Before I wish everyone a Happy Memorial Weekend and remind you that, probably much like you, I will be enjoying a Lovely Monday Memorial Day instead of writing my blog post, I thought that I would write up the most recent Photo Safari Report for today. And I'm calling this one, the Two Surprises Hike.
Thanks to my new AllTrails App, Joy and I headed back to Carlton Preserve ready to hike with impunity, unafraid of getting turned around or even flat out lost ever again! Hurrah! We started out on a primary trail and quickly skewed off onto a secondary trail. Not quite sure how that seems to always happen but it does. It's sort of like the talking dog in the movie "Up". We start out with great intentions but then something down another cross trail strikes our fancy and.....squirrel! And in fact, literally, squirrel:
I suppose I could get right to the two surprises, right? (I have no idea why the font suddenly changed. I'm sorry but it refuses to correct)
It's always fascinating, in a creepy crawly way, to see the aftermath of a fire, even if it's an intended and well monitored fire. Hence all of the photos. But no, this was not the first surprise.
We were well past the burn area which, by the way, while it appeared to be a recent inferno, actually was beginning to heal and no longer had that smokey fragrance, when I started sniffing the air like a dog. "Do you smell that?" I asked Joy. She stopped and sniffed, "The smoke? Probably from the burn area" I shook my head, "Nope this is more recent, like, really really recent." She agreed and we continued to hike and take photos and chitchat as we do, and suddenly we see on the side of the trail:
A fire. Not the sort of thing you usually see while hiking. There was nobody else around, that we could see anyway, and no signs warning of a controlled burn going on. So it was odd. There were originally actually two small fires but one was extinguishing itself as we stood there. The other one was mostly smoke with only a little flame, but we still kept an eye on it (all the while snapping away with our cameras). It got smaller and less significant in very short order and eventually went out but still a wow.
Our second surprise was a bird. In all of our many MANY hikes we have heard this bird many MANY times but only saw it once. It's a Bobwhite, sometimes called a quail or a grouse. It's call is loud and actually sounds exactly as if the bird is saying, Bob White. (hence the name) but they are so hard to find because they are expert hiders. Not up in the sprills or leaves or fronds of a tree usually but in the undergrowth on the ground. Sneaky buggers. This one, however, was right there in a tree in front of us, just waiting to be imortalized:
After all of the hikes where we searched and searched in vain to find the bird we could hear but not see, this was a wonderful surprise!
Otherwise, let's see what did we see. Other birds:
Various insects and such things:
There were some beautiful flowers too. There always are :
We passed a large pond that had the most beautiful water lilies. It was like admiring a Monet Painting! Really!
We also walked along the Myakka River for just a short while. There were no alligators to be seen. We know because we really looked:
And the trees along the trails were as stunning as always, no matter if it's forest or plains or water or burned out areas:
Joy won't be available for the next few weeks so the photo safari's will be a wee bit different for awhile. But never fear, eventually we will be back out there, together, like we do.
In the meantime, you guys get out there and have a wonderful holiday weekend! See you next Tuesday!
Hugs all 'round.
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.