I just finally made it back to this thread with all of its fantastic additions. I think proof that all of us are doing a good job at adding reports and posting photos is that it is getting harder and harder to keep up with everything. But then when there is a slower period or just extra time to wander the board, there is still always something new to see.
It's always nice to get out early this time of year, when the humidity is lower and the air cooler. Leaving the house early for an appointment in Micanopy, I took my camera with me in hopes of getting a few more pictures of the historic little town.
My appointment was at the Herlong Mansion, a restored home that is now a Bed & Breakfast, and is also used as a wedding and special events venue.
The gardens at the Herlong are especially beautiful right now because we have had more than our share of summer rain.
If I ever go back to Florida , this is an area that I would love to visit. Excellent additions Htmb. Your close up butterfly/ bee/ bird pics are particularly lovely.
What is the name of the speckled bird - two pics in this section and two above ?
No love bugs here. I remember when we first visited Florida I spent quite a lot of time trying to reassure my daughter after someone plonker told her she would go blind if she got one in her eye. As it was September they were everywhere.
I must confess, my spur-of-the moment trip during the middle of the day while running errands did not exactly turn out the way I had planned. I knew there was a lot of water on the prairie, but had now realized that I would also have to deal excessive plant growth.
Once I got off the boardwalk and started down the dirt path I felt like I was walking along the top of a dike with vegetation on either side growing way over my head. I could see crushed areas through the plants where animals, most likely alligators, had made a path to the water. I knew there would be gators on the cleared banks ahead and I decided to turn around rather than come up on one suddenly. It just really bothered me that visibility was so limited.
Since I was being hyper-vigilant, and because there was not much to see except for an overgrown pathway, I realized later that I hadn't taken any pictures. They would have been pretty boring anyway.
Absolutely gorgeous, Htmb, photographically & as a wonderful closeup view of nature. Micanopy is a darling town. The birds, bees, butterflies, foliage, & flowers are a real treat, but that anghina? cormorant? sequence is beyond dazzling.
This really is the next best thing to being there.
I have to say, as a person trying to take better & better pictures, I am knocked out by your 1st photo in #71, just to single it out among the great landscape pictures in this thread. It is frustratingly hard, practically impossible, to achieve that depth, that accuracy of color, AND to not have blinding white clouds. Kudos!
This is a big weekend in my part of North Central Florida. Besides honoring Veterans on Monday, a national holiday, today and tomorrow include Homecoming events at the University of Florida. All schools are closed for today's big "Gator Gallop" run down University Avenue and Homecoming parade, along with big entertainment in the football stadium tonight, known as "Gator Growl," and is billed as the biggest outdoor pep rally around. Fireworks end the evening. Tomorrow will be the college football game against Vanderbilt University, and all over campus and the city there are Homecoming-related celebrations.
Some of these traditions go back 100 years. I'm not sure when Gator Growl originated, but I attended several when I was an undergraduate and remember seeing Bill Cosby and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in the early '70s. I missed Robin Williams, but his performance was quite controversial "back in the day." The last time I attended was when Sister Hazel, local boys, made a surprise appearance and created lots of fun.
Having "been there, done that" I was actually looking forward to getting away from the hustle and bustle of orange and blue dressed gator fans, and see some live gators instead. Also, seeing the pictures of beautiful fall colors recently posted on AnyPort has me itching to find something in my part of the world that gives an indication the season is indeed changing.
Fortunately, the weather was perfect, as it often is here during this time of year. I decided to drive to Paynes Prairie and headed down to the main entrance of the park. Driving towards the observation tower that overlooks the southeastern side of the prairie, I came very close to a deer that jumped out in front of my car and ran across the road into the woods on the other side, and later I encountered a flock of wild turkeys. I would see many other deer during the morning, but none close enough for a good photo opportunity.
Looking off to the east from the observation tower I could only see a hint of fall, and the only animals I observed were buzzards.
Looking north, however, I could see very bright yellow. Definitely a promising sight.
There was a very stiff breeze and, since no wildlife was to be seen here, I decided to explorer more of this section of the park.
In the area designated for camping I could see a few camper vehicles scattered through the trees. There was also a small ramp to launch boats onto the lake. I doubt boats with motors are allowed.
Here's a playground area for little campers.
And some of the trails in this campground area are paved and wheelchair accessible.
The live oak trees are quite majestic. I never seem to be able to capture the type of photo that I want.
Many years ago I participated in a religious service in this little area overlooking the lake and can remember seeing ducks, alligators and sailboats cruising majestically by during the service. It was in the late spring and was a perfect setting, along with interesting distractions.
One of the advantages of picking an "off peak" time to visit:
After wandering around the main park for a couple of hours I decided to drive up to the La Chua Trail at the north rim. This is the area where all my alligator photos have been taken. I pass by the wayside overlook off Hwy 441 on the way, but I hadn't planned to stop. I'm so glad I changed my mind!
My photos barely begin to illustrate the vibrant prairie colors.