Author Archives: Angel

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

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Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive meanders through the eastern portion of the lake and it is a one-way 11-mile drive.  Bird diversity is extraordinary in this area, and the bird list continues to grow.  That list, as of late 2014, includes 362 species, 16 of which are exotics.  Other wildlife include alligators, turtles, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

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Spanish Wells Bahamas

Spanish Wells Bahamas

This was an amazing 10th anniversary trip my husband & I took this past year.  Would like to share some of the beauty we experienced.  First, we rented this adorable cottage, Aunt Marjorie’s Island Cottage – http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p279197  from the most friendliest people, Roy & Linda Pinder.  Roy greeted us at the dock with our golf cart that we would use for the week.  When we arrived at the cottage Linda took the most delicious lunch out of the oven for us, stuffed lobster, cheesy baked potatoes, vegetables and 2 different kinds of desserts.  During the week she had made us lobster & conch salad, beans, rice & johnny cakes, fabulous cook.  The cottage was clean and well maintained we had everything we could possible need or want.  We would take long walks every day on the most beautiful pink sand beach just walking distance from the cottage.

We met another very friendly native to the island, James Dunnam who gave us a day we shall never forget.  https://www.facebook.com/swboceansafaris  James took us snorkeling in several different locations seeing beautiful reefs & all kinds of fish, a baby turtle and a huge sting ray.  I was able to take some fantastic underwater photos in the clear waters of the Bahamas.  While we were enjoying the underwater beauty, James was catching fish, lobster & conch for us, we had enough food for the week.  James personalizes your tour and is attentive to your needs.

There are no hotels or fancy restaurants on this very small island off the coast of Eleuthera, just the beauty of nature and simple and kind island folks.  We did go out one night for our anniversary to an excellent restaurant – The Shipyard Restaurant was the perfect place to celebrate any occasion or just to have a relaxing delicious dinner overlooking the ocean, had the freshest seafood, great menu and friendly staff.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shipyard/129564420561387

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Goats

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Wallaby Ranch Florida

Wallaby Ranch Florida offers year round tandem flights and hang gliding instruction.  The Owner / Founder Malcolm Jones founded the 600 acre ranch in 1991, out of a lifetime love of hang gliding, as a school to teach people to hang glide and experience tandem flight using the Aerotow method.  The Aerotow method allows the glider to be towed to altitude behind a powered aircraft with wheels attached to the frame, creating a more user friendly experience for beginning students or people just wanting to experience a flight.  Please check out their website at:  http://www.wallaby.com

 

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Blue Spring State Park Orange City FL

Blue Spring State Park Orange City FL is the largest spring on the St. Johns River and discharges an average of 165 million gallons per day.  The spring pool is circular, with a notable boil in the center and steep sandy banks that rise approximately 15 to 20 feet above water level. The spring run flows about 1,050 feet to the St. Johns River through a dense hardwood and palm forest, with picturesque live oak trees leaning over the run.  There is a growing manatee population giving park visitors a great viewing experience from the boardwalks and overlooks along the spring run.  The spring serves as a winter home for many Florida manatees that come up the St. Johns to enjoy the relatively warm waters, a constant 72 Fahrenheit.  The manatees are a lot of fun to photograph they are very playful with each other and they are usually several mama’s with their calves.  The spring is so clear and beautiful you can see lots of native fish, there is a photo of a carp with a manatee in the background.  The park also has a historic house built on a prehistoric shell midden, boat tours on the St. Johns River, picnic areas, cabins, a campground, and trails.

 

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Blue Cypress Conservation Area

Blue Cypress Conservation Area is a great place for wildlife viewing, fishing, bicycling and hiking along many miles of levees, primitive camping at designated sites, canoeing, airboating and boating.  Located along the St. Johns River between State Road 60 and the Indian River/Brevard county line at Fellsmere Grade.

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Wickham Park Melbourne FL

Wickham Park Melbourne FL is a regional park that has a variety of recreational opportunities which includes  swimming lakes, disc golf course, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, playground, multi-purpose and soccer fields (home of Space Coast United Soccer), and the Wickham Park Senior Center.  There is an exercise trail, a dog park, horse trails and nature trails that winds through the park’s open areas, pine woods and lakes.  Nestled in the pine forest are 88 campsites with water and electric hookups, as well as 25 overflow campsites. Shower rooms, laundry, group camping site, and fire pit are nearby.
I took a walk through a nature trail with dear friends and was able to get a glimpse of some of the local wildlife.  There were lots of different water birds down by the lake but I enjoyed photographing the Florida Scrub Jays, Red Headed Wood Pecker and a Slider Turtle that just finished laying her eggs.

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Juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk

This Juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk visits us regularly & these photos were taken through my windows of the backyard.  I have photographed this juvenile before & have seen him in the yard several times looking for doves.  This day he had captured something on the ground that got away, then he got on my bird bath that had deep water in it but went to the small plate of water & tried to bath in that.  Funny!

Right click through the photos to have the feeling of the movements of the hawk.

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Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park is a very popular Florida park with white sand beaches and picturesque dunes, there are lakes to canoe or kayak on and winding nature trails to hike.  Along the trails you may also see native birds, flowers, snakes and butterflies.

Eden Gardens State Park – Santa Rosa, FL is part of the estate owned in the 1800s by the Wesleys, a wealthy Florida timber family.  The Wesley Mansion is hidden away on the shore of Tucker Bayou.  The mansion sits on 161 acres with amazing live oaks that are over 600 years old and ornamental gardens.   In 1963, Lois Maxon bought and renovated the home, creating a place to show her family heirlooms and antiques.  Today, the collection of Louis XVI furniture is the second largest in the United States.  Its a great place to explore and then enjoy the picnic area overlooking the lake.

In this collection I have a photo of a  Live Oak which is one of the oldest in the park. It is known as the Wedding Tree.

There are more photographs from Grayton Beach State Park and Eden Gardens in my galleries under scenic.

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Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach is a beautiful white sand beach with picturesque dunes located along the Gulf Coast Shores of Florida.  We have stayed in the cabins at the beach and enjoy vacationing there.  Its a quiet beach where you can take romantic long walks in the daytime or in the moonlight.  There are additional photos of Grayton Beach in my Gallery under Scenic.

 

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