The Wrong Shoes
Header: Great Blue Heron At Sunrise
An Osprey called as she flew over my head while I was getting out of the car. She was followed by a flight of several White Ibises heading from their nightly roosting area to some spot they knew would provide an adequate breakfast. A nice paved path led from the parking lot to the dock which jutted a short ways into Lake Crago. Boat-tailed Grackles cranked up the volume at my approach to the lake’s edge. The sun was about to peek over the eastern shoreline as a Great Blue Heron stalked the shallows among the reeds.
My normal walking shoes are something called “cross-trainers”, designed for runners who like to speed across hill and dale, mud and rock, leaves and puddles. This particular pair has never had to worry about being abused in such a fashion. Running is something I may have done once to catch a train in Germany. The shoes have been fabulous for what I do. Walk slowly in easily maneuvered areas, stopping often, occasionally stepping into the edge of a lake or fording a shallow stream. They are very comfortable.
Yesterday, those normal walking shoes got pretty wet and were not dry this morning. Plan B. Hiking boots. Large. Substantial. Heavily lined (“water resistant”). So naturally I selected a venue consisting of paved trails. But I could have gone into the bush, if I had wanted to.
Today’s exploration was short but filled with amazing things. The heron fishing, a group of huge mushrooms, dragons, damsels, a tired butterfly, birds, a snake, alligators. I promised Gini I wouldn’t be long so I was back home in under two hours. Pretty good, for me.
Scenes seen can be seen soon.
The subtle colors of a Little Blue Heron seem really dark before the sun brightens them up.
A group of six large mushrooms was pretty impressive. Each cap exceeded six inches across.
Patience is a virtue. The Great Blue Heron must be one of the most virtuous creatures in the bird world. They seem able to wait forever for a meal to appear.
I could not convince this Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) to turn for a better angle so this is all you get.
It should not be surprising there are plenty of Osprey around any water source in Florida. They are not all as cooperative about posing as nicely as this model.
Brightening up the morning was this great-looking Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida). The white stigma near the wingtips are like flags signaling “Here I am!”.
Ms. Cardinal was not happy that I woke her up. I promised next time to bring her coffee.
Looking a bit tattered, a Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) was visiting as many blooming Spanish Needle, or Beggarticks (Bidens alba) as possible for sufficient nectar.
Although the Variable Dancer (Argia fumipennis) is a damselfly which is common over a large range, it can look very different depending on specific location. In Florida, the species is very dark and is known as a Black Dancer (Argia fumipennis atra).
Sometimes, your feet get tired of sifting through mud for a meal and you just have to find a comfortable branch to give them a rest. A Wood Stork in a pine tree may not be the normal view we have of this big wader, but he looks pretty good surrounded by all that green.
Speaking of giving your feet a rest. I’m headed to the house where I’ll kiss and hug Gini, slip into my bare feet, make a pot of coffee and burn some bacon. Even if you aren’t wearing your favorite shoes, get out early, celebrate a sunrise and all that Nature has to offer!
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!