Those look like hiking shoes to me! Which means yes! It's time for another Photo Safari Report! Yayay! And this time, you lucky devils, it's a two-fer. Kind of a Buy One, Get One situation. Which means I am calling this one, the BOGO Hikes.
Each hike has both similarities and differences to every other hike. These two are a good example of that. For the similarity column let's see, well, it was Joy and I both times, the weather was absolutely lovely both times, we took pictures and we hiked (duh), we had a great time, as we always do and oddly both times we started out trying to go to one set of trails only to find the park or preserve unexpectedly closed and had to come up with a Plan B on the fly. But that's pretty much where the "alikeness" ends.
The differences were legion. The first hiking day, Friday, we starting out trying to go to Myakka State Park only to arrive to a big sign across the closed gates stating that the park was closed. Drat. So we ended up at Celery Fields instead. It's not a wild preserve with forested and wild acres but rather a series of ponds with paths that go around them. The paths are lined with trees and shrubs and fences (mostly to prevent people from doing anything foolish). It is a beautiful place. There were loads of birds......loads! Birds of all kinds. And since the water was so still, I got an unprecedented number of water reflection shots. Here is a small sampling:
But there were also non-reflective birds. And no I don't mean that they were vampire birds. I mean they just weren't in a place that allowed for reflections. Sometimes you guys are so silly :) Here are some of those non-reflective (and non vampire) birdies:
Even though it's December (!) there still were a few pretty flowers as well:
bI'm going to save the rando files for the end and post them all lumped together. Just FYI.
Now then, on Monday, we set out intending to land at Carlton Reserve. This time we did check on line first and according to their website, they were indeed open for business. Hurrah. Only to arrive and learn that, nope, Big old closed sign across a firmly locked gate. Our best guess is that both Myakka and Carlton are still doing clean up from the hurricane and/or parts of it were still flooded. Which means, of course, that we understand why. But still, dang. Pivot once again and this time to Oscar Scherer State Park which we absolutely knew was open because we drove past it on Friday.
It turned out that while the park was indeed open, some of the trails were inaccessible which we learned by walking down the trails and finding, two miles in, huge mucky/watery areas followed by so much deadfall across the path that the only way through would be with a chain saw. Since we do not pack one, we doubled back and followed other trails. No biggie. At least we were out, hiking, talking and spending time together.
And taking remarkably few photos. While we could hear birds all around us, we saw only a select few. They were just not in the mood to be posing for portraits that day. Okay. We just worked with what we had! Here is all I have:
I did, however, get some nice shots of the park and the trails. It is a beautiful and wild looking spot:
And that was pretty much it. We managed to hike about 4 miles so if nothing else, it was decent exercise in good company.
And that means it must be time for my personal favourite, the randos. Here goes:
Every Photo Safari is unique, every single one is a surprise and these two did not disappoint in either category for sure! No idea when we will be getting out there again, or where we will go when we do. The one thing you can for sure count on, is that, afterwards, I will share the experience with you.
Thanks for coming along ;)
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.