Image #208 – I Wish I Knew

Image #208

I had a nice hike at Myakka River State Park on Sunday along with my friend Kim and, of course, Tango.  It was Kim who spotted the plant above.  At the time I was busy collecting my dog who had decided to go for a swim in the marshy area by the two-track path we were following. I didn’t really mind that he decided to go for a swim but his backpack contained my macro lens!  Thankfully no harm was done.  Tango did need a bath afterwards.

But I digress. This tiny gem is about 2″ in circumference and seems to favor marshy ground. We found numerous clusters near the marsh but none further on. Alas, all my reference books are in NC and I am in FL so I had to dig a bit on the web.  The “petals” as you can see, are spiked with a dewy substance on the tips.  The plant seemed carnivorous so I ran a search on Bing images but, as usual, there were pictures with no data.  I did locate one plant that was very similar and it had a name–Sundew.  So I proceeded with a search based on  “Sundew” plant and learned it was part of the Drosera family–there are more than 170 species.  So, Sundew is as good as it gets. They are small and easy to overlook–especially when you dog goes swimming with your macro lens. 🙂

Image #204 – Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo

Sorry if you were expecting a blog on Wild Turkey bourbon. This is the real deal, a young Wild Turkey from Myakka River State Park. At one point in time Wild Turkeys were virtually extinct in Myakka. Hunters had decimated the abundant flocks in the early 20th Century but the bird was re-introduced and protected. It now thrives. Perhaps these birds have some genetic memory of the slaughter their ancestors endured. They are always on the move, pecking quickly at the ground, never stopping…or so it seems. It has been hard to get a good picture but this picture shows quite a bit of the beautiful coloring on these birds. ❧

Image #203 – Wild Blueberries

Wild Blueberry blossoms
Wild Blueberry blossoms

Tango and I got out to Myakka River State Park yesterday and had an excellent hike along Fox’s Low Road.  Spring is definitely springing here in Florida. The oak trees have that lovely spring green color, wild flowers can be found and, as you can see from the photo, the blueberries have started to produce their fruit.  From blossom to fruit is about 4-6 weeks, so these bushes will be ready to feed the birds when it is time to fly back north. What a marvel nature is. ❧

Image #166 – Gaping Gator

Alligator at Myakka River State Park
Alligator at Myakka River State Park

I’ll be heading down to Florida soon where I plan to spend a few weeks. Looking forward to getting back out to Myakka River State Park and taking more gator pictures, like this one.  Unless there is a severe drought the odds are very good that you will see a gator at Myakka.  They are all over the place out there.  Best of all they love to congregate by the Park Drive bridge which makes getting photos like this one quite easy and safe. ❧

Image #157 – When the weather turns bad …

It has been a miserable … wait, let me amend that.  It has been a MISERABLE day here in Western North Carolina.  It has been raining steadily since the wee hours of the morning and my rain gauge is showing more than 2″.  Our temperature has been above freezing so the precipitation has remained liquid. That will change tonight when the forecast says that snow will begin and carry on through most of tomorrow.


There really is nothing you can do about the weather except have faith that it will change and remember happier times. So on a yucky day like today I try to remember better times and returned to my photo diary to see what I was up to last year. It appears that I was hiking in the Myakka Park Wilderness area, a lovely pristine part of an already pristine place. Here’s a picture from that day.


As you can see it was a beautiful day and Myakka was, as always, sublime. On my way out the area I encountered a deer who stopped and calmly assessed my intent. I passed muster and she walked away quietly. I hope she is enjoying a warm, sunny and peaceful day. ❧

Image #157(1)

Daily Image #20

Daily Image #20Yesterday’s image was the odd Ibis, with its curved bill and punctuated eye.  Today we have the even more odd Roseate Spoonbill. The magnificent color of its feathers nearly caused the extinction of this extraordinary bird. In the early 20th Century the feathers were prized for women’s hats. What a sin it would have been to lose this beautiful bird for fashion.

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