January 28, 2019
Until a few years ago, I had never left the state of Michigan in the wintertime so I never really appreciated the fact that one could take a road trip to summer in the middle of a snowstorm. For my husband and I, the road trip to summer (aka Florida) takes three days—or about 1200 miles. And even though I’ve lived in this country my entire life, it’s still hard for me to believe that I can drive my car from winter to summer in a matter of a few days; that one day I can be scraping 6 inches of snow off my car and struggling to stay warm, then suddenly I’m not! It feels quite odd really—but it doesn’t take all that long to get used to!
In less than 24 hours after our arrival, Mel and I headed out, cameras in hand, to the nearby Weedon Island Preserve for a late morning hike and photo shoot (http://www.weedonislandpreserve.org/). We hadn’t even gotten to the parking lot of the preserve, when the very best shot of the day captured our attention—a big, beautiful osprey perched overhead on the arm of a light post eating his catch of the day– a large spotted sea trout! We quickly parked our car, got out our cameras and started to shoot. Aside from the unsightly condition of the fish who was now missing most of his face, it was a great photo opportunity.
After our osprey encounter, Mel and I drove a little farther into the preserve and parked our car near the pier where we were delighted to see cormorants, pelicans, ibises, and a well-hidden yellow crowned night heron. Wow! But, there was much more to explore!
We took one of the nearby trails that led us to a boardwalk through the mangrove swamps that led us to a pond where we found one roseate spoonbill, one wood stork, one ibis, one tri-colored heron and one great egret! It seemed odd to me that there was just one of each bird, but it felt like a gold mine, nonetheless! For one reason or another, though, (mostly user error I suspect), most of our pictures didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. Nevertheless, it still felt like the best day ever—especially after leaving behind so many months of winter with so few birds.
Our ‘summer’ vacation was off to a great start!