About a week ago, I was interested to see that other bloggers had a competition going on as to who could provide the most photo-worthy walkabout of their immediate neighborhood. I wasn't able to participate in time, and my contribution would have been somewhat overshadowed by some of the entries, one of which included gorgeous scenes of a quaint, Cotswold village in England.
Early this morning it started out reasonably cool and misty outside. It occurred to me that the filtered sunlight through the trees would make some decent photographs, and although this didn't start out as a neighborhood walkabout it evolved into one anyway, and it kind of fits in with my occasional trails and open spaces blogs.
By the time I had rushed around giving the dogs their breakfast, my conures their seed and fresh water, and filled up the feeders for the cardinals, blue jays and woodpeckers ...whew! .... the mist had burned off and just left me with an overcast sky. Currently our daytime temperatures are 80 degrees and higher.....so overcast is good walking weather! When the humidity kicks in at the end of April, a walk like this requires taking along a bottle of water.
So here we go:
As I turn out of my street I am on one of the main roads running through my neighborhood. As you can see on this particular street, we have no sidewalks or streetlamps and the road is sand/dirt. The electricity runs on lines across the roads, which is why when we have a hurricane we have no power for days on end.
At one time, much of Florida was once covered by pine flatwoods. Pines grow quickly here and provide welcome shade and hold the grass in place on our sandy soils. Our neighborhood trees comprise of: Live Oaks, Scrub Oaks, Slash Pines, Bald Cypress, Silver Buttonwoods, Simpson's Stopper, Sea Grapes and a wide variety of palms, including Sabal Palms.
I am going to walk as far as the eye can see in the photo above.
Our compensation for the lack of city conveniences is the abundance of trees, fresh air, wildlife, and a constellation and star filled night (no street lamp glare), and even though it is 9am, you can see how quiet it is here.
When the moon is full, the white sand glows, and it is as if the middle of night becomes a surreal midday.
On the way, I pass a magnificent clump of bamboo which reaches some 25 feet high. Alas, since the neighbors can get a little twitchy over their landscaping being photographed, I have had to omit from sharing that with you.
Now I have turned off the main road and down a side street that leads to the canal. The red sign is a warning to unsuspecting motorists that there is a canal ahead. But there is no guard rail, so it's driver beware, since at night it is pitch black. The worst that could happen is that you would be stuck down there and would have to walk home. No chance of being submerged in less than 2 feet of water.
Heading back towards home, I am going to walk along the canal. You can see how beautiful it is here. The water level could do with being higher though, and you can see from the 'tide line' evidenced by the dirt that the water table should be about 2 feet higher than it is. Along the way I am accompanied by the cardinals cheeping in stereo, the ducks quacking ........ and all the dogs in the backyards along the canal howling and growling at me! I am glad they can't jump their fences.
I am headed all the way towards the culvert at the far end of the canal, and I can tell you it is quite a work-out walking on grass.
To the right we have some Sandhill Cranes that sadly are a threatened species, but thankfully plentiful and local to our rural area. We actually have signs posted "Sandhill Crane Crossing." These two are a pair, and soon will have the cutest, fluffiest, little crane babies following them around. The babies will stay with mom and dad for about 10 months. These birds actually fly and make a trumpeting noise that can be heard for some distance. You can see how large the male is, at about 4 feet high. While I was walking by, he fixed me with his beady, yellow eye, and casually began to preen himself to let me know how big his wings are, so I kept a distance of about 7 feet from him. According to some online sources these birds can live to 20 years of age.
Here's the culvert.
I walked about a mile and a half. That's my semi-rural neighborhood for you.
Hope you enjoy sharing my walk with me.