Florida, Paddling, Hiking, and Other Things Seen

Most of our photographic energy when paddling or hiking in Florida is directed at the birds, however it’s hard not to see other things when you’re out exploring. For any of you that have travelled to Miami or Naples or any of the other developed areas these pictures will not remind you of that Florida. In our quest to explore ad be in nature we try to avoid such places and look for the natural beauty. While it is still a place of much beauty, when driving through the many developed areas one cannot help but feel Florida is being “loved” to death.

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For those that are curious, our stay in Florida consisted of time spent at Myakka River SP; great hiking, big gators, and great wildlife photography, Lake Kissimmee SP; great hiking, paddling, fishing, and wildlife, the Chassahowzitka River Campground;  great paddling, fishing, and wildlife, and Ochlockonee River SP; great hiking, paddling, and wildlife.

 Click on images for a better view.

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The first place we visited was Myakka River State Park. In addition to many species of birds it’s home a lot of very large Alligators!

Hammock, Myakka River SP.

 

Myakka River, Myakka River SP.

Living dangerously, Myakka River SP.

Alligator heaven, Myakka River SP.

Almost everything’s cute when it’s little, Myakka River SP.

Cooling off, Myakka River SP.

Lots of babies, Myakka River SP, (Donna).

Bellowing, Myakka River SP.

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Sunset, Myakka River SP.

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Rumor has it that the alligators enjoy a turtle now and then. Hopefully this fella will live to a ripe old age.

Florida Redbelly Cooter, Myakka River SP

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Myakka River, Myakka River SP.

Air plants, Myakka River SP.

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Whether in Myakka or otherwise there were always butterflies and other insects to facinate.

White Peacock Butterfly, Myakka River SP

Black Swallowtail, Ochlockonee River SP.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, central Florida, (Donna).

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, (Donna).

Pondhawk, Ochlockonee River SP.

Long-tailed Skipper, Chassahowitzka River, (Donna).

Zebra Swallowtail, Ochlockonee River SP.

Palamedes Swallowtail, Chassahowitzka River.

Red-banded Hairstreak, Ochlockonee River SP, (Donna).

Jumping Spider, Lake Kissimmee SP.

Roseate Skimmer, Ochlockonee River SP, (Donna).

Ornate Pennant, Lake Kissimmee SP. (Donna)

Fiddler Crabs, St Marks NWR, (Donna).

Fiddler Crabs in combat, St Marks NWR, (Donna).

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One of the more interesting places in Myakka River SP  is the Deep Hole.

Heading towards the Deep Hole.

Alligators were everywhere!

The Deep Hole, Myakka River SP.

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After Myakka we made our way about 90 miles tp Lake Kissimmee SP in the center of the state and then on to the Chassahowitzka River area and then Chassahowitzka River SP in the panhandle.

Live Oak, Lake Kissimmee SP.

Lake Kissimmee SP

Exploring Mashes Sands Beach near Ochlockonee River SP, (Donna).

Along the trail, Ochlockonee SP, (Donna).

St Mark’s Lighthouse, St Mark’s NWR.

Sopchoppy River, St Marks NWR.

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My wife was better about documenting the flowers.

Thistle, Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, (Donna)

Golden Club, Sopchoppy River, (Donna).

Florida Scrub Roseling, Myakka River SP, (Donna).

British Soldier Lichen, Lake Kissimmee SP

Sundew, Ochlockonee SP, (Donna).

Rain Lilies, Wakulla River

Checking out the Spider Lilies, Wakulla River.

Spider Lilies, Wakulla River

Southern Blackberry, Ochlockonee River SP.

 

St John’s Wort, Ochlockonee River SP.

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We also ran across a number of snakes and other reptiles during our adventures.

Banded Water Snake, Chassahowitzka River, (Donna).

Eastern Racer, Lake Kissimmee SP.

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake, Ochlockonee SP, (Donna).

Brown Anole, Lake Kissimmee SP.

Green Anole, Ochlockonee SP, (Donna)

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.   .   .  and then some other creatures.

Armadillo, Chassihowitzka River area, (Donna).

Bobcat, St Marks NWR, (Donna).

White Squirrel, Ochlockonee SP.

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Central Florida landscape, (Donna).

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Below are some birds pics that missed the previous Florida post.

Osprey trying a new fishing technique, Chassahowitzka River, (Donna).

White Pelican trying not to get it’s feet wet, Upper Myakka Lake, (Donna).

Limpkins, Myakka River SP, (Donna).

Red Shouldered Hawk (FL variant), Lake Kissimmee SP, (Donna).

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This year proved to be especially good for seeing River Otters while we paddled various rivers.

