~For the Love of Herons-Tricolored~

Back to Myakka River State Park for this post…

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With one last opportunity to observe the beautiful Myakka River and the numerous birds that visit this area, we stood on a bridge and looked out across the water. I knew, for this winter season, it would be my last visit to Myakka River State Park. I fell in love with this state park and this spot on the bridge.

The next morning we were leaving and I remember feeling sad. My photos of this Tricolored Heron were taken on this evening.

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The Tricolored heron, formerly known as Louisiana Heron, is truly gorgeous The name tricolored refers to the dark upperparts, white underparts, and the reddish brown stripes on the fore neck. You will often see this heron wading out into a salt marsh belly deep; deeper than most other herons.

 

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The heron was running back and forth stirring the water hoping to scare up something to eat.  He didn’t know it, but he was entertaining us with his actions.

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By this time the sun was setting and the light was fading. The heron seemed to become more frantic trying to catch something to eat before nightfall. It was getting harder to capture sharp shots, but it sure was fun trying. Several times he would run, stop and lift his wings over his head!

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Thank you Tricolored for giving me a wonderful experience, making me smile and lifting my sadness. I hope to see you again when we return to Myakka River.

 

Until next time…

~Photo Essay: Lake Louisa State Park~

 Lake Louisa State Park Sunset:

Lake Dixie

Lake Dixie

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Lake Louisa State Park Sunrise:

A little after Sunrise on Lake Hammond

A little after Sunrise on Lake Hammond

A calm Lake Hammond

A calm Lake Hammond

Lake Hammond

Lake Hammond

Lily Pads in early, cloudy light

Lily Pads in early, cloudy light

Lake Louisa State Park Activities:

Fishing and boating…

Kayaking Anyone?

Kayaking Anyone?

 

Birding and Photography…

Posing Northern Mockingbird

Posing Northern Mockingbird

 

Hiking…

On a Hike

On a Hike

 

Camping

Site 19, Lake Louisa State Park

Site 19, Lake Louisa State Park

Until next time…

~For the Love of Herons – Green~

Green Heron

Green Heron

A couple of weeks ago, while staying at Myakka River State Park, near Sarasota, Florida, we decided to take an afternoon ride to explore the park. We noticed a gravel road off the main road and turned in.  Traveling down unexplored roads, not knowing what lies ahead, is a thrill and what keeps us motivated to continue doing what we do. We reached a dead end, parked the car, got out and began to explore.

There were a couple of picnic tables; however the area didn’t seem to be visited as often as some of the other well known parts of the park. The grass showed no worn pattern and there wasn’t any trash on the ground.

From our vantage point at the top of the river bank, we could see the coffee colored Myakka River below, lazily meandering along. The filtered rays of the sun reflecting off its surface.

Finally, our eyes landed on a beautiful and unexpected sight. On a tree branch, that hung out over the river, sat a Green Heron. You can bet he spotted us before we spotted him.

The heron was resting with one leg tucked under its belly and occasionally it would begin to preen. I hope it had a full belly.

Preening

Preening

It didn’t seem concerned about us being there; we were perhaps fifteen feet away. The density of the trees and surrounding foliage, blocking sunlight, created a photo challenge.

The heron continued to pose for me and remained unconcerned of our presence.

 

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A feather in its bill.

 

I guess he did give me the evil eye!

I guess he did give me the evil eye or perhaps he was just saying hello!

I treasure experiences like this – the joy of being out in nature, the welcoming silence of the woods, the calming affect of the flowing water and the unexpected pleasure of a sighting.

The pleasure was all mine. After a while we got back into the car and as we traversed the gravel road, back to the main road, we carried with us a fond memory.

Until next time….

 

 

~Scenes from Lake Louisa State Park~

Sunset on Lake Dixie

Sunset on Lake Dixie

It seems our travels, throughout Florida, have us spending time at Lake Louisa State Park and this year is no exception. A week ago we stayed seven days at Lake Louisa State Park and enjoyed our visit very much. Here we are again, arriving today November 30th, for seven more days.

It is a quite park that offers activities for everyone – lakes for fishing and kayaking, trails for hiking and biking, and camping with horses for trail riding. The primitive horse camp is in addition to the campground.

Some of the hiking trails take you through old growth orange groves and the experience of walking though these groves is a treat. Visit the Lake Louisa State Park web-site for some historical information about the Orange Groves.

Or if you just want to relax all you have to do is walk out on one of the lake piers for some beautiful scenery or sit at the sandy shore of Lake Louisa and gaze out into the horizon.

The park also offers a photographer the opportunity to capture some beautiful sunsets as the sun sets over the lakes.

Lake Dixie

Lake Dixie

Lake Louisa State Park is located near lovely Clemont, Florida with its rolling hills and small town atmosphere. It is close to shopping, restaurants and even Disney if one is so inclined to drive the twenty miles.

We enjoy a favorite Asian restaurant located near by. Have been to World of Beer, a Florida original, for some unique beer tasting and have enjoyed other wonderful restaurants in the area. The shopping is convenience and plentiful.

Reflection

Reflection

However, our preference is not to be gone from the natural environment of Lake Louisa State Park for too long, but sometimes you just have to venture out and this area is a lovely place to drive around in for whatever you might need. The best of both worlds!

Last Rays

Enjoying the Last Rays of Sun

If you don’t have a RV or want to tent camp you may rent one of Lake Louisa’s cabins as seen in the photo below.

Lake Dixie

Lake Dixie with cabins for rest in the distance.

I haven’t forgotten to add a bird photo (did you think I forgot?) This beautiful Tri-colored Heron was searching through the reeds in Lake Louisa for food. I captured this photo as we started on a hike near the Lake.

Tri-Colored Heron

Tri-Colored Heron

 

Lake Louisa

Beautiful Lake Louisa

This guy was hanging out near Lake Louisa. I don’t know its name, but it sure had a long tail.

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Until next time….

 

~Sweet~


sweet pretty face

bright eyes looking at me

touched my heart

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On a hike, we came upon a flock of Warblers. They were frantically searching the Oak Trees for food. I was trying very hard to capture a fews photos and had just about given up.

This sweet little Pine Warbler flew into a tree in front of me, sat there for awhile, seemingly resting, then flew off. I was able to take a few shots as it sat there. The light was pretty good and I was pleased with the photos. There were also some Palm Warblers flying around.

I did have a few worms fall on me while walking under these moss-covered, Oak trees, which wasn’t fun at all.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

 

Until next time….

~Lord of the Vultures~

Does he have a gleem in his eye?

Does he have a gleem in his eye?

 

Howard and I came upon this scene while on a hike in Myakka River State Park. We thought it was pretty funny. This Wood Stork was standing in the middle of these Black Vultures. We just wondered what the Wood Stork was doing.

 

Lord of the Vultures

Lord of the Vultures

 

We nicknamed him – “Lord of the Vulures”. Notice some of the Vultures speaking their mind or maybe they were chanting. Maybe Wood Stork is having an identity crisis.

 

A Beauty and the not-so-pretty.

A Beauty and the not-so-pretty.

 

Until next time…..