Friday, March 13, 2009

North to Lake Okechobee....

Rather than deal with I-95 north through the Miami metro area, we decided to head north and see Lake Okechobee. John had never seen it, and I only vaguely remember seeing it from the car as a child. The towns we passed through on the way were terribly depressed - not the Florida on the travel brochures, for sure! We found access to the lake finally, and sat and watched for a while. There were no boats to be seen anywhere - we guessed that it probably isn't very deep.
Lake Okechobee, FL

We saw a sign that indicated a "natural area" and turned off to explore. How glad we were that we did! There were two crested caracara who were fairly unconcerned about our stopping - a lifer for us both.

The natural area turned out to be on a private farm , and it was getting dusky - the signs indicated that it would close at sunset, and there were indeed gates, so we stayed close to the car, lest we spend the night camping!

I had never seen a live armadilla - I thought they were all Florida roadkill! But this one was just waddling around...he had sort of a horsey face.
I don't think I've mentioned that I'm long back home - I did get "snowed out" though...I was to drive back on Monday March 2, but my son called and said not to try - 8 - 11" of snow was expected overnight. So I just kicked back when we got back to Jacksonville, and came home Wednesday.
The rest of my trip photos will get posted ASAP - Merritt Island coming up.

21 comments:

Eve said...

Wow Helen!! Those birds are unbelieveable! Way to go and the little jeepy fellow is cute!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great pictures.It is great to explore some 'unadvertised' areas and find treasures.I really like the picture with the fence.
Blessings,Ruth

Tina said...

Oh, what a neat raptor..that Crested Caracara looks like a sculpture sitting on top that pole!! What an interesting bird, love the feathers on top of his head..
How nice to see an armadillo..I have never seen a wild one..this one looks well fed!!
Glad you made it home safely!!

TSannie said...

caracara! I've never even heard of them/those/that - whatever - it's a wonderful photo.

And as far as armadilla, I've never seen a live one either, though I've heard they're now seen north of the Missouri river. (Did they SWIM that wide wide river??)

June said...

That's a nice photo of the lake...it's actually only about 2 ft below normal now...thanks to a tropical depression last summer. Before that it had been VERY low. Unfortunately, drought conditions have returned to south Florida and things are on their way back to being very bad. Looking forward to seeing your Merritt Island shots...I'm going there in late April. BTW, I've decided to call you the Pied Piper since wherever you go the animals come out for you! :-)

Roy said...

Lovely sea view photo Helen. Just perfect. You made the right choice going that way.

Jayne said...

Crested Caracara... say that five times fast! Cool birds! Lucky you Helen. :c)

Dave Coulter said...

I like the top photo best!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great trip. I am really enjoying the wonderful photographs. Glad you didn't have to camp out.

Mary said...

Wow...this is great! That Caracara is a really strange bird! How neat to see it! Love the sunset and the armadilla...I've never seen one either.

Natural Moments said...

That's cool that you got to see a Caracara. Occasionally one is even reported here in Washington State.

fishing guy said...

Helen: I thought you were at a zoo, I wouldn't even know what it was.

Arija said...

Helen, what a beautiful Armadillo! Your photo is so much more evocative than the pictures one sees in books.

Abe said...

I have never seen any of these before today. Nice photography.

All the birds I photograph have to fly into my tiny, city, backyard.

I just brought my Coopers Hawk blog back. Blogger had saved the name for me. I have hundreds of photos yet to publish. If you are interested in hawks you are welcome to have a look.

http://coopershawk.blogspot.com/

T and S said...

Nice series. The images of the crested carcara is beautiful. I m sure it was a lifer for you.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Looks like your trip continues to be productive. Seeing the Caracara is special. Safe travels and blue skies.

Bird Girl said...

Really enjoyed the Caracara!!! Beautiful scenery pics, as well!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI Helen, We're home from Arkansas after a nice trip--although the weather didn't cooperate much. We had a horrible Ice storm --along with rain and thunderstorms. BUT---that made for lots of water in the waterfalls--so you know how much we enjoyed that!!! ha

I love to drive on the back roads also--and you do see some 'run-down' areas.. BUT--overall, you do get to see the 'lay of the land'... Glad you got to see Okechobee.

Hugs,
Betsy

Denise said...

Those are the most interesting looking birds, fascinating. I've never seen one before. The armadillo was great too. Lovely set of photos Helen, thank you for a great tour!

John Theberge said...

Great photos, look forward to seeing the rest from the trip.

Roses and Lilacs said...

What beautiful views--well, not so much the armadilla;)