March « 2013 « verdure
unplanned Alligator Lake
Friday, March 29th, 2013

We took a weekend trip back to North Florida in early December, intending to go to Big Shoals State Park. Big Shoals is northeast of White Springs, a small community that Mike said looks about the same as he remembered from over two decades ago, hidden from the march of modernization by a cloak of poverty. We passed by worn buildings and rotting railroad tracks. Near the single blinking amber/red lighted intersection, a church’s food pantry had a line of people collecting items. On the highway to Lake City there was an inspection station manned with a police car that said that all trucks, pickups and vans had to pull over. The pickups on the road with us weren’t stopping though. We drove the GTO, which is a much more comfy ride than my pickup, but it’s not made for rough or unpaved roads. It turns out that both entrances to the park are long stretches of dirt. So, we headed to Alligator Lake Park instead, which is all paved.

It was one of the foggiest mornings I’ve seen in Florida. The slight chill and crunching leaves under foot made it feel like fall, which really doesn’t reach further south.

path

Lantern plants don’t seem to be native.

lanterns

spiderwort

spiderwort

It wasn’t until around noon that the fog burned off and it warmed up enough for the insects to start flittering about. There were gulf frittilaries, as there usually are, but the other butterflies were cliquish, with several members of a species near each other but not seen in other areas of the park, seemingly more tightly grouped than changes in habitats would make likely.

Hedriodiscus trivittatus (soldier) fly

lady

long tailed skipper

bee

damsel

red waisted florella moth, by Mike

florella

We also managed to get more flitty bird pictures than our usual collection of blurry bird butts.

yellow throated warbler

yellow

cardinal. This and the rest of the birds are Mike’s.

red

bluegray gnatcatcher

bluegray gnatcatcher

palm warbler

palm

black and white warbler

black and white warbler

coot

coot

And some reptiles:

alligator by Mike

teeth

green anole

eyeshadow

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sky and water dwelling
Thursday, March 7th, 2013

First, mine, of sky dwelling creatures at Sawgrass Lake Park in early December.

blue-gray gnatcatcher

Pileated woodpeckers are noisy and fairly common, but they hop just quickly enough that it’s difficult to get even decent pictures of them.

pileated

The rest are Mike’s. He did the conversions on all of this post as well.

The yellow-rumped warbler is also pretty common. On this morning there were several little birds fluttering through branches near enough to attempt to take their picture.

yellow-rumped warbler

tricolored heron

This is a sunfish of unknown type.

sunfish

softshell turtle

softshell

This is probably a rather old turtle that has seen some bumps and scrapes, possibly a yellow bellied slider

yellow

red-eared slider, with coat of algae

red

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