Tuesday, November 29, 2016

11/29 Kirby Storter Park, Tamiami Trail

This place just looks like a roadside park with a rustic restroom and no water.  However, it has a one-mile boardwalk through dwarf bald cypress.  There is very, very little soil here on the limestone base that forms all of Florida, so the trees do not grow as large as they do elsewhere because they lack nutrients. If you drive past here, please do stop, and not just to use the restroom!  The birds at the end of the boardwalk will make it worthwhile.

FYI, if you are from northern climes, just want you to know it was 85 today.  Last night went down to a comfortable 65, although tonight is supposed to be a tad warmer.  I would prefer nights below 60 to slow the bugs down a bit, but it is very slowly cooling off in Florida and will be perfect for us northerners, although the Floridians will probably be putting on sweaters and light jackets if it drops below 75!

I had taken this drive from my campground with two purposes: 1) find a Verizon signal so I could check my email and upload papers, and 2) walk on the boardwalk.

Yes, there are also Florida panthers here, although I did not get to see one.

And here are the birds--mostly great white herons and ibis, with a handful of wood storks thrown in. The herons are the tall white birds with straight, orange beaks.
This is a wood stork.  They feed on crustaceans by doing a little dance. You hold you left wing out (to shade the water the better to see your prey) and you stomp your left foot several times to stir things up.  Repeat with right foot and wing until you find something tasty.

A turkey vulture calmly sitting on a branch.

This is a juvenile ibis with a tiny bit of white showing as he grows new adult feathers.  For his size, his curved-downward beak is HUGE!  Guess it is sort of like a puppy growing into his feet.

And a beautiful white heron starting to grow his feathery breeding plumage.

More wood storks.


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