Even though our 20th anniversary was on May 9, on May 12 we had a party at our nature reserve. 45 people were invited, 20 rsvp'd and 7 showed up, lol. But we had a great time anyways.
I saw quite a few red cardinals that day...this one was right near our picnic tables.
I had reserved a nature ride for 6. I tried to reserve for more, but there was no more seating so I took what I could get. Grampy, Scott, Wade, Diana, Layla and Rossi took the ride. I stayed behind to keep an eye on our food and to wait for the others to arrive. Scott took pictures while on the ride and I will do my best to explain them or let you know what type animal it is. I'm not sure about the above picture.
This picture is a Coot.
I believe this is an alligator in a canal.
Yep it is.
Diana, Layla and Rossi on the ride.
The man pointing out different things is the tour guide. I believe his name is either Steve or Bob. He had mentioned something about this being the "BS" tour, lol.
Eagles nest in a tree. I am so going to walk the trail to this the next time we go and try to get some closer pictures.
3 eagles sittling on a branch near the nest.
We call these snake birds because their necks are so long. And sometimes they are submerged and only their necks and heads are out of the water.
I think this is a white species of a snake bird.
The whole flock.
Another alligator in a canal. This time of year the females are laying eggs. April is mating season, May is egg laying season and June is when the eggs hatch. Hut and I found this out in March and said we wouldn't walk the gator trail again until July. But I did end up walking it again this day.
Some kind of pink birds. Definitely not flamingos.
Rossi hamming it up for Uncle Scotty.
Here I think she's playing with Grampy.
A windmill, probably part of the original cattle ranch. The reserve used to be part of a cattle ranch. The owners of the ranch sold part of their ranch to Polk County and SWIFTMUD (Southwest Florida Management), who made it into this awesome reserve.
Layla and Wade.
Diana and Rossi.
Now that the ride is over and lunch is done at well, it's time for a walk. This is Diana's grandmother, GG walking with Layla. Diana's grandparents, GG and Pa joined us for the day. It was nice to visit with them, since we haven't seen them in awhile.
Scott, Wade and Rossi, with Pa in the background. Pa recently had rotorcuff surgery, but ventured out to join us anyways.
Diana had the camera for this shot....Scott and Rossi in the front and then Pa, Layla, GG and me in the background.
He ain't heavy, he's my brother. Wade getting a piggy back ride from Scott.
Caught this picture too late. Rossi had been laying down like Uncle Scotty.
Diana on the dock overlooking Lake Hancock. The county and SWIFTMUD have purchase land all around the shores of Lake Hancock to assure there would be no developement to hinder the reserve. The lake is 7 miles around and rumored to be only 2 feet deep.
Wade and Diana on the dock.
Gator tracks. Probably more than one gator.
More turtles sunning themselves.
HUGE gator cooling off in the canal. Scary looking isn't he?
Another side shot.
Can you find the gator in this picture?
Bet you can see her now. She has her eyes open.
Squirrel in the dry canal bed. Looked like he was walking on water.
Turtles in the green slimey water. Not sure what the green slime is.
Small turtle on a branch. And another one in the water looking at the camera.
Hope you enjoyed these pictures of some wildlife from my neck of the woods.