Our Natural Places

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Header Image: Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis) The sun has barely managed to get out of bed and already the cicadas are buzzing their raspy chorus in glorious surround-sound. Walking into a meadow requires slogging through a small ditch where the weeds hide six inches of water under bright green tangles. No matter. The dew is so heavy my feet were wet before I made it to the ditch. The humidity is thick… Read More

Header Image: Lake Godwin Moonset “Every day should start this way.” Gini’s simple statement was not only profound but a goal worth striving toward. About an hour earlier, we were on the shore of Lake Godwin, a small freshwater impoundment within the Arbuckle Tract of Lake Wales Ridge State Forest. The moon was descending beyond a line of pine trees. As the sun rose behind us, our surroundings took on a golden… Read More

Header Image: Sandhill Cranes Hoo-H-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo. Hoo-H-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo. Softer than one would expect for a relatively large bird. Distant. Distinct. “Great Horned Owl!”, Gini exclaimed in the darkness. It was now about an hour-and-a-half before sunrise and this was our fourth stop in an attempt to hear nocturnal birds. A bit later, a Barred Owl couple called to each other. The highlight of our pre-dawn foray occurred at a boat ramp. “Whip-whip-whip.” Whoosh! An… Read More

Header Image: Pygmy Rattlesnake Hot. Wet. Oppressive. Taking a breath almost requires effort. In the time it takes to walk from the car to the trailhead, your clothes are soaked through from the humidity. There is not even a hint of a breeze. We are in central Florida. The Green Swamp surrounds us. It is summer. Glorious! It is that time of year we simply LOVE to be outside! The stillness of… Read More