Yesterday was another photo safari day and Joy and I were determined to not be devoured by biting bugs this time so we pulled out the big guns. My thought was that if Deep Woods Off didn't work, then the bugs that were bugging us, were alien creatures and honestly, we have nothing in our arsenal to take care of that!
So we thoroughly sprayed ourselves down and attempted a re-do of Sleeping Turtle preserve.
It was only 69 degrees, overcast, more than a little wet on the ground and very breezy. And I know that sounds perfectly lovely to all of you people who don't live in Florida. But for those of us who have become accustomed to temps in the 90's and high humidity, 69 degrees is chilly. I was wearing a sweat jacket. And shorts of course, I'm not crazy after all.
But that's just fine. The bug spray seemed to work (Hurrah!) because for the most part we emerged unscathed. Right off the bat I got a photo of a cardinal. For reasons unknown, it came out a little like an impressionist painting, but I like it.
There were not many pretty blooming things though I did find this:
But mostly it was pictures of dewy grasses
and moody, spooky looking trees and ferns. Kinda cool. And considering that today is the first of October, I'd say, rather timely.
But as we made our way further and further back into the preserve, we kept running into puddles and streams on the path that got bigger and more problematic as we went.
Eventually, we threw our hands up in the air, cried Uncle, and went searching for a different, hopefully less wet, place to hike. But every place we tried was either, closed, blocked by enormous macherinery parked there for purposes unknown (at least to us), or too recently travelled (again by us).
What to do, what to do?
We decided to throw caution to the wind and headed to Myakka State Park. It is on the Myakka River, which means the odds of it being flooded were pretty good, but at that point, what the heck. We were already wet to the knees. Why not check it out?
It was such a good decision! Here is some of what we saw.
First of all the birds. Usually, Myakka is a birders paradise. They are everywhere! But not this time. They were few and far between. Still, we saw a some:
There weren't a lot of flowers either. This is kind of a between-season time of year down here in Florida. On the other hand, while there aren't as many flowers, the ones that we found were still beautiful:
And the trees were particularly captivating as well. I'm not sure if it was the low light or just my frame of mind yesterday, but I think I took more pictures of trees than anything else:
I saved the best for last. Completely unexpectedly we saw deer. Lots and lots of deer. At least a dozen of them. Our best guess is that the flooding deep in the interior where few people go drove the deer forward and much closer to trails and roads. The animals were of course wary, but hungry, and Joy and I are merely admirers. We stand quietly to watch and only moveslowly and carefully to take photos. And then there were also the raccoons. First we saw a huge, robust adult lumbering across the road ahead of us and later a young one. What a sweetieface!
What a wonderful and unexpected treat!
We saw so many people just blithely zooming through the park, looking straight ahead with grim looks on their faces. If they had just slowed down a little and looked to the right or the left, they would have seen so much more. It's like anything else in life, the more you look, the more you see. And if you look for good things, well, there are a lot of good things out there just waiting to be found.
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.