Friday, January 26, 2024

Shangri-La Trailhead, best for "Winter hiking"

 Now that the weather has cooled off here in Florida I am enjoying some of the trails I usually avoid in the summer months. 

But as you can see by the parking area at the Shangri-La Trailhead, I have it all to myself today!

The trails are just gorgeous and easy to walk. 

The way the trails 'lie', there's not much breeze so it feels hotter and the bugs enjoy it more than I do in the summer heat! So I wait for the cooler temps with less humidity.

Some of the trails follow the old diggings and it is perfectly quiet and peaceful.

We've had some rain so the mushrooms are abundant in the forest.

I'll pop a mosaic in to try to show more of these beauties!

This one looks like it has a little skirt on!

And we've seen lots of Warblers, Flycatchers and Bluebirds this week.

I know many people have gotten a winter blast this week. We've had a few cold nights too!

Hubby took this Eastern Bluebird photo and it's one of my all time favorites now!

Enjoy your week and get outside to enjoy nature when you can!

And for those of you who are interested in the BIG announcement I made on Jan. 23rd, I'll include a link to the post HERE!

 It's going to be FUN!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Exciting News for 2024!

We spent months researching what we wanted to do to expand our nature hikes for this year!

It's been fun to go online and learn so much about camping in the Southeast!

Over the years my husband and I have hiked, backpacked, slept in tents and just about every kind of camper they make. We even owned a motorhome for a few years and really enjoyed traveling in that.

But to go to the State Parks and campgrounds we are interested in, we needed something small!

So we bought the smallest travel trailer we could find that had everything we wanted. 

We wrote down our 'wish list' and the Grand Design 'Adventure in Motion' met all of our needs. 

A special thanks to George and Katie and everyone at Camper's Inn RV that made our dream come true! 

The link HERE shows the AIM floorplan.

Come on in!

A view from the back! It's tiny!

It has a murphy bed that easily folds back into a comfortable sofa for daytime use.

It has a small dinette.

The kitchen has 2 burners, a deep sink, a confection oven/microwave and a refrigerator and freezer.

It has lots of cabinets, wardrobes and storage bins. 

AND...a full bathroom along the back with a shower, toilet and sink.

A pocket door closes the bathroom off...don't worry! lol

Everything we wanted in a little more than 19 feet...that can be pulled by our Chevy Silverado!

We just picked it up a few days ago so we are busy learning the systems and figuring out where everything needs to go. There are things to purchase but we can use our 'extras' from our house. 

So we'll be able to go a little farther away from home to 'discover the real Florida' and when the weather improves we would love to travel to some of the campgrounds in Georgia.

I was going to begin this post with "Someone's been very good this year" because we picked up the trailer just a few days before my birthday! How about a BIG RED BOW for the top!

We are excited to plan some camping trips. Have you ever been camping?

Friday, January 19, 2024

"Short and Sweet"

We have a fun weekend planned so I'll keep this post 'short and sweet' ME! 

And yes, it's my birthday weekend so I hope the weather is sunny and we can spend our time in nature!

I don't know if I'll have time to play 'dress up' but maybe I could wear this hat hiking!

Or I could ride my bike on the trails!

I could always play my record player!

So much fun to look back at birthdays long gone!

And more fun for this weekend!

I'll share my favorite bird photos of the week.

We saw these beautiful Mourning Doves on the Shangri-La trail.

They scared me when they flew out of the tall grasses next to the trail.

But they were nice enough to perch nearby and give us a chance to photograph them.

It would be fun to put captions to some of these pics.

Enjoy your weekend! 

I'll save you a piece of birthday cake. (Actually I'm making birthday brownies with a KETO mix)


(I don't MEAN to be bossy!) hahaha

PS I have some exciting news to share and have a post scheduled for January 23 with an announcement! 

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  

Friday, January 12, 2024

Blue Run Park of Dunnellon Delights

We can always count on delights when we hike the Florida Trails at Blue Run Park.

Are you lookin' at ME?

This Green Heron had just been to the hair salon and was proud of his new 'do'!

We think this is a Juvenile Green Heron and probably a teenager! 

He is sporting a new hair's even a bright shade of blue!

He was quite vocal because a Hawk had chased him over to that tree!

We saw lots of neat sights on the trail.

We ended up seeing the Red-shouldered Hawk as we were nearing the parking area.

It is right in the center of the photo below.

We loved getting so close to it and took pics until someone else walked up and then he was scared away.

For anyone local, be aware that the trail is posted right now with signs saying they are getting ready to repave the trail this month. So any walks along the river will have to wait until February.

Have you had a good week? What's your weather like?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE ! 

Friday, January 5, 2024

A short walk to the neighborhood pond for 2024!

It's always hard to get used to writing the new year! 2024! WOW! 

Let's take a walk to the neighborhood pond. It's not far so I don't count it as a hike but we made 143 hikes on the Florida trails for 2023 so I'm happy with that! 

I walked over there in the late afternoon so the lighting was kind of funny. And the Bald Cypress trees are deciduous conifers that turn a burnt orange and then lose their leaves (or needles) at this time of year. 

Some photos look lighter and brighter than others.

And of course I saw ducks!

When I first walked up, I noticed a whole line of ducks on the bank across the pond.

And this beautiful Great Blue Heron was crouched down in the tall grasses.

Let's see how close we can get!

It was just beautiful in every direction!

Some of the ducks I have tried to ID before and finally realized they are hybrid ducks. 

But if you have a better ID, please let me know and I'll add it to the description.

There were a few Moorhens in the mix too.

And one we see in the winter months....

the Ring-necked Duck.

They are so distinct and beautiful.

It was a nice warm 70 degree afternoon.

The perfect way to begin the new year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !