#RV Journal: Oscar Scherer State Park, Nokomis Florida

My wife and I spent January 20-21, 2015, camping at Oscar Scherer State Park in Nokomis, Florida. We had hoped to stay for 4 or 5 days, but I was making the reservations only 2 or 3 weeks in advance, and I was only able to get 2 days at this very popular Florida State Park. Fortunately we were there for a visit with my wife’s brother and his family, and he and his wife kindly offered us their hospitality, so we availed ourselves of their generosity for a few days. That allowed us to not only enjoy their company, but also to visit some of the areas highlights such as the Venice Rookery and Caspersen Beach. More will be (or has been) posted on those, but this report is about camping at Oscar Scherer State Park…

T@b at Oscar Scherer State Park in Florida

T@b at Oscar Scherer State Park in Florida

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#RV Journal: Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, Florida

My wife and I stayed for two nights at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park near Keystone Heights, Florida on Thursday, 1/15/2015, and Friday, 1/16/2015 so we could visit my aunt. This state park is kinda in the middle of nowhere in Florida, so I wouldn’t have picked it except for the proximity to Penney Farms, where my aunt lives. However, it’s within an hour of St. Augustine, has a beautiful picnic grounds and several small, picturesque lakes, and seems to have a nice bird population. The relatively remote location means no city lights tainting the night skies, so star-gazing was great there. While I might try Anastasia State Park if I wanted to visit St. Augustine, Gold Head Branch State Park is an attractive alternative.

Sandhill Cranes at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park by Gerry Williamson, on Flickr

Sandhill Cranes in the distance at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

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#NPOD: Pinnate Prairie Coneflower #Nativeplants

Native Plant of the Day 01/26/2015

Photo from 9/9/2012.  Location:  Echo Trail near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, St Louis County, MN

Pinnate Prairie Coneflower – for more photos / information go to the Ratibida pinnata detail page.

Pinnate Prairie Coneflower - Ratibida pinnata by USWildflowers, on Flickr

Pinnate Prairie Coneflower – Ratibida pinnata

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#RV Journal: High Falls State Park, Jackson, Georgia

My wife and I stayed at High Falls State Park on January 14, 2015, as an overnighter on our way to Florida. The park is close enough to I-75 to make it worthy as an alternative to a more expensive hotel or motel, and I had hoped to have time to walk the trail along the river. We took more time en route than I had planned, however, so no time for the hike, but the park was nice, and I’ll probably make it there another time with a couple of spare hours to explore the park more.

T@b at High Falls State Park, northeast of Macon, Georgia

T@b at High Falls State Park, northeast of Macon, Georgia

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Cormorant vs Catfish – Venice Rookery #birding #video

While my wife and I were in Venice, Florida for a family visit, we took the opportunity for a couple of trips down the road to the Venice Rookery. There we got to watch cormorants feasting on catfish in the pond. Here are a few photos and a video.

(Click on the photos for a larger image)

Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax autitus

Cormorant drying in the sun.

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