River Otter, Chassahowitzka River, (Donna).

River Otter, Sopchoppy River, (Donna)

River Otter, Sopchoppy River

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Views from the canoe, an incomplete photo record of places paddled.

Tiger Creek, Lake Kissimmee SP.

St Marks River, (Donna).

Tiger Creek into Tiger Lake, Lake Kissimmee SP.

Crawford Creek, Chassahowitzka River

Fish Camp, Crawford Creek.

St Marks River

Otter Lake, St Marks NWR.

Canoe wake reflection, Otter Lake, St Marks NWR.

Yes there is someone in the stern of the canoe.

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Those of you that follow this blog know I like to occasionally like to put a line in the water. Florida didn’t disappoint.

Largemouth Bass Sopchoppy River

Largemouth Bass, Lake Kissimmee, (Donna).

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That about wraps up Florida for this year. Whether on foot, in a canoe or kayak it’s a great place to enjoy nature. Thanks for stopping by.

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Sand and Water, Bald Point SP, (Donna).

 

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XXX

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 Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. and Donna’s 2017 Birds of Griggs Park calendar is available at Calendar.

A Little North of Ohio, Part 3 of 3, Hiking in Algonquin

As mentioned in an earlier post, our time in Algonquin Provincial Park was split pretty much evenly between paddling and hiking. The trails we hiked, Beaver Pond, Mizzy Lake, Lookout, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Bat Lake  were all a short drive on Hwy 60 from our campsite at Pog Lake along the park’s southern edge.

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Most of the trails go through very biologically diverse areas with fascinating flowers, fungi and forest floor creatures. While the trails are not especially difficult, good hiking shoes, lightweight slacks and a long sleeve shirt, and insect repellent, especially in the early summer, will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. To fully appreciate these places it’s a good idea to allow enough time so you can really look around otherwise you’ll be missing most of what’s going on.

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Below is a record of some of the things we saw:

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On you way to hike there’s always the chance you may have to rescue something.

Rescuing a Snapper

Hwy 60 Snapper

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The trails were varied with the woods often opening up into some beautiful views.

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Mizzy Lake trail.

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Wetland, Mizzy Lake Trail

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Different types of fungi were everywhere.

mushroom family 1 062315 Mizzy Lake Trail cp1 csb1

Mushroom Family, (Donna)

Ling Chih P1030301

Unidentified Fungus

Finger Fungi P1030625

Finger Fungus

Cup Fungi P1030527

Cup Fungi

Butterscotch Mushroom family 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Butterscotch Mushrooms, (Donna)

Red Mushroom 062115 Algonquin

Red Mushroom, (Donna)

yellow-orange fly agaric 062115 Algonquin   csb1

Yellow-orange Fly Agaric, (Donna)

Yellow tongue fungus 062315 Lake Mizzy Trail cp1

Swamp Beacons fungus, (Donna)

witches butter 062315 Algonquin cp1

Witches Butter, (Donna)

Sphagnum-bog Galerina 062315

Sphagnum-bog Galerina, (Donna)

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Ling Chih Fungus

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Slug on Comb Tooth Fungus

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Pinwheel Marasmius  Mushroom

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Unidentified shelf Fungus

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.   .   .  and lichen too!

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Lung Lichen

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Common Button Lichen

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Unidentified Lichen

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Pixie Cup Lichen

British Soldier Lichen 1 062315 Mizzy Lake Trail cp1

British Soldier Lichen, (Donna)

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By late June many of the orchids have already come and gone. However, we were fortunate to see a few.

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Lady slipper along the trail, Mizzy Lake Trail

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Lady Slipper, showing leaves.

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A nice group.

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There were other flowers and plants to fascinate.

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Blue Flag Iris

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Lilly Pads

Corn Lily P1030476

Corn Lily

Coralroot 062115 Alqonquin cp1

Coralroot, (Donna)

Common Wood-Sorrel 2 better 1 062015 Algonqun hike   cp1

Common Wood-Sorrel, (Donna)

Yellow Parasitic plants 1 062015 Algonquin csb1

Yellow Parasitic plants, (Donna)

Twinflower 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Twinflower, (Donna)

Spiral Ferns 1 062015 Algonquin hike csb1

Spiral Ferns, (Donna)

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Moss fruiting bodies

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?

P1030522

Leaves

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Pale Laurel Fowers like very wet araes.

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Bunch Berries

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Hawkweed

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Pale Corydalis

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It doesn’t seem like you can go anywhere in Algonquin without seeing Sundew.

sun P1030617

Sundew

sun dews 2 better 1 062415 Costello Creek cp1

A closer look, (Donna)

sun P1030419use

Closer yet.

