As you may have noticed, I haven't written up a Photo Safari Report in a few weeks. That's because my partner in crime, my sister Joy, has been away. Obviously I have missed her, and our hikes and our sister time hanging out together. Tim couldn't do anything about sister-time but he decided to do something about the hiking. Sunday, he and I went up to Sarasota to hike a park that we've driven by many times but never stopped to check out.
We drove up to the St Armands Circle and Lido Key area to Ted Sperling Park which actually has has two parts. The first is the Nature Park and Mangrove Tunnels, the second is the Nature Trail. We decided to at least start in the Mangrove Tunnels for this hike.
There is a really nice Kayak Rental and Tours place near the beginning of the Mangrove Tunnels which we thoroughly checked out. Nice and clean bathrooms, LOADS of kayaks, really nice people and a lovely kayak launch area:
From there we sought out the start of the trail and dove in whole heartedly.
We did not see many birds. We heard them, but I only captured one and it was near the parking lot, sitting on a speed limit sign. So much for birds in the wild. That would be birds within the confines of law abiding citizenry. Still before he flew off he managed to poo on the sign. Rebel perhaps?
There were a lot of boardwalks through the mangroves but also paths that were at times a bit boggy but those boggy bits are where the Fiddler Crabs live! Those little critters move so fast that it was really hard to get a picture, though I tried my best. We would come around a curve in the path, moving quietly, speaking very softly if at all, and spy the dozens of the little guys up ahead. Before we could get a single step closer they would scramble and scurry zoom back into their little hidey holes. I don't know if they had a scout keeping eye or if they felt the vibrations of our footsteps, but we did learn that there is no sneaking up on a Fiddler Crab!
There were a lot of wild flowers, always a pleasure to see:
Other very welcome and pretty creatures:
And of course the mangroves themselves. If you ever wanted to know what was under the water in a mangrove, here is a good example. It's a lot more "stuff" than you probably expected. There is this peaceful water on top and underneath.....it's kind of a madhouse. Here is the river and on the sides are the mangroves. It's a web of vines and roots and muck and shells and , well it's a lot.
When we finally emerged from the boggy mangroves we found ourselves directly across the street from a beach access point. Of course, we walked down. After the dank, dark, gloom of the mangroves we were drawn to the light.
It was very light indeed and quite nice. But we were already kind of toasty from our hike so we turned back and wound up the hike back in the Kayak Rental Parking lot. We did drive over to the other part of Ted Sperling and found the entrance to the Nature Trail. We decided to save that part for another day. So perhaps next week I will have photo or two from that hike. Maybe?
Meanwhile here are the last of the pictures from yesterday. My favourite, the Rando File:
How was your weekend?
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.