Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Make that "gators and buzzards and pelicans, oh my!" 

Our ridiculous March weather combined with the presence of good friends in Sarasota provided the opportunity for a Florida getaway around mid-month. Destination: Myakka River State Park. Temps: mid-70s. Ahhhhhh...sweet warm weather and sunshine! This was an eagerly anticipated benefit of this completely irrational (given my work schedule) yet utterly necessary (given my work schedule) road trip. Not anticipated or expected were the incredible wildlife encounters!

Hiking in Florida is so different from hiking in North Carolina. It's flat and sandy, and the air has a different feel to it...almost as if you can smell the ocean. One day, we hiked into an area called "Deep Hole," which is protected and requires a permit. The rangers issue only a certain number of permits each day. This helps minimize the impact of visitors on both the wildlife and environment.

We had just entered a clearing adjacent to a body of water, when we came upon an armadillo! I understand these critters are as common as squirrels in some parts of the country, but not in western North Carolina. For me, having seen one only once in my life (a fleeting glimpse at that) they remain quite exotic and wondrous. Actually I'm not sure what struck me as more marvelous, the armadillo, or the colorful grasses in which he was feeding. This photo is completely untouched - look at the bright red, green, and yellow grasses!

At first, I crept along... oh-so-quietly...
stealthily pursuing him with my camera. 

Until I realized he could care less if I was there. 
Then I stopped sneaking.

I was fascinated. An armadillo looks like a creature out of Jurassic Park.

Don't you agree?


  1. That thing looks amazing! We have them here, but sadly they are often found dead on the side of the road... I guess that's what happens when you mix city life and wildlife.

  2. OH MY WORD an armadillo. I had no idea there were in Florida. Boy it does look prehistoric.
    Are they common in Florida? What a priceless picture moment.
    That would be quite a sight in our beautiful mountains.
    I know you had a wonderful time in FL...just before the 3 H's arrived.
    Hugs madi and Mom

  3. Fun! Good for you to get away. Great captures of the armadillo! :-)

  4. This sounds like a wonderful place -- I love how armadillos look -- cute little faces.

  5. Wow! Your armadillo pictures are just stunning! I agree with you, he looks like a creature out of Jurassic Park made by iron!
    Me and my daughter meet an armadillo near my house and I did a post about him with a video. If you have the time, please, click on Armadillo.
    Hope you have a nice weekend.