Trying to locate birds in the middle of a sweltering hot day with a thunderstorm brewing was not the best idea I had this week. The birds, as usual, were much more sensible and were somewhere much more protected and cooler. Me? I was out wandering around an open marsh area in mid-afternoon watching a thunderstorm build. Lake Apopka Restoration Area is quite extensive and can be accessed from at least three different areas. A lot of this area was used for sod farming and other agriculture in the past. There’s an interesting story about this area which will be told another day. A much cooler day. A day which I am certain will be filled with birds. (If you go, be sure to take water with you and I highly recommend not going alone. Parts of this area have high numbers of water moccasins and it’s easy to surprise one in the grass along the paths.)
Butterflies don’t seem to care about heat and storms and were pretty much everywhere.
Some notes on the pictures for the day:
– The Florida state butterfly is the Zebra Longwing. Who knew?
– The small light-colored White Peacock seemed to like the grass more than the flowers.
– Gulf Fritillaries were abundant.
– A larger butterfly, the Palamedes Swallowtail, seemed to enjoy showing off.
– Pied-billed Grebe searching for a snack in the lush weed growth of a canal.
– Most of my walking was along canals and one of the residents became a little TOO curious about what I was doing. I encountered about 12 different ‘gators in about 30 minutes.
– The storm began to build over the marsh in earnest and I got back to the truck just as it began to sprinkle. Gini and I sat there, parked under some huge pine trees and enjoyed a light rain and the sound of the wind sighing through the tree tops.
– On our way out of the area, we came across a group of about 40 Glossy Ibis in a field.
Our exploration located a bar-b-que joint and we found a place to park overlooking the marsh to enjoy our meal while it rained and a Red-Shouldered Hawk hunkered on a low branch nearby keeping watch over the area.
Another good day.
See “Lake Apopka Restoration Area – September 2012” in the Gallery for more pictures.
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit.