Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photo Day

As promised, I made it a point to take lots of pictures today.  I was off again today, but I had a personnel meeting to go to this afternoon.  The meeting was at our shop, so I only had to walk to the end of my driveway to get there.  It was nice to be home in less than a minute after the meeting too!
When the meeting was over, my fiance and I tried out another disc golf course.  It was yet another local course that we had not yet been to.  Its so cool to have so many to choose from near by.  This one was called River City Nature Park.  It was a nice little city park near the St. Johns River.  The course was a 9-hole course, but it was well spread out and a nice combination of wide open, grassy fairways and curvy, tree-lined fairways.  There were other people there, but it wasn't at all crowded.  I even had time to stop and take photos throughout the whole course... and there was a lot to photograph!  I had a great time.  I did OK playing too.  I was inches away from a hole-in-one once.
The start of the course was a barren, grassy field.  We quickly found some dense vegetation though.  After the first few holes, I was beginning to worry that we might loose a disc or two in the dense areas.  It was fun to search for a disc in the woods here though, I kept finding cool things everytime I ventured into the bushes.  The first photos are driving me crazy.  I have seen this plant a million times before and it is as familiar to me as an old friend, but I can't think of a name for it and I can't find it in any of my books.  Please feel free to comment below if you know its name.  It was very tall, easily 8-10 feet and the flowers remind me of Queen Anne's Lace.  I really liked the flowers that had not quite opened yet.  I really did NOT like the ant mound that I found myself standing in while I was taking these photos.

Once I swatted all of the biting ants off of my ankle and shoe, I started to notice all of the other bugs about.  There were big, fuzzy bumble bees buzzing from one flower to the next.  I only have one blurry photo of them though.  They would stay on a flower just long enough for me to focus on them and they would fly to the next spot just before I hit the shutter.  I was easily distracted from the the bees when I saw a bright green Dragonfly.  It was much more cooperative and stayed perfectly still.  I highly recommend clicking on this photo to enlarge it.  You can see every vein in its wing.

A hole or two later, we were back in a lightly forested area.  There were some nice, old Oaks.  One tree really caught my attention.  It had a very thick trunk, but there was almost nothing left of the lowest section of it.  The top had obviously been severed by lightning or a similar drastic force.  Its largest branches had been knocked off as well.  Somehow this trooper was managing to flourish though.  It was covered from its scraggly top to its scraggly bottom in fresh, new growth.

This course was such a neat combination of areas.  There were little islands of Oak, little islands of Pine, and even some Palm trees.  I felt like I was on a ball golf course when we were on the section pictured below.

I was still throwing some discs between photos.  I think that the disc was helping find some cool photo subjects though.  Once it landed right next to this vertebra.  It is pretty big, I assume it is from a deer, but it seems big enough to be a cow.  There was a flower conveniently located nearby, so I had to share this Georgia O'Keeffe tribute.

The next hole had a little tunnel of pine trees.  There wasn't much in between them aside from dozens of Paw Paw.  I just love the lazy beauty of these droopy flowers.  As I knelt down to take some photos, I noticed that they have a very strong smell.  I'm surprised that I never noticed it before.  At first, is smells perfumey, but as I took another sniff, I realized that they smell a lot like Anise or black licorice.

When we were out in the open fields again, my fiance made a discovery.  The other day, we watched a series on PBS about the Florida outdoors.  There was one about springs and we were surprised to see A LOT of places that we recognized.  There were scenes from the Ichetucknee, and even of Wekiwa.  In one segment, they were standing around a sinkhole that is literally in my backyard!  Another of the shows was just about Frogs in Florida.  It showed researches putting plastic pipes in the ground that would attract frogs so that they could collect information about them.  While I was taking another photo, Isaac walked past a PVC pipe in the ground that was labeling a gas line.  He peered down into it because of the PBS show that we saw and sure enough, there was a frog inside!  It backed down further into the pipe when it saw him and had changed from green to brown by the time I arrived with my camera.  We walked by another one of these pipes minutes later and found three frogs inside!

The eighth hole made a beautiful tunnel through the Oaks and the ninth was a nice open drive towards the car.  It was a beautiful course and a beautiful day.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Thought of the Day #64
I am at a loss for the thought of the day today.  It was a day for photos more than words.  What are your thoughts today?  Do you have any questions that you have been wanting to ask?  Is there something at Wekiwa that I haven't shown you yet that you want me to get to this week?  Do you want to share something neat that you saw outdoors recently?  What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

It is mushroom hunting season in southern Indiana and everyone is out in the state forest hunting for them. Do you allow/ have any hunting and gathering seasons at your park or in Fl, that you are aware of? Unfortuately the favorite marking method for a good morel mushroom patch is to leave some piece of non biodegradble object aka beer canso you can find it next year. So John takes the mushroom bag and I take the trash bag. We found equal amounts, mushrooms trash, and ticks.

Anonymous said...

The dargonfly would make a great puzzle. The frogs in the tubes turned out great.

Linda said...

Loved the dragonfly and the white-flowered tree. I'm sure I know the name, too. Can't wait to hear what it is.

(And I have to ask: Did you pick up any paw-paws and put 'em in your pocket?)

Paula said...

I cannot be sure, but the flower thing that you have pictured looks like one that will eventually produce lots of little purple berries. Years ago I had a similar plant growing wild in my backyard. My Mother in Law told me that it was elderberry and that when the berries were ripe I could make jelly from them, which I did, but truthfully was not excited with the flavor once it was done. She may have been incorrect in her identification of the plant or maybe I did not make the jelly properly. I never tried it again.

Ranger Amy said...

Jen, you know how I feel about mushrooms... they are in the yucky, slimy group. I haven't gone searching for any mushrooms to eat. It is illegal to take anything from a Florida State Park, so there is no mushroom gathering here. I wouldn't be surprised if the state forests here allow it by permit because state forests are usually geared more towards sustainable use of the resources rather than preservation like state parks. I tried to do a quick search online and the only Florida mushroom information that I found was about a different kind of mushroom. We do have ticks though... lots and lots of ticks.

Paula, you win the prize, a great big THANK YOU! Elderberry it is. Thanks very much!