Quick Trip to Florida

November 17, 2013

Dan had some free plane miles and hotel stays, so we decided to take a long weekend in Florida.  The weather turned out to be mostly cloudy and cool, but we had a great time.

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This was the idea we had when we headed to Florida.  At Fort De Soto we found the dunes recently planted with native vegetation, and this dune wind break kept us warm when the temperatures were hovering around 70 and there was a little breeze.  When it started to sprinkle we had a nice walk on the nature trail.  There was very little rain all weekend, though the forecast predicted it, so it was great for hiking.

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On a visit to Honeymoon Island State Park to view the sunset, Dan got unexpectedly wet while trying to set up a beach shot, so he was hopping around when I took this picture of him and the beginning of the sunset, which was not too spectacular.

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On Saturday, with rain predicted, we took our chances and headed back to Honeymoon Island State Park.  We noticed all the hikers were picking up shells and we got into it ourselves.

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Then we started to notice all the interesting shore birds.  Later we tried to identify them.  I think this is an American oystercatcher.

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The pelicans and other diving birds put on a great show for us all afternoon.  I recently watched a show about birds on PBS, so that gave me a little context for what the Pelicans were doing.

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This snowy egret was swerving around unsteadily, as it went  through the waves just ahead of us.

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All the different sandpiper-like birds were fun to watch.  I am not sure if this is a sanderling or a little stint or something else.  We saw so many other birds like osprey, turkey vultures, cormorants, hawks, and of course many kinds of gulls.

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There were also many of these crabs that ran into their holes in the sand.  This one stood very still for a while, hoping we would not notice it.

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This is a native sponge, right?  There was cool stuff everywhere.  We read a lot about rattlesnakes on the signs, but did not see any.  Which was fine with me.

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Sunday promised to be a beautiful day, but it was time to leave.  We ate breakfast outside and it was so peaceful.  It was about 73 degrees when we got to the Tampa airport around 8 am.  When we arrived in Chicago it was 68 degrees.  After a bumpy landing the rain started to pour on the taxi ride home, and the temperatures began to drop.  It will be down to 38 degrees tonight.

I was worried about the plants under the plastic hoop, as it blew off in freezing temperature the night before we traveled.  Everything was doing fine today and I just cooked up some of the turnips, beets, and brussel sprouts.


6 Responses to “Quick Trip to Florida”

  1. Glad you enjoyed your trip. Great shots!

  2. kiwiskan said

    thanks for taking us along on your wonderful trip

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