Walking the Florida boardwalks, Monday 2/20
Click on any photo to enlarge.
Blue skies with lots of fine cloud shapes.
If my sister is 5'5", it's pretty easy to tell how wide the boardwalk is. This is how she measures. Works for me, but I had to help her get up!
Male Eastern Black Swallowtail flitting from flower to flower.
This cottonmouth sunning itself is the biggest one I've seen.
See the red arrow pointing to it's tail? Gi-normous UGLY snake.
Aha! Just then a river otter popped up and swam (shallow water) toward the cottonmouth.
We watched dumbfounded.
As the otter approached the snake (last photo, near snake's head), Mr. Ugly whirled its head around and seemed to dare the otter to get closer. We could imagine the otter utter, "Oops, never mind," as it did an about face and swam away. Smart move is my thinking!
Woo-hoo! My sister, Nannie, and I - sans husbands - spent four days and nites last week camped in Tergel @ Big Lagoon St Pk, near Pensacola, Florida. The park's only 50 miles from our condo; easy, short drive. We were like a parade: I led the way in my Prius. Nannie drove her Prius from Baton Rouge. Jimmy installed his tiny 87-yr-old Mom in Tergel's passenger seat for the drive to the St Pk. She must've felt like she was in a plane, tho she's never been in one, she sat that high off the ground. Jimmy helped us set up camp, then he and Mom departed for home. Nannie and I would use her car to get around. Everybody told us to stay out of trouble. I wonder why?
The first day we walked - miles - beginning @ Tarkiln Bayou, where we didn't see much except pine trees. This is longleaf pine habitat, so the sign said, but we saw as many slash pines and spent most of our walk trying to distinguish between the two. For some trees, this was easy. For others, not. The bark on slash pines consists of large flat plates. Heck, most of the trees we saw had large, flat plates. We finally gave up and said: A pine tree.
Next up was Bayou Marcus, aka ECUA. You wouldn't think this would be a great hiking place, it being next to the water treatment plant, but it didn't smell. All of today's photos were taken at ECUA. This boardwalk thru wetlands produced an abundance of flora and fauna for us, in addition to good ol' pine trees - we were enchanted the whole 3+ miles. Weather-wise, this day was forecast to be the best of five and I believe it was. We ate our picnic lunch sitting on one of the boardwalk's benches. Photos that didn't make it (too far away): 100 or so turtles lining a south-facing pond bank, sunning themselves; striking buffleheads (ducks) on the pond; soaring red-tailed hawks; fleet-footed deer; and all the beautiful spring-green foliage that's just sprung up! The otter/cottonmouth was the icing on the cake, tho. Grand walk.
We put on roughly five miles, loving every minute. So glad to be out and about in the fresh air, sunshine. Sisters: walkin' and talkin' and lookin' and laughin!