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Old Mar 26, 2012, 9:29 PM   #1
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Default A very pleasant visit to Florida

I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately. Two weeks ago we went to Florida for five days to visit my parents. One brief day after returning, I left for a second trip to a conference in St. Louis. I had very little time for photography on either trip, but I wanted to share a few from the Florida trip. I’ll post a few photos from St Louis in a separate thread.

We spent most of our time in Florida swimming, relaxing, and enjoying some down time. I can’t remember the last time I read two books in five days just for pleasure. But we also got out to a few natural areas. Most of these photos were taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The Loxahatchee River, a federally designated wild & scenic river, flows through this park, and it is a remarkable natural area. We took s boat trip up the river and saw ospreys, alligators, herons, turtles, manatees, and an endless variety of plant life that I can’t begin to identify. (The ‘gator photos were hopelessly out of focus, and the manatees were gray blobs in tea-colored water; hardly the subject material of worthwhile photos.)

1) As our boat approached this GBH almost stepped out and posed. I couldn’t have hoped for a more willing subject.

2) We also talk a walk along a pleasant nature trail that led to this creek overlook. I thought to myself, this photo would be a lot better with a canoe in the creek, and almost as I wished for it, this happy family came around the bend, and passed right through the spot where I wanted them.

3) I was amazed by the lush vegetation along the banks of the river and its tributaries. I think these are cypress trees growing in this swamp.

4) Beyond the cypress trees, are these amazing “air plants.” I have no idea how, but these plants somehow pull nutrients directly from the air. Air plants are not only amazing, they are very beautiful.

5) We had a wonderful afternoon in the state park, but as we were leaving the park, we discovered that there was still more in store for us. These two Sandhill Cranes were standing beside the road, and couldn’t have cared less when we pulled the car over and pulled out our cameras. I was astonished to learn later that the Florida Sandhill Crane is an endangered species.
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Old Mar 26, 2012, 9:34 PM   #2
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1) While enjoying our trip up the Loxahatchee River, it started to rain quite hard. We got soaked, but didn’t mind, and neither, apparently, did this turtle.

2) We also enjoyed some more regular “tourist” activities while in Florida. The Jupiter lighthouse is very scenic and historic. If I remember my history correctly, Robert E. Lee led the expedition that determined the best location for the lighthouse. (Obviously, that was before Lee decided to head up the Confederate Army.)

3) We also saw more remarkable vegetation – this example was in the front yard of a multi-million dollar mansion. I think this is a mangrove tree, but I’d be happy to be corrected by someone who knows more about these trees. I assume the” roots” going straight from the branches into the ground are an adaptation foe growing in swamps, but that’s only a guess.

In all, it was a lovely five days in Florida, that ended all too soon.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 5:52 AM   #3
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Great shots. My favorites are the Sandhill Cranes and the Canoe nailed in the center of the creek. They are all nice and I enjoyed seeing them.

Sounds like you had a nice relaxing time. Something we don't seem to do as our vacations seem to be more adventures, but we make up for it when we get home. Retirement makes this scenario possible for us.

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Old Mar 27, 2012, 8:19 AM   #4
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You hit all the sights in the area, and got some nice shots, Looks like the Jupiter light was shot from a restaurant I've been at. I like the air plant shot best, nice job on all


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Old Mar 27, 2012, 7:58 PM   #5
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The Sandhill Cranes are really spectacular. Last fall, while headed to a retreat at the Nature Conservancy's Kissimmee reserve, I spotted several along the road. It was early in the morning and foggy, and I was able to get some nice shots, one of which I post-processed a bit for our holiday card.

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Old Mar 28, 2012, 10:20 AM   #6
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Visited Florida a couple of times, be nice to make another trip there sometime. Agree that the timing was excellent on the canoe shot - it could be a brochure pic !
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 6:51 PM   #7
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Fine and varied and colorful series - thanks for sharing the great views of your trip. My favorite - the rainy day turtle - such a great mood!
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Old Mar 31, 2012, 11:31 PM   #8
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All are wonderful, someday I want to visit. Your pictures just reinforce that desire.
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