Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Florida ~ near Wellington

MUSAP happy to see sunshine and palm trees
MUSAP started the new year with a sad trip to Florida. My cousin’s daughter died in a car accident and I went to Florida to represent the family at her Memorial Service in Wellington.

Sophie's Sky, after her Memorial Service

I had some free time while I was there so I searched out some natural spaces where I could be outside and enjoy some sunshine in January.

MUSAP checking some tree bark texture

On day 1 I went to Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach. It was close to my hotel and the web site indicated there were many trails that I could stroll.

Okeeheelee Park

I saw lots of birds near the roadside ditches as I drove to the park - egrets, wood storks, even a pair of sandhill cranes. There wasn’t a safe place to pull over for pix, but I hoped there would be more birds at the park. I found some birds of interest and the skies and reflections were good subjects, too.

Cormorant drying his wings

It’s a pretty park and I enjoyed my walk. The weather was a little unsettled  - the sun was out, then I’d see raindrops in the pond  next to the path and realize it was sprinkling. So the light for photography kept changing, and for photographers it is all about the light!

Raindrops in a pond

I headed back towards to car in case it started to rain harder… didn’t want my camera to get wet. The rain stopped and the clouds started to part again.


As I was driving out of the park I noticed a bird perched on a wire. I stopped and backed up to check it more closely and was able to get a photograph of the American Kestrel.

American Kestrel - a small falcon, sometimes called a sparrow hawk

Pelican in the pines

The next day my flight time got changed to late afternoon so I had plenty of time for another nature stroll. I decided to check Fern Forest in Coconut Creek, just outside Ft Lauderdale.

Fern Forest

The weather was hot and sunny so I was happy to discover that the Cypress Creek Trail was shady and interesting. Plus it is a boardwalk so the walking was easy.

MUSAP on the boardwalk

There were a variety of habitats along the trail. In Florida even a slight change in elevation can change the plants and animals that will live in an area. I don’t usually see too many mammals so it was fun to see a raccoon. I heard him coming down a tree trunk before I saw him.

Raccoon going upstream

Along the trail the sun was lighting a huge spider web. As I was trying to find the right position to photograph it I suddenly thought perhaps I should be looking for the spider that built the web! I am not a fan of spiders, but this one proved to be an interesting subject.

When you see a web, remember to look for the spider!

I also walked the Prairie Perimeter Road. It was getting hotter and the trail was a little rougher so I spent more time watching where I was stepping than creating photos.

A sunnier trail

And it wouldn’t be a trip to Florida without a photo or two of anoles!


at Fern Forest

January 2106

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