The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Key West

From March 14th to the 17th we reached the southern-most stop on our trip.  Key West is at the end of the highway that connects the Florida Keys.  We had a very nice waterfront site at Boyd's Key West Campground.

There wasn't as much wildlife around as we hoped for, but we did see some.

Lots of Brown Pelicans

We were very excited to see a Magnificent Frigatebird.

Great White Heron
This is a white form of the Great Blue Heron
and is only found in Southern Florida.

Some of the "birds" were very noisy!

A couple of dragonflies

We were in Key West during the full moon.

We enjoyed a nice sunset while dining at a popular restaurant.

H.P. Williams Roadside Park

On March 13th we left the Cape Coral area and headed across Southern Florida to visit some friends near Fort Lauderdale.  We opted for the more scenic Tamiami Trail (US 41) which passes through the Big Cypress National Preserve.  Along this highway we stopped at the H.P. Williams Roadside Park which turned out to be an excellent wildlife viewing spot.

The Anhinga is a diving bird which stabs its prey with a sharply pointed bill.  It is sometimes called the "Snake Bird" because it will often swim with its body under water and only its long neck and head above the surface.   Because its feathers are not protected with a waterproof oil, they spend a lot of time with their wings spread, drying out the feathers.

Male Anhinga

Female Anhinga

An Anhinga hunting under water

Double-crested Cormorant

But the real attention getters were several Alligators

"My! What big teeth you have!"

There were lots of fish in the water for the Alligators.

"Hmmm, I like eating lizards, but this one looks a little too big for me to swallow!"

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Burrowing Owls

Beside Sanibel Island, one of the reasons we wanted to visit the Cape Coral area was to view the Burrowing Owls that inhabit that city.  Cape Coral is famous for its population of easily seen Burrowing Owls.

While driving along the road to where we camped, we passed this Osprey Nest complete with a flower bed!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sanibel Island

After St. Petersburg, we spent a few days on Pine Island near Cape Coral, Florida.  On March 10th we spent an afternoon visiting the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on nearby Sanibel Island.  Sanibel Island is famous for its birding.

Little Blue Heron

Immature Little Blue Heron

Common Merganser


Reddish Egret

Tricolored Herons

Fish in very shallow water

White Ibis

Great Egrets

Snowy Egret