Posts Tagged With: gopher tortise

Photo Frustration

Well, it started out like a great morning… hot, but Jackie and I set out to find the spoonbill by walking a path in front of the secondary dunes along the bay where we paddled earlier.  Clicking pictures with my Canon 35mm (wildflowers and a cool young gopher tortise who posed very nicely).  Then the gorgeous pink Roseated Spoonbill appeared and I snapped about three shots in flight, quickly trying to get the telephoto to follow and focus.  Wow.  But then a red light kept flickering lower right side of the camera, as if it was still trying to process the pics.  Despite my best effort, it looks like all I got was the very first picture of the morning (nothing special) and no tortise, no wildflowers, no spoonbill. Arghh.   Well, let me post some of what I got yesterday anyway.

St Aug 722 (15) 4x6

St Aug 722 (71) 6x4

St Aug 722 (33) 4x6

Manatee Springs 6[19 (9) 6x4

Big thunderstorm Monday night and now a wet afternoon and aborted trip across the desert to the beach due to another thunderstorm.  I mention the desert, as the walk from parking lot to water’s edge is a loooooong one and hot as heck when the sun is out.

Tonight it is dinner with the Brownlees on the bay, so we shall try to update things later.  Tomorrow we pack up for Georgia and say goodbye to our beach adventure (drats).  Oh, should mention that this week there are 6th and 7th graders (horrors!) all around as the local school district hosts a summer marine sciences class/camp.  Canoeing, beachcombing, sailing, kayaking, arguing, poking, spraying with water… well, you can imagine some of the familiar behaviors and comments.

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Father’s Day – A Legend in my Own Mind

St Augustine Harbor 1 4x6

Father’s Day was great fun here in St. Augustine.  Went into town with Jeff and Vic to search for, to explore the old town.  Jeff was itching to eat at Meehan’s Irish Pub and have some Guiness, so why not?  Sat at upstairs deck and watched the boats in the harbor just beyond the Castillo.  Oysters cold and sweet, fish and chips, Reubens and cold creamy ale.  Pretty great.  Favorite part was a Father’s day gift of “Old Guys Rule” tervis cup (sheesh what a name dropper).

Old Guys

No, wait, let me amend that — BEST part was checking in with Dad to wish him well and having all my children check in with me and do the same.  Yeah, old guys DO rule, if only for a day.  Nice to have peeps, eh Vic?

Great wildlife here, besides the fun of paddleboarding, biking and wave jumping.  Another swallowtail kite sighting, a great new one: spoonbill; a gopher tortise booking along the road, cool stuff.  Working on posting more of the pictures. Spoonbill not on camera yet, so we are hiking in search of one this morning.

Gopher Tortise St Augustine 1 4x6

St Aug 722 (70) 6x4

St Aug 722 (59) 6x4

St Aug 722 (64) 6x4

St Aug 722 (42) 6x4

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No-Manatee Springs

Manatee Springs 6-18 (52)b


Oh, yeah, the Manatees WINTER here (are they from New York?) So none of them are around this month. Otherwise pretty wild times here in Manatee Springs. I think maybe we made a wrong turn and ended up in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. First night in camp we had nearly a dozen deer walking through the campsite (I think our guys from home sent out a text message to be on the lookout for us) and on a walk to the spring we had two sharp-shinned hawks swooping and perching near us and two pileated woodpeckers flying to a tree trunk in front of us, making their way up the trunk.

Then when we were on the boardwalk along the Suwannee River we heard the barred owls hooting like back home and the huge Gulf Sturgeon jumping out of the water. We are told they can get up to several hundred pounds, but don’t feed in the river (just knock out a few boaters every season, seriously). Of course I didn’t have my camera.

The camp is nice and quiet, but swimming hole/spring is pretty busy with daytime swimmers. The water is crystal clear, 72 degrees (bracing) and has a pretty swift flow. Not much underwater except catfish and a few bass and sunfish. When paddleboarding down to the Suwanee River we passed a small gator, later spotting a 7 foot one just off the mouth of the spring in the river.

On a bike hike this morning we found a gopher tortise who scrambled into his burrow (good thing Jackie took that field class in South Georgia to learn about Indigo snakes and gopher tortises. She said rattlers and others share the burrow). This time I had my camera with me and we spooked a barred owl, caught up with another sharp-shinned hawk and just had a nice (hot) ride. A dip in the spring took care of that! later in the day I spotted a swallowtail kite and a bright yellow warbler that turns out to be a Prothonotary warbler.

Friday we travel to St. Augustine to meet up with my brother and his wife and hopefully to have dinner out with the Brownlees. Benji and Merlin say hi.

Manatee Springs 6-18 (78)b


Manatee Springs 6-18 (38)b

Gopher tortise in his burrow. Probably a foot in size.


Sunset view as the springs reach the Suwannee River.

Manatee Springs 6[19 (22)6x4

Banded water snake, probably was 4 foot long.

Manatee Springs 6[19 (14) Pileated 4x6

Got the Pileated later on…

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