Zenfolio | April L. Gustetter | APRIL 2009

19 photos
Click on "SADDLE CREEK PARK - Lakeland, Fla." above for details on this great venue.
Very soon after our passage through the tunnel to the west side of the park, we spied this little guy sunning...Abundant in Central Florida, Limpkins become more rare to spot the farther north one travels.Until this trip, my paddle pal had only seen 'gators from land...she later had a very close encounter with a young one (still sporting its stripes).Replete with a variety of wildlife, Saddle Creek is home to a bevy of bovines.From big bulls to adolescents, we shared some private time (a/k/a pitstop) with these four-legged friends.Not sure they enjoyed our company as much as we did theirs, but they were gracious hosts nonetheless.Spying on us, this little guy (gal?) stayed put, despite us slowly closing in for a better look.The bird-watching was stellar. Followed this Great Blue Heron for a while......after relocating, it sat still as a statue for many minutes......until it sensed a snack approaching......and just as we thought it was going to snag its prey......it changed its mind, composed itself......and posed gracefully for the camera.After a day of beautiful gifts from Nature, we neared the end of our paddle and came upon a family of Limpkins...Mom (Dad?) was rustling up food so Baby could snatch it...There were at least three little ones staying close to their parent, but this one......this one was earnest in its hunger and wasn't going to miss any chance for food...The crows were a nuisance, yet very fascinating to watch as they played their part in this natural show.As if to say, "Nothing more to see, move along," this Limpkin bid us farewell, and we paddled passed on our way back to the take-out.