Florida (where this park is) or this park for that matter. But it was absolutely lovely. In addition to some very nice hiking, it had several covered picnic areas, a campground and remarkably clean bathrooms. That last part always makes huge points with me.
This isn't where we started out intending to go, by the way, it's just where we ended up. Tim and I know how to shift gears.
Originally, Tim's plan was to surprise me by taking me to the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. To be honest I had never heard of that place either, but doesn't it sounds awesome? Tampa Electric built a huge power station in Apollo Beach back in 1986 and shortly thereafter loads of reports about record numbers of manatees in the clean warm waters of the discharge station started pouring in. Manatees adore warm water y'see.
So they built a place to view the manatees (without troubling the animals) and a lovely hiking path to get there. It was a wonderful idea! So off we went, excited over the prospects of seeing manatees in great numbers and a nice hike along the way. Who knows what else we would see along the way?
It was a nice drive although at one point the sky starting getting awfully dark. Uhoh. And then thundery. And then lighteningish. And then sprinkley. And then the downpour began! Which kind of made us doubt the wisdom of our destination choice. This is the way it happens here in Florida in the rainy season. Driving along minding our own business and suddenly...Whoosh!
However, we drove out of the storm in short order. Whew! Ok! Manatees here we come! And then, and then, and then....... we arrived only to see that the road was closed due to construction. Dang. So Tim found another way there kind of around a few corners. And that's when we saw the "Closed" sign. Ratz. Turns out it's only open November through April. No big deal. We mentally put that on our calendar for perhaps a November excursion and that is when we headed to the Park instead.
There were questionable clouds and it was still thunder rumbley the entire time we were at the park, but that didn't stop us! We set out on the trails anyway. And I am so glad that we did. For loads of reasons. First, as I said, it was so fun to discover a new park for hiking. Second, Tim and I always have fun on our adventures. Third, I got a lot of great new photos. But the best of the best? The Most Awesome part of it all - for me anyway...
I finally got dragonfly photos! Not just the sillohouetted one I told you about before. No. Real photos! And not just one dragonfly either. Lots of them! And Damsel Flies too! I was so excited! I'll just show you a few of the best ones :)
I don't think I can accurately convey exactly how exciting this is for me. I have been trying to get photos like this for so very long! And here they are. Finally! I don't know why it happened on Sunday. Maybe it was National take a dragonfly photo day. Or Be Nice to Sam day. Or maybe the extreme heat and humidity was making the insects a little lazy and sleepy. But I also do not care one single bit why it happened. I only care THAT it happened.
Funny how things turn out. If Tim hadn't attempted to take me to the manatee place, and if it hadn't been closed, and if we weren't so easy going about our end-game and if Tim didn't stop to think..well where else could we go today? And if it wasn't such questionable weather that there was almost nobody else out there.........
I wouldn't have gotten these shots!
Everything happens exactly the way it's supposed to. That's what I was taught. I'm thinking maybe it's true.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.