It's been so long since I've posted that it feels a bit like I've never done it before! I do apologize for the delay though. I had over 2000 images to sort through, most of which were garbage but with some goodies mixed in. The bad part is you still have to sort through the crap to get to the gems.
As I mentioned before these trips to Florida are primarily to visit with my grandma, who turned 90 last year. My secondary motive is to get shots of birds to draw. While I have always tried to mix in a healthy dose of outdoor activities I now have another reason to head south in the winter--birding!
The drive down with my mother was uneventful. We passed through the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina after dark, winding up and then down I-40 in a long trail of semi trucks. Sunday afternoon we drove through the bottom-lands of eastern Georgia, where the Altamaha River fans out before it reaches the sea--a place I hope to visit in the future. We arrived at Andree's with enough time to unload and settle in before dark.
Not much happened Monday. I washed the van, which was slick with road salt from the drive down. At a rest area outside Asheville I had noticed the heat shield for the catalytic converter had come loose and was hanging dangerously close to the pavement. It was dangling from the back and I was worried we would catch it on something and rip the exhaust apart so I had to get that fixed. We made it down to the beach in the afternoon, at very low tide, and I found small whelk or conch, in pretty good condition, buried just past a short drop off at the low tide line. My mom commandeered it as a souvenir.
Tuesday I had hoped to go down the coast to Archie Carr NWR, but my mom wasn't feeling well so we stuck close to home. Rotary Park is about a mile from my grandma's and has a 1/4 mile boardwalk through a nice little slice of Florida forest, so we went there instead. We saw a number of songbirds, like this pretty little yellow-rumped warbler.
Later along the trail we came across a hermit thrush.
It was very accommodating and landed on a dead branch above the boardwalk so I could get some better photos.
We saw more than birds on our short walk. This Southeastern five-lined skink sat warily on the boardwalk.
My mom talked to the woman running the small nature center at the park after we finished our walk and the woman said a lot of people are afraid of these little critters, possibly because they think they're snakes. Really?? The damn thing has legs!! You know what people do to things they're afraid of. Sigh....
Ignorance is bliss--unless you're a five-lined skink....
Next: Some pretty awesome osprey photos.