Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back from Florida

Alexander Springs, Ocala National Forest, Florida

My trip to central Florida was terrific. Two friends and I spent our days exploring some wonderful state parks and preserves around the city of Gainesville, in the Ocala National Forest, and around the town of Lake Placid. Disposed toward more temperate or even cool climates, I'm certain that I sweat off a few pounds in the damp Florida swelter, but the abundant tropical wildlife made up for the mild discomfort.

Exploring Lake June-In-Winter Scrub State Park; Lake Placid, Florida

Among the trip's wildlife highlights were two gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), one Florida cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti), one yellow rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata), a Great crested flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus), a Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippiensis), a Northern parula (Parula americana), a number of Black-bellied whistling ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis), two Summer tanagers (Piranga rubra), and a pair of Florida scrub jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens).

I've included four "critter" photographs below. More pictures from the trip can be viewed in my Florida 2009 Flickr set.

Yellow Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata); Devils Millhopper State Park; Gainesville, Florida

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus); San Felasco Hammock; Alachua, Florida

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis); Paynes Prairie Preserve; Gainesville, Florida

Florida cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti); Paynes Prairie Preserve; Gainesville, Florida

Photo credit: Hungry Hyaena, 2009


Donald Frazell said...

Glad you enjoyed yourself, hope nothing to big bit you.

andiscandis said...

How close did you get to that alligator?

Hungry Hyaena said...


Thank you...and, no, no big bites!


Actually, I wrassled 'im and we wuz all hootin' and hollerin'.

In reality, I'd guess no close than 4 1/2 feet. That 4 1/2 feet was also up a steep bank, so I don't think I had much to worry about. The cottonmouth was probably more risky, frankly.

Peter Cowling said...

Sounds great, and to think I was pleased to find that a Sparrowhawk has recently moved into the area I live!