The summer weather pattern is beginning to set in and that means afternoon thundershowers most days. The rain starts anywhere from noon to five, and although the rain is isolated (usually) you can plan to get wet sometime during the afternoon or evening.
On one trip a couple years ago, Kim and I had ridden to St. Augustine for the day. It had been a killer hot day with no rain along the coast but as we headed home in the dark we could see flashes of lightning inland. We slid south along the coast thinking we'd get around the south end of the rain before we needed to turn inland. Well, we didn't ever get to the south end of the storm and eventually had to turn west for about fifty miles to get home. Again, we thought we'd make it home just short of the storm and all would be good, but that didn't happen either. About 20 miles short of our home, we had to cross over one of those triple decker overpasses. We made it to the top of the over pass at the same time the storm hit. There was lightning everywhere and I can tell you that the lightning was intense and very scary. I may still have the bruises on my ribs where Kim was hanging on...
That was a long way to go to tell you I got out early and returned early, just as the first little rain shower of the day began.
The first nest I have pictures of was off the road a little way. Eagle and many big hawk / falcon nests are very course. They seem to be made of large branches with minimal padding for the chicks. They are nearly always at the very top of tall trees and are added to and reused each year
I can't resist taking pictures of this bike. You do get a very nice idea of what rural Florida looks like in this part of the state, but you have to look around the bike. :)
On one of my stops, was at Lake Marian. I had placed the bike under a nice looking tree and was taking pictures of the bike, great blue herons, and wood storks when a couple alligators started croaking a few yards away. Some say an alligator sounds like a bull frog. They actually make many noises from squeaky sounds to big booming croaks. On this day they were croaking. It is a sound that sends chills up my back. No need for me to trek any deeper into the swamp!
|Parked at Lake Marian. Gators croaking in the swamp just down the bank from the bike.|
I don't know for sure what type bird these fellows are. If anyone knows, please drop me a note. I thought they were Peregrin Falcons at first but I couldn't see the tell tale "sideburns" of a Peregrin. There was a parent in the nest with them and another on a wire just out of view. The parent on the nest flew off and the youngsters popped their heads up to take a look at me.
As you can see, the sky was beginning to fill in and I had to head for home shortly after taking the photo of the chicks. I stopped at the Ural/Enfield dealer to slip into my rain suit only to ride back into the sun for the last 20 or so miles.
I did see one bald eagle soaring over an orange grove near the house. What a sight, I always think they are one of the most beautiful of our birds.