A Day in the Desert

We recently decided to take a trip to the Anza Borrego Desert while we were out in California.

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

New Year’s Day Kayak Trip Down the Loxahatchee

Our first day of 2015 was spent on a group kayak adventure down the Loxahatchee River, one of the most scenic of south Florida waterways.

IMG_1554South Florida has such great winters! I think these creatures would agree.

IMG_0015

IMG_0010IMG_0012 IMG_0003Jonathan Dickinson State Park, located in Hobe Sound, Fl, offers a variety of outdoor activities. Our group rented kayaks and canoes, while other park visitors filled the seats of a sunset river cruise. 
IMG_1708

The general store handles all rentals and boat tickets as well as hosts a concession stand and umbrella tables to eat riverside. A pavilion with picnic tables stands nearby with extra seating and also convenient restrooms. IMG_1690 IMG_1652

Can’t think of a better way to spend a day with family and friends

IMG_1612

than floating along the Loxahatchee, on a sunny south Florida new year’s day.IMG_1610 IMG_1608 IMG_1601 IMG_1585 IMG_1580 IMG_1509 IMG_1501

Hello, 2015! Day 1 – A Day Well Spent.IMG_1498

Savannas Preserve State Park

savannas trail

We decided to step out a few times a week and go on some day hikes instead of just around the block on our daily walks.

This past sunny Saturday morning, Penny and I took a look around the trails at the Savannas Preserve State Park on Walton Road in Port Saint Lucie.

markthattrail

You can pick up a map at the entrance and get an overview of the trails at the park. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the markings for the trails you choose to follow.

savannastrailsignsSavannas

Savannas are an endangered natural system of freshwater marshes. This preserve is the largest and most intact remnant of Florida east coast savannas. The park stretches 10 miles from Fort Pierce to Jensen and hosts 8 miles of trails and is open from 8 a.m. to sundown.

Guided walks as well as canoe and kayak tours are available on weekends with reservations required. The park also hosts an environmental center, but I didn’t think I could bring Penny inside for a tour. ; )

You can find more detailed information about navigating the Savannas Preserve online at Florida Hikes.  Happy hiking!

Takethattrail

 

 

 

 

Driving Through Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain Wildlife
10448603_10204543628216795_8636407414973801800_o

Breathtaking vistas, wildlife roaming the frontier, stunning sights to behold at every twist and turn. Rocky Mountain National Park is truly one of Americas unsung treasures.Situated about 2 hours north of Denver, these hills provide travelers an experience found in few places that are easily accessible to the public. Add this park to the top of your bucket list.

woulda shoulda coulda did
Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep

Cabin Camping at Lake Louisa

We had a wonderful first visit to Lake Louisa last August. IMG_0001 There are a few mini lakes on the grounds that we explored.IMG_0003 IMG_0004 IMG_0005  Great spot for some family time.IMG_0007 IMG_0010We loved the view from our cabin.
IMG_0011 And enjoyed the fire pit down below. IMG_0012 It was easy to haul all our stuff into the cabins right from the street.IMG_0013The kitchen had everything we needed to cook basic meals.
IMG_0014 IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0019 IMG_0021 IMG_0025 IMG_0027 IMG_0028 The cabin was super clean and larger than we expected.IMG_0029 IMG_0030 IMG_0031 IMG_0032 IMG_0033 IMG_0034The cabins boarder one of the smaller lakes. The large Lake Louisa is a bike ride away. This is it. Just water and sand. A quiet retreat from the daily grind.
IMG_0035

The Little Blue Heron

Continuing to get to know my Florida wildlife a little better today with my friend here. When I was first told he was a little blue Heron, I thought they meant a baby Heron. Alas, that was the proper name. Little Blue Heron Everglades You will find Little Blue Herons in the shallows of marine and freshwater marshes. I found this friend above wading in the everglades. Notice the slate blue plumage and the long neck and legs.
20140302-082510.jpgThis little guy was on the banks of the Saint Lucie River in Stuart, Florida. He looked like a Heron, but where was his long neck? He was simply just sitting with his neck tucked in. I didn’t realize they could do that. I clearly have not been paying that much attention to my featured friends. At first I thought this was a different species of bird. I’m learning! I didn’t realize Herons could change their appearance so drastically. Now that I do know, I think that’s pretty impressive, giraffes certainly can’t do that.

Herons are an unusual looking bird, yet a common sight around Florida waterways. However, there were twice as many of these beautiful birds 40 years ago. Their population is in decline due to loss of feeding habitat.

This is another bird that I wasn’t exactly sure what he was. As I noted in the purple gallinule post, I decided to get to know the subjects of some of my photos better and to keep track of new birds I encounter.

The Little Blue Heron gets marked off my Checklist of Florida Birds.

Carefree in Cozumel

20140301-113707.jpgCozumel is a favorite retreat for our family. A relaxing, friendly, and captivating escape.20140301-113724.jpgWe prefer the more quiet Playa San Juan (San Juan Beach) on the west side of the island. Here you receive the royal treatment.20140301-113740.jpgCozumel beaches are a combination of limestone and sand. 20140301-113806.jpgThe dining is open air, with the atlantic framed purposefully beyond limestone archways.20140301-113820.jpg

20140301-113831.jpgUmbrella tables greet you poolside.20140301-113923.jpgBeach chairs await you oceanside and down beneath the rocky shore, the waters teem with treasure.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO

Jeff video clip divingOur days spent in Cozumel are always days well spent.

Where I Ride

I am a Florida leisure cyclist. I love my blue Sun Beach Cruiser and long lazy rides through Tradition, Fl. When I reach this lake on my regular route, I can feel my soul settle down and unwind a bit.

20140227-191946.jpg
Out here I ride with the cranes.

20140227-192201.jpg

I ride with the cows.20140227-192139.jpgI ride with a helmet and a smile.

20140227-192251.jpgWhere do you ride? 20140227-192327.jpg

Oxbow Eco Center

So much to explore and get your hands on and your eyes around at a nature center. We are blessed to locally have “The Oxbow.” I love to watch the wonder in a child’s eye when they experience something for the first time, like standing eye to eye with an otter.

Ever lay your hand across the back of a bobcat? Curious about a crane’s beak? Then head to the Oxbow. Your experience can be different every time. On our last visit, the staff had just received a nest of baby birds that had fallen out of a neighboring tree – we were mesmerized as their little beaks chirped up at us.

Peek through the glass at the snakes and turtles, run your fingers through the sand at the sensory table, take a hike on the trails…all part of a day well spent.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.