Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Island Dog Visits Crystal River Wildlife Refuge

Island Dog has learned that fall comes late to West Central Florida.  But when an unexpected "cold front" moved in, he/we couldn't resist getting out and playing tourist again.

Finnegan usually visits this refuge, located along the Crystal River, in colder winter months.  That's when the manatees cluster together in the warm, crystal clear spring fed water and are easy to see.  I took this picture by boat this past January...

So while we didn't spot any "tees" like we would during the winter, we did enjoy a visit from a flock of pelicans that floated near shore in a fertile, brackish backwater closer to the Gulf.

One advantage to getting out during the warmer summer months is everything is so green.  As we walked past the backwater along a dark, overgrown path, we spotted this beautiful bloom. 

It had found the only spot where the sun could break-through the dense canopy above. I'm no horticulturalist, but I believe this is a wild orchid we discovered along the boardwalk.

Since there isn't a Gulf beach nearby, we took Island Dog out to Pine Island Beach on the way home.  It was a wonderful day, reminding us that

Life is always great on the island!