Bonus Blog: Into the Woods

After spending three days at home, not doing much of anything, I decided to go exploring. Suki offered to come with me. Heck, she was as anxious to get out as I was. I went south on SR 82 and saw a sign for a Florida bird trail. I turned immediately and found this place (all photos can be clicked on to view larger):Corkscrew Marsh 3.31.15 sm

We pulled into the parking space, and I saw a couple with their dog, so I figured it was okay to take Suki. I’d brought her leash, so we were all set.

We stepped inside the fence and saw this: Panther Warning 3.31.15 sm

Um… fuck! I was walking into this place with a panther meal on a leash. But the sign said they sleep during the day, so I chanced it. Yeah, I’m stupid that way.

This is the trailhead.Trailhead 3.31.15 sm

It was hot today–80+–but the humidity was acceptable, so we marched on. Suki enjoyed pissing on every other plant as we moved deeper into the preserve.

First thing I spotted was this red-shouldered hawk on the edge of the marsh. It’s a gorgeous bird, and I was lucky it perched facing me. I was very far away from it and pleased to get a picture this good.  Hawk 3.31.15 sm

I wasn’t prepared for a long hike (next time, hat, more water, and bug spray, though they weren’t too pesty at this time of day), so we left the Marsh Trail and struck off on the Flatwood Trail. Flatwood Trail 3.31.15 sm

That’s where I spotted this dragonfly. I’ve looked, but I can’t yet identify it. Beautiful though! It almost looks like its made of silver. Yellow and Silver dragonfly 3.31.15 sm

Farther along that path, I came across the lubber grasshopper. What amazing colors it has! I hear its pesty for farmers, though. Oh, and if you look at its rear, you’ll see I caught it mid-shit. 😉 Lubber Grasshopper 3.31.15 smThese guys ingest substances that are toxic to many predators (not itself or humans, though), and when unduly pestered, secrete a noxious foam while hissing. I didn’t hear it, so I guess it didn’t feel threatened by me. They have different colorations at different stages.

By this time, Suki and I were starting to fade. Lots of walking under an early afternoon sun! As we approached the trailhead and parking lot, we ran into a couple just entering the area. They said they’d seen an armadillo down a service road; I wish I’d spotted it!

The man pointed out that bringing a small dog into the park was pushing my luck.

“You’re talking about the panthers?” I asked. I hadn’t quite believed they were in the vicinity. Like I said, DUMB.

“I am. They’re here. I strongly suggest you leave her home next time.”

Okay, yes! I want to see a panther, even though I’d probably piss myself. But this is Suki’s last trip to the Corkscrew.

 

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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12 Responses to Bonus Blog: Into the Woods

  1. Allison says:

    Gorgeous shots, the hawk is beautiful. As cool as it would be to see a panther I’m quite glad you didn’t today. It looks like there’s lots to see there though, have fun exploring!

  2. Can you carry her in the carrier thingy or too hot?

  3. Wow fantastic pictures sorry you won’t be able take Suki again.

    • Me too, but she needs to stay safe.

      Ya know, this place is less than twenty minutes from where I live. Think about that! Panthers are practically down the street!

      So cool. 🙂

  4. Lindsaysf says:

    We’ve had —-something big –run out of the brush, scoop up a dog, and disappear. Coyote? Mountain lion? Suki is to cute to risk being lunch. You get the most fascinating pictures! Such wonderful colors! And great poses – grasshopper taking a shit is a new one for me. National Geographic would be envious.

    • LOL! The other pic I got wasn’t as sharp. I had to go with this one.

      I carried Suki part of the way. I was on high alert as we walked, but I didn’t hear a thing. It was the hottest part of the day; the big cats were likely all sleeping. It’s recommended one does not walk alone. Bummer, because I always walk alone. I’m a photographer. I need the quiet and no one nagging me to hurry up. I’ll likely return by myself, but I won’t do it at times they might be on the move.

  5. Yvonne says:

    That is cool…and scary. Don’t think I’d like to meet a panther in the wild.
    Gorgeous colours in these pics and I love the details on the dragonfly.

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