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18 June 2007

Best laid plans

By the time we hit the road today, it was just too hot to drive slowly down a dirt road with the windows open. Translation: DS wimped out on Mandalay. Instead, we drove down to St. Marks - the town - where we saw mostly tourists, bikers and boaters.

The canals were filled with Southern cattails, which reminded me I hadn't seen that variety in quite a while. It's really easy to tell the difference between these and the Commons.

We decided to get a bite to eat, then zip through the refuge again, as long as we were so close. Unfortunately, the only source of comestibles is a convenience store and they only had one hours-old slice of breakfast pizza. UGH! On to 'Plan C'. Hmmm.. what's 'Plan C'? All the restaurants were crowded, so we went through the Chester's Chicken drive-thru. Not impressed, but it'll hold us till we get home and cook those pork chops. As long as we're all the way over here, let's drive down Natural Bridge Road, which has recently been paved. One quick detour to take pics of one of Florida's beautiful springs. Hey, that fence wasn't there last time. *sigh* Another subdivision going in and the spring is on their property. And they've built a boardwalk around the back. >8\

Well, let's move on down to the state park. This is where things got disturbing.

Personally, I'd gladly pay an extra tax penny for the state to buy this property. I'm almost afraid to find out how much they're asking.

Natural Bridge Road took us into Jefferson County. Talk about taking the long way home! Oops! we almost forgot that our Ace coupon expires today. They close in about an hour. And we just drove past the place twice. Our brains must have taken the weekend off. I let DS use the coupon for plants while I sat in the truck and watched a pair of mockingbirds feed some brand new babies. If only I could figure a way to climb up that big propane tank and shimmy up onto the roof there, I could get some really great pics! Somehow, I don't think the helpful hardware man would understand.

When we finally dragged in, I was ready for a nice nap before supper. The minute I walked in the door, I knew Duller had been spraying Lysol. He had a little cleaning ft and had used household chemicals I'm not supposed to be inhaling. I will spare y'all the details of his faulty thinking re the timing of his compulsion. After sitting outside 15-20 minutes, I got bored and hungry and hit the road again. Yep, I ended up at the refuge, after all. It's been a while since we visited in the evening. It was well worth the extra trip.

I spotted one of the baby greenies perched on the other side of the canal. Then there were 2 purple gallinules roosting in the tree branches hanging over Headquarters Pond.

On the other side of the pond was a small herd of pigs. Baby gators were everywhere.

A young raccoon was looking for leftovers at Picnic Pond. And down by the lighthouse, another coon was sniffing the air.

The tabanids were hungry, so we didn't tarry. Heading back, near the eagles' now deserted nest, a pair of red-winged blackbirds were pounding a great horned owl up side the head.The owl appeared unaffected. When he moved to scratch his chin, one of the blackbirds jumped on his back. After a few minutes, the owl had had enough and moved toward his attackers. They jumped back, but were determined not to surrender. This went on a few more minutes before the owl got aggravated enough to look for another tree stand. He silently glided away with the blackbirds in hot pursuit. About 1/4 mile further up the road, another owl had found himself an excellent treetop lookout.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I passed the self-pay station and glanced down the trail. DS scoffs, coz I saw deer down there once and always look... just in case. This time, there was definitely something down there. Whatever it was looked a bit small, so I whipped around and pulled in for a better look. It was a young doe with a brand-speckled new set of twins! She was very cautious as she made her way closer and closer. One fawn pretty much stayed close, while the other seemed to be asserting his independence. I kept the windows up so she wouldn't hear or smell me, just waiting for her to get close enough for pics. Rats! About halfway up the path, she and one baby turned and moved slowly into the woods. The feistier fawn finally followed, foiling my photo fantasy. Ah well, tomorrow's another day. 8-]


Floridacracker said...

That spring is beautiful which makes the fence and the sign all the more painfull.

I was photographing two does today from my front porch rocker.

Nice alliteration too :)

SophieMae said...

What a blessing to have them deliver themselves right to your door. Well, close enough. I don't know why our deer stopped coming around. Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong times. Note to self: look out the windows more often. Meanwhile, I'll keep on enjoying that vicarious thing through your photos.

That battlefield for sale deal has me really perturbed. The realtor is promoting it as a gold mine for someone who wants to get into bottled water. There's no price listed. They list it's value as 'priceless'. *sigh*

Hurricane Teen said...

Ugh I would hate to see Natural Bridge developed. Not only is it naturally beautiful, but it's also so rich in history and culture. How could our government allow such an important piece of land fall to development?

SophieMae said...

HurTeen, I'd like to think the state would try to buy it. I haven't been able to learn anything online. I'm going to have to nag Duller till he remembers to pump some of his old cronies about it.

Cathy S. said...

Got your post, but am on vacation so haven't answered it. Since your question was how am I? since I am on vacation, I guess you can tell, I'm great! Amelia Island, Savannah and St. Simon's Island. We start heading home tomorrow. Will do it in two days as we are on my husband's motorcycle. I have a one hour butt, so it is slow going. We have to stop often. Or as often as I can get him to stop. I wave at things I want to see and he drives right on past. Pretends he can't hear me. But, we have seen lots of nature, lots of history and had great fun. We're also kidless for the summer which makes it almost a honeymoon. Almost. :0) Saw a painted bunting one day. I know so because I saw one on someone else's blog. Yours? Otherwise, i would never have looked. Has someone alerted the Florida Communities Trust about the land for sale? It would be right up their ally. You have to get a government agency to apply for fudigng to buy it and agree to manage it. What county is it in? See I'm on vacation, but still working. Have tons of museum pics to give me ideas when I get home. Gotta go. More things to do and see and more numb nerves in my butt in order to do it. :0)

Floridacracker said...

I'm cracking up at Cathy's comment and relieved she's having a great time on vacation even if she does have a numb butt.
Too funny.

Cathy S. said...

We are home safe and sound, but I doubt my back and butt will ever be the same again. :0) Just wanted to let you know in case you were praying for our safety. My mom was. She is greatly relieved. We didn't bother to tell my mother in law. She thought we were in the truck. I felt like I was 16 and running away from home. Too bad my body does not feel 16! Great vacation anyway. Sophie and FC, go to the Museum of Natural History in Gainesville to see the butterfly rainfortest. It was AMAZING!

SophieMae said...

Cathy, glad you made it in one piece! Sounds like a ton of fun, albeit at your backsides expense. 8-}

Gosh, I can't tell you how long it's been since I visited the museum in G'ville. I'll have to add that tomy list.

Natural Bridge is in Leon County. Right next door to Tallahassee. Duller just dragged in, so I'm gonna go twist his arm and make him start calling everybody he knows.

Cathy S. said...

Florida Communities Trust is based in Tallahassee. Call Grant Gelhardt there. I don't have his number at home, but you should be able to find them on the internet.

Anonymous said...

AH. Your photo doesn't show the small print:

FOR SALE: Your state and identity, to highest bidder in a development market which is already flat on its face.

All monies made in this transaction to be poured into a giant pit in the ground, once made sacred by the spilt blood of American soldiers from both sides of the Mason-Dixon. This will be done in the interest of saving steps.

All artifacts exhumed during subsequent slash and scrape operation to be turned over to your local government for appropriation. Artifacts will be unceremoniously relocated to a museum exhibit placed in a dusty corner of a public service building somewhere or other, but far out of the way of all interested parties.

Upcoming condo fees and mandatory landscaping requirements to be announced.

No livestock.