Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Florida has some lovely and serene places...

Recently I submitted an article with photos about Alligator Lake after doing a short kayak trip in the fog one morning. A few days later I went back to do some more research on the lake and get some other photos. I used my Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS since it was the same one I used on the kayak trip. I particularly like the intensity of the colors here. (Info on the green frog at the end of this post.)

In the foreground you can see some American Coots, also known as 'marsh hens' because of the silly way they almost run on the water to get enough disconnection from the water so they can become airborne... imagine a C5A in miniature - very round - and for all their roundness, although they can be eaten, I have heard they don't have a lot of meat on them. This is second-hand knowledge, however, and I frankly don't have an appetite for strange wild critters.

Recently I received an e-mail from someone offering me a recipe for "Raccoon - the other dark meat" and while it was amusing to read, I am not convinced that squirrels taste like a 'nutty-flavored' chicken or that the trash-can raiding raccoons taste like wild turkey as was promised. I think I might have to drink a lot of Wild Turkey prior to putting my lips to a forkful of 'coon.

This part of Florida (almost due west of Jacksonville) has a lot of wildlife. On my drive home from the airport I encountered somewhere between 10-12 groups of deer grazing alongside the road, which is about 20 miles from I-10 to my home city, with at least five or six in each group. That means that at least 60 full-grown deer are bounding around in the forest. And I'm sure there are more than that. Last year I arrived home about dusk (I live right IN the city but back from the road and down in among the pine trees) to find a doe with two fawns munching on my flowers. They danced away into my neighbor's yard and periodically I see tracks letting me know they are still around. But I never have my camera when those things happen.

Owls have conventions in the trees in my yard about twice a year and there are two families of red-tailed hawks who nest and then train the young'uns to screech as they practice flying in the spring. Several cardinal families have made this yard their home, too. Not to mention racers (snakes), armadillos, rabbits, mice (who made the mistake of trying to move into my house!) and the featured green frog living in the folds of my trash can liner. A zoo - just outside my door!

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