Our Natural Places

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Header Image: Black-necked Stilt When is a birding patch not a patch? The word “patch” denotes something small. Talk to a birder about their local patch and it will usually turn out to be a city park, part of a forest, coastal area, wetland – but near home and with a chance to see a fair diversity of birds. The patch is a spot where a birder can go often and is… Read More

Header Image: White-eyed Vireo So many things to do! The garage really needs to be sorted out, the extra bedroom looks like the aftermath of a craft warehouse explosion, bags of donation items need to be hauled away, a couple of small trees are awaiting excavation, the birding-mobile is overdue for an oil change — where, oh where, to begin? Sunrise in the forest is so quiet and peaceful. In early spring,… 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: Pecan Tree) Great segments of the land were decorated in pink. Just for us. Narrow dirt roads had been given the color of the interior of a perfectly baked sweet potato. Just for us. Bright blue skies were punctuated with fluffy formations that were enlarged versions of the cotton which will bloom later this summer. Just for us. The pink in the landscape was due to thousands of peach trees… Read More