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13 March 2007

Day trippin'

DS and I headed out early Saturday morning for Gainesville. We decided to take the 'scenic' route through Cross City so we could grab burgers at the DQ there. It used to be DS's favourite burger spot in this part of the state. Unfortunately, this visit was a total disappointment. My burger was so greasy, I ended up throwing out about 1/4 of it. Then I spent the next two hours regretting having eaten as much as I did.

Things picked up nicely after a while. In Newberry, I decided to detour off the main road for a few minutes and got a fairly decent shot of a Red-headed Woodpecker before he scurried around to the back of the tree.

Melanerpes erythrocephalus

DS. a train freak, was pretty tickled when he spotted an old caboose sitting at the end of a track. Then we stopped for a few minutes in the library parking lot and listened to a zippy little Northern Parula.

In Gainesville, one of our stops was Chapman's Pond. An osprey was fussing from its nest while another was enjoying a fish dinner in a nearby snag. There were quite a few coots on the pond and several moorhens. One Tri-coloured Heron was chasing minnows - or maybe frogs - near the edge, while Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers aided a Phoebe in reducing the local bug population.
Palm Warbler

A young White Ibis moved behind a green curtain to preen privately. His adult companions weren't so modest.
White Ibis, Eudocimus albus
White Ibis, Eudocimus albus

Next, we drove through UF's campus. It's gimongous! And just about impressive enough to convert this long-time Seminole. We stopped briefly at the beautiful University Gardens and Lake Alice, then headed for Newnan's Lake. The park on the main road was crowded, so we drove around to Palm Point Park. DS walked down to the lake while I took it easy watching the woods from the truck. On the way out, we spotted a Bald Eagle watching for his supper. There was no place to pull over, so I just stopped in the road for one quick snap.

Bald EagleOne more stop by the lake, then we decided we'd better head for home. Just west of Mayo, we spotted the highlight of the day. Two toms strutting their stuff for two hens who seemed much more interested in the daily special.
Wild Turkey
Osceola? Wild Turkey

7 comments:

thingfish23 said...

Those turkeys are really cool. We've seen them ONCE on our property. I look forward to seeing them again, even if I have to raise them myself as livestock!

Floridacracker said...

Wow, you crammed a lot of birds into one day. Was that the focus of the ride...birding?
Great shots!

SophieMae said...

Thing, we see them now and then, but, so far, no strutting toms up here. They were totally unconcerned with the traffic. Even when we pulled over across the road, they ignored us.

Thanks, FC. Birding was DS's main purpose. My focus is a bit broader. I really love the going. And seeing as much as possible of whatever natural is left in Flarda. And taking pictures of every little thing I find interesting. 8-]

Cathy S. said...

I love these posts with all the pictures. Makes me want to take a drive up your way, but I am still recovering from my trip to North Georgia. We saw a lot of deer and some turkeys on our commutes from the cabin to Campbell Folk School. Been home sick from work. What a curse to be allergic to oak pollen and not be able to go outside in the best part of the year! But, I have been productive. Posted two new chapters!

Cathy S. said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, I hope to have it published. Maybe a sequel but let's get her grown up first! :0) Thanks for your encouragment. It means a lot.

SwordandSacrifice said...

Hey, you . . .

You're amazing no matter where you are found. :o)

Sasserfrass said...

SOPHIE! I can't believe you've got this awesome post over here! I've been missing you & just thought you were kind of gone! But then, I've been horrible about commenting lately on Xanga because I'm feeling a LOT of frustration with several of my subbers over there right now.