Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Adventures In The Florida Wilds - Alderman's Ford Preserve

While we certainly enjoy our usual hikes to Circle B Bar Reserve, I've really been wanting to try to find some new places with new sights.  This adventurous spirit let us to Alderman's Ford Preserve, located south of Plant City.  When researching where to go, the description of rapids on the river was what drew me to choose this site.  Our hike was a little under two miles (I later discovered we missed a whole trail).  It wasn't the most exciting hike.  While we saw disturbed environments where wildlife had been, we witnessed no actual animal activity unless you count the swarms of horseflys and other insects. 

The first view after parking.

The river was quite a ways below the path.  We managed to find a place to climb down the enbankment for a closer view.

Interesting roots.

Not an official path but a nice waterside excursion.  We had to keep our eyes peeled for poison ivy as the hiking website had warned extensively of it.

Swimming is prohibited due to the shallow water and rocky bottom but obviously someone's been up to some hijinks with this rope swing over the water.

Upon reaching what looked like possibly the end of the trail, I consulted the internet and it directed us to this old railroad trestle support.  It was only about 15 feet from where we were standing but it blended so seemlessly with the environment that we didn't see it until we almost ran into it.  Finding this was the highlight of the hike for me.

The corresponding support was on the other side of the river just out of camera range on the left.

There were lots of lovely wildflowers but it was very breezy making it nearly impossible to photograph them up close and in focus.

Case in point.  Breezy and unfocused.


 Don't worry, that isn't a UFO, just a little lens flare.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Flora Of The Dark Continent

On a trip to Busch Gardens today I happened upon many lovely flowers and plants that I felt compelled to photograph.