Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Visit with Nancy & Joe

We had the best week! Our very good friends, Nancy and Joe from Colorado Springs, came for a visit. We had a great time showing them our Florida.

This picture was taken at Rainbow Springs State Park.

The gardens and water features are beautiful.

Nancy had never seen a Cardinal before - but by the end of the visit, Bill was calling them trash birds because we saw them everywhere we went.

I think this is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

One of our favorite places to walk is Paynes Prairie State park - so we were anxious to share this gem with our friends. I was especially happy to point out this American Bittern to Nancy. I think they are really neat birds!

We watched this Great Blue Heron shop for lunch on the river.

Nancy walked on the far side of the path past the many, many alligators. She didn't want them nibbling on her ankles.

My sister took the BEST picture of a Belted Kingfisher while she was in Fort Myers. I've been trying to get decent one for over a year - but I am never close enough. At least this one sat still while I clicked.

The herons and egrets are showing their mating plumage. Do you see the extra feathers on this Snowy Egret?

After our walk we went into Gainesville to the Butterfly Gardens. I don't know what I enjoyed more - the beautiful butterflies or the flowers and plants.

This guy decided that Nancy's hair was a nice soft place to rest.

Another day trip was to Cedar Key - a lovely and quaint fishing village on the Nature Coast. We had lunch at Tony's. They have the best clam chowder I've ever had!

Just outside of town, we watched several fishermen.

Nancy had lots of new clothes that she bought especially for the trip - and apparently they took up all the room in the suitcase as it looks (from these pictures) like Joe wore the same shirt the entire week.

This morning we got up before o'dark thirty and took them to the Orlando Airport for their flight back to Colorado. We hated to see them leave - but they promised to come back again next year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs is a beautiful State Park. The admission is $2 a person and well worth it. This time of year, the Dogwoods, Azaleas and Wisteria are in full bloom and just gorgeous.

The springs form the headwaters for the crystal clear Rainbow River.

I love the Azaleas.

There are seven water falls along the garden paths.

The park was once a privately-owned tourist attraction - before the state took it over.

Our favorite area was the butterfly garden.

A "Butterfly Volunteer" told us to be sure and stop back in a couple of weeks because the garden will be thick with all different kinds butterflies.

The gardens were originally part of the old attraction but the state is doing a good job of restoring them to their former beauty.

And, of course, there were birds enjoying the gardens with us.

There is a large picnic area and a place to swim - if you dare! The water is a constant 72 degrees.

The Florida State bird - a Mockingbird.

We detoured beyond the boundaries for a short 3-mile hike. The trail was well marked.

This is the very rare, endangered Pine Palm. (not)

This is how clear the water is. The round spots on the sandy bottom are where water is bubbling up.

As we were walking, I looked up into the fork in a tree. See that little white spot in the hole?

I turned on my flash and manually adjusted the focus to capture this snake looking out of the hole at me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Six Mile Cypress Slough

The Six Mile Cypress Slough is one of my favorite places in south Florida - and we couldn't miss an opportunity to visit while we were in the area. We didn't see too many birds on our short walk, so I took some pictures of Dragonflies.

Look at the neat colors. Now when I see beautiful colors I think how nice they would look in a quilt.

The birds are in full mating plumage. This Great Egret had bright green lores.

The swamp Iris were beautiful.

We don't see as many Osprey in central Florida as we did in Ft. Myers. This hungry hawk was eating his fish dinner atop a light post right in the middle of the median on a busy street.

It's that time of the year and this Red-bellied Woodpecker was excavating a hole in the tree to build a nest. From the looks of it, he had been working for some time.

The end.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Yes, I really am going to blog again! I've just been so darn busy - and today I'm heading to the Trenton, FL craft fair and my favorite (so far) quilt store. So here's a picture of a couple of my favorite birds - Burrowing Owls - taken on a recent trip to Cape Coral.