Monday, January 2, 2017

Lettuce Lake Park

Dave and I are back in England safe and sound, and not too exhausted, all things considered. The flight back was short and, although a bit bumpy, much easier than our overheated, sluggish crossing two weeks ago. I read "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" in its entirety (short but good!) and watched a Marilyn Monroe movie, "Let's Make Love" from 1960 (not one of her best) -- and then, before I knew it, we were landing.

Before I fully recommit my blog to life in England, though, I want to share a few last pictures of Florida. Dave and I had some time to kill yesterday afternoon between dropping off his sister at the airport and returning our borrowed car to my stepsister. So we went to Lettuce Lake Park, in North Tampa -- the "lake" (above) is actually a wide bend in the Hillsborough River.

I hadn't been to this park in years, and I enjoyed wandering among the wintry woods, swamps, palmettos and cabbage palms. I saw lots of wildlife -- woodpeckers, turtles, ibis, limpkins and other critters.

I caught this hungry anhinga in the process of swallowing an unfortunate fish. Amazingly, the bird got the whole thing down.

And I had the quintessential Florida wildlife sighting -- a gator, basking in the sun. Pure dinosaur! (Dave's mom had just served smoked gator jerky at breakfast that morning, but I didn't mention that to this guy...)

Dave sat at a picnic table and worked on a musical arrangement while I walked around. He's always at least a little in work mode -- he worked on music intermittently even during our cruise -- and he's definitely ready to fully reapply himself to the grindstone tomorrow, when we both go back to work.

Olga should be home within a matter of hours!


Ms. Moon said...

Oh what adventures you've had! Amazing shots! I'm so glad we got to share a little time together.

ellen abbott said...

a great vacation all in all. I used to see alligators once in a while when I would canoe down Buffalo Bayou in the middle of Houston. the bayou becomes the ship channel so they have access that way but also I think someone might have dumped a 'baby' when it started getting big. and then the kitchen crew of a restaurant would dump their left over meat into the bayou to feed them. then the restaurant moved. I've wondered how many little dogs and cats have disappeared since then.

e said...

Too bad I didn't know you were in the park...Nice photos!

A. Jesse Jiryu Davis said...

Steve all these shots are really extraordinary. Holy shit.

Unknown said...

Love that action shot of the fish being eaten.

I read "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" a couple years back and I loved it. Every time I feel like my life is slowing down and I'm losing things instead of gainaing things, I pictyure that last scene of them huddled in the remains of their home.

Sharon said...

Fantastic capture of the bird and the gator. You managed to take in a lot of the Florida nature on that last day. I bet Olga was glad to see you and Dave.

Lynne said...

WOW WOW WOW. How did you capture that shot of the anhinga swallowing his dinner whole!? Superb!

Your trip back sounded amazingly short. I hate bumpy flights. :(

I think I've told you before that we had an alligator in the little lake behind our house when we lived in FL. We named his Allie (what else?) and when we clapped our hands he would swim over to us and we'd toss him marshmallows. He was blind in one eye so you had to be careful to be on his good side. My mother (silly woman) would feed him chicken bones with a pair of tongs. Allie was removed from our little lake after he mistook a little poodle for a marshmallow.

The Bug said...

Beautiful shots - wow! Glad you're safe at home. And I'm glad that Dave is so involved in his work - much better than dreading it! I'm not dreading going back to work tomorrow, but I will miss being able to sleep in :)

Jennifer said...

I love those photos, especially the one with the anhinga!

Glad you're home safe and sound!

jenny_o said...

Amazing shot of the fish being swallowed - what timing!

I can't wait to hear what Olga got up to while you were away. I can imagine how happy you'll be to see her again :)

Catalyst said...

I agree with several of your other fans: that shot of the anhinga swallowing the fish is great! And I was wondering about alligators as you were dangerously close to their habitat.

Red said...

It's good that you're back. You packed a lot into a short time.

Alphie Soup said...

The eyes have it. The fish-eating bird eye and the 'gator eye.

There should be a new category for photography in the Laughing Horse Awards.. on further consideration there might be a conflict of interest there, considering the Laughing Horse Awarder is no mean photographer himself. It might have to be a vote from the commentariat.

I'll start the ball rolling in January.