Friday, December 7, 2012

Going, Seeing, Doing…

Been busy lately.  Working weekends here and there doing things other than trail maintenance.  It’s been a nice change and has gotten us out and about exploring some too.

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Driving the back roads of the Ocala NF on our way… somewhere, to do… something.2012-10-21 Ocala (27)
One of our favorite campgrounds.  Hopkins Prairie.  Wetlands filled with creatures.2012-10-21 Ocala (32)
But this is the real reason we love it so much.  Arching trees filled with moss.2012-12-2 Ocala (11)
So amazing.  Makes for some hauntingly beautiful ambiance.
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This is a sinkhole just outside the entrance to Hopkins Prairie Campground.
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Didn’t have to go very far to see this Gopher Tortoise that lives in our compound.

Did you know?  The Gopher Tortoise belongs to a group of land tortoises that originated in North America 60 million years ago, thus making it one of the oldest living species.

That explains why, after its numbers began to decrease, it was put on the list of Endangered and Threatened Species.  Decreasing numbers might also explain why this was the fastest turtle we’ve ever seen!

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After we took our snapshot and stepped away, she took off like a shot and did a belly slide right into her den.  Must be cool to be a turtle who can slide down rabbit holes.

FYI:  Anything harmful with regard to threatened and endangered species constitutes a third degree felony in the state of Florida.

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We were doing Compliance at Delancy West Trailhead one Saturday when this Downy Woodpecker started hanging around.
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Nicole was so busy looking up through the camera at the woodpecker that she barely escaped plastering this Spiny Backed Orb Weaver and web all over her face.

Patchy internet makes this post… To be continued (several times).