Florida Weekend Chapter C (January 31, 2011)

After dark but before going to bed in our tent at Fort De Soto, Anne and I took out our snack-dinner of chips, salsa, guacamole, and other goodies. It didn’t take more than a moment or two before Raccoons from the surrounding palm trees began crawling down, growling and groaning and scouring around for food. Being a campground, of course, the local coons were accustomed to handouts and so they came quite close. Periodically turning on our headlamps, we could see that we were surrounded by them, so we ate in the car.

After dinner, Anne and I retired to our tent, where the coons quickly moved in and began making their unintentionally hilarious growls from just outside the door. When we woke up, one of our night visitors was directly above our tent in a palm tree. I began rapping on the trunk to wake him up, and he lazily looked down at me before proceeding to stretch his legs and groom himself. Pretty cool.

Aside from Raccoons, Anne and I took a nice walk around the east end of the Mullet Key and eventually went back to St. Pete where we were able to pay our usual visit to Weedon Island and one last stop at Sawgrass where we picked up our lifer Sedge Wren!

And then it’s back to Long Island…

Anhingas (ANHI) near dawn by the Soldier's Hole trailhead on Fort De Soto.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (YRWA), though we saw many hundreds of them at the Fort and otherwise in Florida, this is the best photo I got of one all weekend!
Monarch Butterfly, of which there were very many at the Fort.
Anne being contemplative
Anne looking cranky
Palm Warbler (PAWA), again, of which there were many in Florida - this one was part of a flock of a dozen or so eating seeds at the interface of beach and shrubland.
Sunshine Skyway reflecting sunshine
After all these years, I finally know the name of the plant that gave me some really cool seeds for my collection: Nickerbean!
Spiny Orb Weaver (spider)
Spiny Orb Weaver and his web
Anne reliving pleasant childhood memories
The Raccoon that lives in the palm trees over our campsite
Fiddler Crab
Reddish Egret (REEG)
Great Egret (GREG)
And finally, the bird that so many traveled so far to see on Long Island: the Common Ground-Dove (quite common in Florida)

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