adventure, birds, Cranes, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, nature, on closer examination, photography

Nature girl…

That’s what I heard Charley calling me as I loaded up the car with all my photo equipment and headed to Weeki Wachee Preserve.  As in, “Who do you think you are, Nature Girl?”  I pass by the entrance to this preserve almost daily, but there are only a few cars there and I’ve been a little intimidated to go alone.  But for some reason today was the day to check it out.  I got an excellent piece of advice from a woman in the parking lot who said that she rides a bike there 5 days a week.  She asked me to get the GPS up on my phone and then showed me the satellite view, which showed the trails perfectly, and me as a little blue dot.  “So you don’t get lost”, she said.  Which was prophetic because when I did check the GPS I wasn’t where I thought I was at all.  I had hiked for about an hour, passing by a lake and looking all the while for possible eagle or owl nests, and then I would remember the comments about rattlesnakes at Honeymoon Island and turned my attention to the trail for a while.  The biker I had talked to said that she had seen a bobcat for the first time recently also.  The only wildlife I saw were dragonflies as I turned around on the advice of a family who said the trail ended up ahead, and headed back the same way I came.  It was a pretty walk, but I’ll take a different route next time.  Or I’ll try to at least.


On the way back I saw what ought to be an eagle nest up high in a tree.  I read that they nest in the tallest tree around, but one by itself, and with water nearby.  Except I didn’t see any bird activity at all.  If I knew it was a nest for sure I might have waited, but I didn’t.  When I got home I looked up the Weeki Wachee Preserve to write about it and discovered that it’s most noted for it’s black bear population!  Shy black bears, who stay deep in the woods, it said.  Let’s hope so.


Letting the dogs out when I got home led to the most exciting discovery of the day!3-16expecting13-16expecting2I’m expecting!  I saw this Sandhill Crane laying out there yesterday afternoon, but then she was up and about.  But today she laid so still out there, and for so long, that I got worried about her.  It was a relief to see her lift her head, and I waited for her to get up so I could see if I could see an egg, or two, and I believe that’s what we have there.  It seemed as if she poked at them a little, and then she fluffed herself and then settled back down on them.  I had totally given up on having a new family this year so this is welcome news indeed.  Time to dust off the Adirondack chairs, gonna be out back a lot in the coming weeks.