Going up the path towards the lighthouse I could see several large citrus trees laden with fruit. I assume they were sour oranges. We were pretty far north for other fruit to survive, but the islands topography, with a low area on the east side, probably offers protection from severe cold.
The lighthouse building is quite different from what normally comes to mind.
However, a lighthouse in this area only needed to be a certain height to put it above everything else.
The building is now used to house the University of Florida students who work on site.
Only three people at a time are allowed up the steps to the top, but everyone else was outside and I was really glad to go up by myself.
I woke up the next day to high winds and clouds, and the weather continued to deteriorate through the next several days. However, my first view of the morning included this flock of Roseate Spoonbills, feeding outside at low tide.
Northern birds were just beginning to come into the area. I spotted some white pelicans, but they were too far away to make a good picture. I spoke with one wildlife officer about the roseate spoonbills and he said they had a nesting pair on Seahorse Island this past spring for the first time ever recorded. They typically nest further south, beginning about Tampa Bay, and scientists have speculated the nesting to the north is due to climate change.
I've always wanted to walk down the old railroad trestle that has been turned into a linear park. The beginning of the park was in a residential neighborhood and had this very encouraging sign.
If they are going to warn about dangerous animals, couldn't the Nature Conservancy mention which ones I should be looking out for? Lions, tigers and bears? No. Animals of the human variety? Likely. How about snakes, wild pigs, and alligators? Yep, those, too.
I walked about halfway down the path, saw there were labels on some of the vegetation...
......and decided I'd seen enough.
I imagine the trail ends with a view of the bay, since I was traveling out on a spit of land, but the trees were too thick to see anything else.
Well, I hope you are happy with yourself, young lady, after posting all of these superb photos with mostly superb weather. They told us today in France that we had 20% less sunshine and 20% more rain this autumn.
Speaking of wild animals, they also mentioned that 43 wild boars were killed by commuter trains in the greater metropolitan area in the last few months. During the past year, 1110 "big animals" (deer, boars, farm animals...) were hit by trains.
I had only had quick glances at these photos. Now I have rolled through the whole series with great pleasure. Your bird pics are beautiful and the history of the area interesting. A good photographer like you, htmb, deserves good equipment.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Thank you all for your very kind and much appreciated comments.
My new camera is not all that special, but I am learning to make it work, I think. My old one takes good pictures and is very compact. New one is a bridge camera so is certainly much bigger and a bit cumbersome. However it has a view finder which I find myself using exclusively. It also has a 60X lens.
And so you rub our noses in another beautiful Florida day. The fact that it is cool does not really show in the photos. That low tide is pretty impressive because I know that the Gulf of Mexico has very minimal tidal amplitude. But it also has an ultra gradual drop-off in most places so even a tide of 30-40 cm can expose vast areas of mud flats. The boats in the marina must be only for super shallow water anyway because the road level is not very high above the water level even at low tide.
That's a great sunset. Here, too, we get most of our best sunsets in the winter, on the rare occasion that we get to see the sun.