Photo location: Blue Run of Dunnellon Park, Dunnellon, Florida
While staying at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon, Florida we drove a few miles to hike the beautiful trail system the town of Dunnellon opened in 2008. What an amazing achievement for this lovely small town. This recreation area offers locals and visitors, from around the world, the opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature and to see the “blue” Rainbow River up close.
We hiked this trail with friends who live in a nearby town; we enjoyed their company and the beautiful scenery. We have camped at Rainbow Springs State Park several times, but had never hiked this area and we are so glad we did.
This hawk was spotted by Howard as we walked the Blue Run Trail. It was sitting on a tree branch that grew out across the trail. Howard, actually didn’t see the hawk at first, but almost felt a little gift as we walked under the tree.
Of course we all stopped to admire its beauty. I guess this Red-shouldered Hawk didn’t appreciate our admiration, because it flew out into a marshy area and this is where I was able to take my photo as it sat there looking up at some small birds.
Coming, more photos from Rainbow Springs State Park…
On Christmas day we were hiking a trail at Lake Louisa State Park. A foot off the trail, suspended at eye level, was this gorgeous Golden Orb spider. You have to admit she is pretty. I wouldn’t want her touching me, but she was nice to admire and capture with my camera.
A few facts about this gorgeous spider: (taken from the web)
Physical features: The female generally exhibits yellow spots on a muted orange/tan abdomen (with banded brown and orange legs), and the male is a fairly plain dark brown. The male is 1/2” (12mm) long and the female is much larger, at 1″ to 3″ (25 mm to 75 mm) long.The abdomen on both the male and female Banana spider is 2 1/2 to 3 times as long as it is wide. The female’s legs have brownish stripes with noticeable tufts of black hair on her 1st and last pair of legs. The male has a less colorful appearance, but he also has tufts of black hair on his legs.
Lives in: warm, sunny climates
Eats: Like many spiders, prefers to eat flying insects like bees that are attracted to the golden web it weaves. These spiders also go after larger prey like butterflies and moths.
For some reason these pinecones, stopped by other vegetation from falling to the ground, caught my eye. They are Longleaf Pine tree, pinecones. Big!
Photos taken March, 2014 (1st/2nd) at Blackwater River State Park. These are a few of my remaining photos from our visit.
Today, we drove about forty miles to Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville, Florida. It was a short and pleasant ride! After setting up and walking the girls, we drove out of the peaceful, treed park looking for some Florida seafood. We stopped at a small restaurant called the Big Fish Grill, which overlooked a marina and enjoyed a delicious late lunch.
We decided after lunch to take a drive. We drove a big loop through Niceville, Fort Walton Beach and Destin arriving back at the park. Whew, lots of traffic, shopping centers, restaurants and high-rise hotels and condominiums!
Before we leave this area, heading west, I want to walk on the beach. I remember visiting Fort Walton Beach with my Mom and younger sister when we were kids; Dad always stayed home. We spent some fun vacations here swimming in the gulf. It sure is different from what I remember; of course that was a long time ago!
Tonight will be chilly, low of 37. Tomorrow we plan to visit an Air Force museum.