Surprise! Another Photo Safari!
Yes I am well aware that last week I said that report was about the final hike of the season. Turns out I was wrong. So it was a surprise to me too. A Good Surprise! And that was kind of the theme of this hike. Surprises.
We left even earlier than usual and were on the road before 7:30 am in an effort to try to beat the heat. We headed south to the other side of Deer Prairie Preserve. If you recall, after the alarming feral hog hike on the North end last year we have been steering clear of those particular trails. But the south end is a completely different story and it's not a place we think to go very often but we are so glad we did!
It's a harder place to find so of course that means a lot fewer hikers, always a good thing for us. Nobody stepping into our shots, or being loud, or asking questions while we are taking pictures or littering (drives me crazy!). Just us and our cameras.
I'm going to start with the best part of the hike which was also the biggest surprise. This guy:
Joy spotted him first as we came around a curve in the trail and silently alerted me. I tippy-toed up to where she was and at first I was so in awe that I couldn't even line up a proper shot. We all stood there in shock, the deer, Joy and I, starring at one another. He came to his senses first and took off. Luckily, even though he ran into the forest, we quickly realized that the deer had only gone to just the other side of the trees from us, so we could see him, peek-a-boo style through the foliage. We followed as quietly as possible and then saw that he had doubled back so we turned around.
Somehow we sensed exactly where we was going to pop back out of the trees to once again cross the trail and yup, that is exactly what he did. I think he realized at that point that we weren't going to hurt him and while he didn't stick around to have tea and crumpets with us, neither did he race away panic-stricken. It. Was. Awesome!
Another surprise was how dang many dragonflies there were. It was a dragonfly convention! It's not that I've never gotten dragonfly photos before, we both know I have. But never this many or this variety! Here is a small sampling:
Now that I think about it, there were quite a few butterflies as well. Another taste:
There were a few washed out areas of the trail again. We tried to slog through and sometimes it was just a little hop over the wet, other times some careful stepping but now and again it was just impassible so we would just turn around and go a different way. It happens. But I will say the trails were very pretty, mostly very green and usually wide enough to walk side by side.
We saw birds aplenty. Even I managed to get a few photos. Joy excels at taking bird photos, I only got a few. But I'm happy to have gotten any at all! Those little dickens's are hard to snap! They are so fast, so small and while we can hear them singing, they like to hide in the foliage.
Any flowers? Well of course! They don't move as much so they are far easier to capture on film. I specialize in taking pictures of things that don't move much
As always, there is the miscellaneous file:
At the end we were sweaty and hot and hungry and thirsty and more than ready to go but there were a few final surprises awaiting us. Here was the second to last, a moment of near perfect reflection:
And then literally as we were driving out Joy stops the car and says, "give me your camera quick!" so of course I did. She saw this on the side of the dirt road:
An Iguana! Wow! First time ever to see one of those in Venice! Very Cool!
So there you have it a very hot sweaty hike with lots of surprises! Totally worth a little sweat.
Hope you enjoyed!
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.