A pulsating sack held a surprise

I was photographing life around a decaying stump, capturing mushrooms, young fence lizards, and a baby toad about a half-inch long. But then I noticed a four-inch, orange sack. And it was pulsing. It was too large to be an egg. What was moving inside? As I filmed, something made a slit through the shiftingContinue reading “A pulsating sack held a surprise”

Nature Reclaims La Chua Trail

Early morning visit to La Chua trail (Payne’s Prairie, Gainesville, FL). A few years ago, nature reclaimed the long arm of this trail with flooding that failed to recede. This year, only the boardwalk is left. The water was high on both sides, coming approximately 4 feet from the floorboards. Although anoles enjoy hunting andContinue reading “Nature Reclaims La Chua Trail”

Restaurants in the St. Augustine Historic District

I recently visited the St. Augustine historic district, and ate at a restaurant—the first time in over a year. But eating in the historic district is a little tricky. Many restaurants don’t post their hours, and some aren’t open on Mondays. I planned to eat at Delish Kebabs Brazilian Street Food (12 Cathedral Pl). AContinue reading “Restaurants in the St. Augustine Historic District”

Twelve Tips for Visiting Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Florida

Where is it? The zoo is at 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, Florida. 1. Make reservations. During Covid, the zoo requires a reservation and prepayment for admission. When you arrive at the zoo, you must show your prepaid tickets at the parking lot entrance, and again at the gate. There will be no one at theContinue reading “Twelve Tips for Visiting Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Florida”

Fort Clinch a well-preserved Civil War fort

One of the country’s best-preserved Civil War forts can be found in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Although it was used during the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World War II, Fort Clinch never saw combat. Construction began in 1847. The fort was to be part of a network of garrisons, and together they wouldContinue reading “Fort Clinch a well-preserved Civil War fort”

Thomas Creek Conservation Area is a little rugged

Where is the trailhead? Thomas Creek Conservation Area, managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, is located at 12831 New Kings Road, Jacksonville, Florida. There is a 1.4 mile loop on the west side of New Kings Road (U.S. 1) and a 3-mile loop on the east side of New Kings Road. BothContinue reading “Thomas Creek Conservation Area is a little rugged”

Flooding at Big Talbot Island

I glanced at the weather app over breakfast. The morning would be in the mid-70s (around 24 C), and no rain until eleven. Partly sunny. A perfect morning to go birding. I raced through my chores and then headed toward Big Talbot Island in Jacksonville, Florida. A cool breeze met me as I stepped outContinue reading “Flooding at Big Talbot Island”

Observing Small Species at GTM Reserve

The birds seemed unusually skittish. So I turned my attention to smaller creatures.

Skeeters, Rain, and Closed Bathrooms

GTM Reserve officially re-opens tomorrow (June 6, 2020), and visitors will once again pay a small fee to access the park. The web site says that the bathrooms at the park’s entrance will remain closed for renovations, but visitors can use the Port-o-let in the interim. Maybe. Last week it was gross. This week, IContinue reading “Skeeters, Rain, and Closed Bathrooms”