Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Canoeing with gators


This past weekend we joined some friends and went canoeing in Lake Lettuce Park up in Tampa.  It's a beautiful park of footpaths, jogging/biking trails and picnic areas.  The hardwood swamp forest seems to be a haven to a variety of wildlife.

These are our friends ... always ahead of The Professor and myself.  We were always falling behind ... well ... mostly because of me.  So many things to photograph.

And oh, was I nervous with my camera sitting on my lap the whole trip!  But there were more reasons not to fall into the water other than ruining my camera.


Like all the gators that were basking in the sun!
 
We must have seen two dozen gators ...  from babies to teens to a couple of 10 footers!
Yep ... 
DID NOT WANT TO TIP THIS CANOE!


 There were plenty of other wildlife to enjoy ... from turtles...

 to these beauties ... which I'm thinking the above is a Tri-colored heron?

 ... and these Roseate Spoonbills, which were plentiful!


They may just be my next fave to the Pelican.







After our 6.5 mile canoe trip, 
The Professor and I returned and joined our beach feathered friends ....


 to take in another beautiful Anna Maria sunset.  




Until tomorrow, my friends.
So many photos, so little time!


46 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

just love those terns! like the angels in that nicolas cage/meg ryan movie. :)

you can keep the gators to yourself. :)

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

Nature, animals and their habitats, colors, smells, everything is magnificent and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your's great photos, Reena!

cvb

Beth said...

not sure which shot i love more. i love the sunset. wow, such gorgeous views!! lovely. watch out for those crocodiles. (:

bill lisleman said...

The gators don't attack canoes? I seem to remember old Tarzan movies where they did. I hope you used the zoom for the gator pic.

Brian Miller said...

cool cool captures...having lived in FL i have seen my fill of gators....one even got my cat, she still has the scars...and watched a bunch of kids once jumping out of their canoes playing in gator waters...crazy...was just waiting for one to disappear...love the little turtles...

Sylvia K said...

What fabulous captures and such a fun trip you've taken us on! Amazing shots of the gators and I love the turtles and birds! Looks like a perfect day!

Sylvia

geetlee said...

Reena, I would have so nervous if I were you!
I love all these shots. Especially loved the one of the spoonbill flying.

Lois Evensen said...

Spectacular images again, especially the spoonbills. I don't think I would want to have only a canoe between me and the gators!!!!!!

Sandra said...

beautiful spot. scary gators, the second shot is a crocodile. and they will chase people. yikes. love the spoonbills,

JillsyGirl Studio said...

good grief...no way would i get so close to the same level as a croc!! i admire you for doing that! great captures!

Country Girl said...

Oh oh oh! Wow ~
What a wonderful collection of birds that I never have seen in real life!!

Louise said...

Cool gators. That must have been exciting, at the same time it was scary.

Nancy said...

*sigh* Now that's my kind of photo-journey! Love those spoonbills. :)

Linda R said...

WOW!! So many wonderful photos.. But I have to say you are one brave gal.. There is no way in H-E-double-L that I would be in a Boat with gators around.. I think I am hyperventilating just looking at the photos. Hee Hee.. But I am glad you did. I really did enjoy the photos. Can't wait to see more..

Hugs~

Wanda plain~N~simple said...

Love the Spoonbills and of course the turtles! All I can say about the gaters is that you are a lot braver than I would be! Great shots of them though.

Kathy said...

You just keep outdoing yourself, Reena!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Stunning pictures! But I have to tell you, that I'm really, really afraid of gators and admire you for going anywhere near them, and for not tipping the boat! :-)

Ginny said...

Those two spoonbills and the reflection, it must be my fave today!! LOVE those turtles in a row, and the beautiful blue birds, never seen anything like it!

Rohrerbot said...

I'm with you on this trip. Would not want to tip the canoe in Gator waters OR get my camera wet. I have had moments like that....soon I'll have a post coming up on the Blue Footed Booby and it required me to protect my camera from severe salt water wave attacks.....pretty scary. But you are back from the trip AND you have some beautiful shots:) The Roseate is also one of my favorites. Like you...too much to post and not enough time:) Chris

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Oooohhh, scary, a canoe in gator waters. Yikes! You're braver than me. I've always wanted to photograph the Roseate Spoonbills, you lucky girl! Great job on all these.

Gail said...

I am blown away by the beauty surrounding you. What a wonderful photo trip full of opportunity and danger...what could be better than that? Fantastic job.

Margie said...

Those gators were way too close to the canoe. Eek! No kidding you didn't want the canoe to tip. I would have been afraid to paddle, although sitting still makes it even easier to tip it. Yikes!

Barbara said...

I think you're a brave woman to get in that canoe with so many gators around, eager to tip you over themselves! Yikes! Beautiful photos, though, so thanks for being adventurous so you could share them with us!

GailO said...

I was gasping over those gators until you distracted me with those gorgeous birds! What is that blue bird?!! Both of them are wonderful!

Looks like a fun excursion:)

Gillian Olson said...

What a wonderful adventure, so many amazing pictures. Those spoonbills are very interesting indeed.

Betty Manousos said...

wow, reena, such beautiful views!so many gorgeous shots!
love those spoonbills.

ZielonaMila said...

Fantastic photographs, nature is beautiful. I am greeting

Steve Gravano said...

Great photos! I totally understand not wanting to end up in the water with those beady eyes looking at you.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

Gorgeous pics, not sure if I would have sat in a canoe in alligator infested waters . . . you were brave. I love spoonbills but have never seen one in person.

Bob Bushell said...

Wonderful journey on the "gators" lake, love it.

Daryl Edelstein said...

Hilary and I were talking herons yesterday .. I wonder if that isnt a Green heron .. she described it as looking blue but being iridescent .. whatever . he is gorgeous and I loved the peeking from the water gator!

Mark said...

That would have been an anxious canoe trip, all those gators! And your photos...WOW!

Madi and Mom said...

WOW what gorgeous pictures. I've never seen a spoonbill in the wild only at our NC Zoo's aviary and the heron. Looks like the gators were too busy sunning to notice you all.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Kerri said...

Pure Awesomeness!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Being low on the water in the canoe gave you a great POV. I especially like that first alligator photo. What a wonderful experience. I would be so excited to do that.

Hilary said...

I think your heron is a Little Blue Heron.

http://birdsnbugs.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/little-blue-heron-color-changes/

Pat said...

Great shots! Those gators look scary. I love the turtles sunning on the rock.

CherryPie said...

Amazing photos :-)

I don't think I would have been too comfortable in such a small canoe!!

Michael said...

love the spoonbills, too...

My Journey With Candida said...

You are one brave lady canoeing with all those gators around. I would of messed my pants when I seen the first one. Those things are almost as big as the canoe.

ladyfi said...

Wow - all your shots of these lovely creatures are fabulous!

Cynthia Schelzig said...

Fabulous captures!! What a place this is!! Those gators give me the creeps...I´d be terrified:) you should work for the Florida Tourist Board with all these wonderful shots you are showing us.

bon bon said...

you're brave to capture all this beauty for us! i think i would be too chicken to venture out where gators congregate.

Madge Bloom said...

Love the canoe shot, the gator eyes shot and the birds on the beach most! You have a good eye...

baju busana muslim said...

Your photos are just amazing! I am so in love with them!

Margaret said...

don't tip the boat! :) Stunning, beautiful photos.