So Sorry, I wasn't here yesterday. I was busy. Out on Photo Safari! Yes, That's right, Joy's Back! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!
It was a dicey proposition because the forecast was, as the forecast has been for days now, rain. But we decided to risk it because, A) What's life without risk and B) what the heck, why not? and C) We've both really missed this!
As we do in the summer months, we left early. Joy picked me up a little before 7 am. The sun was jjjjuuuussstttt coming up and the sky was beautiful.
In discussion the day before about precisely where to hike, we decided to forego our usual haunts, i.e. the local forests and preserves mostly because of the recent heavy rains. We don't mind getting a little wet. Heck, we've even gone on swamping hikes but the water level was so high that to hike in most places would have required a submarine. Or at least Hip Boots. Instead we chose to go back and do the Casperson Beach Hike instead. So merrily we rolled along to the south end of the island and came right up against a barrier and signs that the road was closed. Dang.
Now what to do? We fished in our memory banks and came up with Ollie's Pond. We were pretty sure that the pond hadn't flooded the surrounding area, probably, maybe, hopefully. So we headed to Port Charlotte instead. Roughly a half hour drive. And hurrah, it was a gamble that paid off! While the pond water level was pretty high and the greenery had clearly been running amuck with growth, we began our slow trek, circling the pond, eyes ever on alert for something photo worthy.
At first we thought there wasn't much to see, but we were wrong. Very Very Wrong. Happily wrong. First of all, the pond is gorgeous all by itself. When I say pond, I don't mean a little puddle, it's a good sized body in water. In Colorado they would probably consider it to be a lake. All of those little "islands" of reeds and water grasses are places for wildlife to hide and nest and hunt for food. Which also makes Ollie's a perfect place for wildlife photos!
Once we arrived at the end (or perhaps the beginning) we considered just circling again to see what else we could see, but instead choose to move on to a very new park (about a year old) that we passed on the way down. I cannot for the life of me remember the full name of this park, but we call it the Senator Bob park. It's actually the Senator Bob Johnson Park and he was obviously someone like us, who loves nature. I'm not sure if Senator Bob park is in North Port or Venice, but I do know that it was on the way back home which was perfect.
Because it's a very small park and it runs right along a river which means part of it was underwater, we didn't get a lot a photos, but enough to have made the stop worthwhile. And they have lovely modern clean bathrooms. Bonus!
We were now really revved (and awake) and more importantly, despite the grey skies, it had not yet begun to rain. So we decided to keep going and make one more stop. This one in Venice (off-island) at the Rookery. A place where, absolutely for sure, without a doubt, there will be birds to snap pictures of. (and yes I know, one should never end a sentence with a preposition)
The rookery is basically another pond with a big island filled with greenery at the center and a .....let's call it a path.....that goes around the outside. The trees and shrubs in that center island are always loaded with very large birds. I did not take one single photo of the birds in the center. Didn't need to. There were so many birds and other creatures in the outside area that I was snappity snapping my little fingers off. It was marvelous!
By the time we finished circling the Rookery Pond, the rain had finally begun. It was just a light sprinkle but we felt that we had pushed our luck just hard enough and called it a day!
So that was it. The First Photo Safari in quite a while. It wasn't at all what we planned but it was still awesome. We are going to try to do two hikes a week to make up for lost time, so if you like these photo safari reports, stay tuned!
Great to have you back, Jo. I've missed you!
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.