Our Natural Places

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Header Image: Prothonotary Warbler It’s her fault, you know. She said: “Go birding. I have some crafting to catch up on.” I should have known to be wary. For some time now, I’ve wanted to explore part of the “Blue Loop Trail” at Tenoroc Public Use Area. According to the map, about a quarter mile from the trail head is an “overlook”. Along the way are huge oak, bay and hickory trees… 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: Carolina Wren Once again, that mee-tee-oh-rah-low-gist was absolutely correct. Partly cloudy with temperatures about the same as yesterday. I missed my calling. We pulled into the management area just before the sun was scheduled to make an appearance. Thin fog suggested the actual appearance would be somewhat later than Sol had in the day-planner. Atop the welcome sign, a Red-shouldered Hawk scanned the dew-soaked grass for any sign of movement,… Read More

Crossing Saddle Creek on the footbridge, it seemed I had been transported to another place. First, there was a hill to climb – in Florida? The tall trees, the dense understory of lush ferns, curtains of vines hanging from huge limbs made it feel as if I was in a rain forest in the Amazon. A huge dragonfly rising from the path completed the illusion. In reality, I was exploring an unfamiliar… Read More

“Sausage, grits and cantaloupe okay with you?” Once upon a time, there was a beautiful brown-eyed young woman who blinked those sublime eyes in disbelief when I revealed I did not care for grits. After all, my mother was raised in Mississippi, the virtual center of the “grits belt” of the southern United States. My father was from the panhandle of Florida, which is actually part of Alabama and Georgia, where a… Read More