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We had high expectations of seeing and photographing warblers. Birds were heard, especially Winter Wrens, but because of the leaf cover few were seen (we did manage to see Magnolias, Northern Parulas, and Yellow-rumps)  but few were photographed.

Red-eyed Vireo 062415 Algonquin Pog Lake campground    cp1

Red-eyed Vireo, (Donna)

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Along the trail we were never far from the “handiwork” of beavers.

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Beaver dam, Mizzy Lake Trail

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Beaver dam, Beaver Pond Trail.

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.   .   .   and the beavers themselves.

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Beaver family, Mizzy Lake Trail.

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Moose are also fairly easy to spot in late June.

Moose P1040783

Bull Moose along Hwy 60, (Ben)

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We were always on the lookout for dragonflies, moths and butterflies. Sometimes they cooperated.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2 on flower 1 062115 Algonquin   cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

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Catching sunlight in a pine, a White Admiral catches our eye.

Common Wood-Nymph 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Common Wood-Nymph, (Donna)

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Snail on the forest floor.

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With flowing water everywhere .   .   .

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Reflections, Bat Lake Trail

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Flowing towards a larger stream

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Water, moss, leaves, rocks

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The trails could be wet.

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Mizzy Lake Trail

Ben at Bat Lake boardwalk 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Bat Lake Trail Boardwalk, (Donna)

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The toads and frogs didn’t seem to mind.

Toad Emily

American Toad, (Emily)

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Wood Frog

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Green Frog

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Waiting for lunch.

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If no flower, insect reptile amphibian or other creature caught our attention there was always the scenery.

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Pond, Mizzy Lake Trail

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Beaver Pond

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Hiking around Pog Lake

Bob on top of Lookout trail 062115 Algonquin csb1

Lookout Trail overlook, (Donna)

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Stream, Mizzy Lake Trail

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Fallen tree,

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Campsite, Pog lake

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Wetland, Spruce Bog Boardwalk

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Beaver lodge, Beaver Pond Trail

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Thanks for stopping by.

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Pog Lake

 

 

A Little North of Ohio, Part 2 of 3, Paddling in Algonquin

During a recent visit to Algonquin Provincial Park our time was spent equally between paddling and hiking. While the hiking is fantastic, the real reason one goes to the park is to paddle. If you love canoeing, and Algonquin is within reach, by all means put it on your list. With a land area greater than the state of Rhode Island, and countless lakes big and small, you could spent a lifetime exploring and getting to know this park by canoe.

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Should you be curious about what it’s like, below are a few photos of a very small slice of the park. Hopefully the shots will go a little way towards satisfying your curiosity and perhaps wetting your appetite.

Emily 2

Narrows between Pog Lake and Whitefish Lake, (Emily)

A Emily 1

Rock Lake, (Emily)

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Sometimes it’s like paddling through a flower bed.

yellow pond lily 062415 Costello Creek csb1

Yellow Pond Lily, (Donna)

P1030649

Water Lily

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Another view of a Yellow Pond Lilly

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Taking a break during a portage.

Ben and Emily and Bob relaxing on the river beach 1 062015   Algonquin csb1

Relaxing below the dam along the river that connects Pog with Whitefish Lake, (Donna).

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Couldn’t help but wondering what fish were in the lake so I got out my pole. All were released after my curiosity was satisfied.

Bob with Rock Bass 2  fixed

Rock Bass, Pog Lake, (Donna)

P1030556 no toes

Smallmouth, Pog Lake

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In the shallows at waters edge there were some unusual plants to be seen, Sundew and Pitcher Plants.

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Sundew, death to any small insect that gets too close.

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Picture Plant Flower, (front view)

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Picture Plant Flower, (rear view)

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Picture Plant leaves are located about a foot below the flower, death to any insect that falls in.

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We can’t forget the birds. Warblers and such were not very cooperative, at least while we were in the canoes.

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A Great Blue Heron along the shore one of only a few seen. Not as common as they are around Columbus.

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A Heron Gull enjoying lunch. The fish not so much.

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Do you mind, I’m trying to eat!

Loon 1 close-up of head good 1 061915 Algonquin pog lake   csb1

A Loon surfaces next to the canoe, (Donna)

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Loon on nest, we were careful not to get too close. This shot was taken from about 75 yards.

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A second look.

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A female Black Duck with the kids.

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and as we paddled on   .   .   .

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Costello Creek

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Rock Lake

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other living things were seen.

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Painted Turtle

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Our last paddle was on a day when one feel’s as though they could paddle forever.

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Costello Creek

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Thanks for stopping by.

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