Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christmas in Clayton, GA

I left Sanibel Island on Dec. 24 and got to Clayton on Dec. 25.  My mom and I ate at the local Mexican restaurant (one of just a few open restaurants) on Christmas.  We had our family Christmas get together several days later.  My mom does a lot of decorating for Christmas.  

At our family Christmas I met my nephew’s kid for the first time, I’m not sure does that make him my great nephew? The kid’s dad is the one making the goofy face, his eye’s aren’t normally crossed!!

The next day some of the family went on a walk.  Actually some walked down Tallulah Gorge, but I didn’t want to walk 600+ steps back up so I went with the group that just walked around the gorge.

My mom and nephew leading the way -

Testing the suspension on the suspension bridge -

A day or so later it snowed a bit, but we only got 1/4 – 1/2 inches.  Not near like what we had in 2011.   I drove just up the road from my campground and went to a waterfall.

In the close-up below, you can just make out the icicles on the side of the waterfall. (look on the right side of the waterfall). 

From Clayton, I slowly made my way down to Fort DeSoto Park in Tierra Verde (close to St. Augustine).

Sanibel, Part 2

I drove down to Shark Valley in the Everglades a couple of times.  I enjoy biking their 15 mile trail.  The water was a bit high so the wildlife was not as abundant as I’ve seen it in the past (note,  I am currently back in South Florida and went back a couple of weeks ago and it was magnificent!).

I did see several alligator, one guarding the trail up to the watch tower.


And another just beside the bike trail –

This big guy was off a dirt road that is known for it’s wildlife -

Another place I visited was the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  One of the best things I saw was just before I turned into the sanctuary.   Mom and child -

As you have seen in my previous blogs, Sanibel is known for it’s shells. I have picked up so many in the past that I don’t really shell anymore, but occasionally pick one up.  But I did see some things on the beach before that I have never seen.

The above stingray had washed up on shore and was dying when I saw him.  He was beautiful.

I also saw the following creature.  I think it is some type of eel, but I haven’t been able to identify him.

I decided to find some new things to see since every time I come here I seem to go to the same places.   I found Six Mile Slough which is a county park and very nice.  

Most mornings, I walked 5 - 6 miles but a couple of mornings  I walked about 8 miles from my condo to the lighthouse and back. 

Now for my sunrise and sunset pictures --

From Sanibel, I headed back to Ga for Christmas. 

Sanibel Island

Once again, I am way behind in posting this blog and I am again blaming it on too many pictures.  I took so many pictures of the sun rise and sunset that I have yet to figure out which ones that I like best.  So I finally decided that I just need to post some and move on. 

I was on Sanibel Island for 4 weeks in December.  For the first time in a year, I had a bed not on wheels.  I rented an ocean-front condo.  One of my favorite activities was sitting on the screen porch – relaxing, reading, watching for dolphins…!

Most of my days consisted of walking 5 – 8 miles in the morning, biking 12 – 28 miles, swimming, reading and relaxing.  It was a great 4 weeks!

Sanibel does have one campground that I have stayed at previously.  I happened to be biking through the park when they were putting on a bird talk, so I stopped and listened for a while.  The lady talking was very educational and showed us how they clipped a bird’s wings.

A highlight of the talk was to let kids (and some adults) hold some of the birds.  This particular bird liked to climb up braids or whatever it could to get to a high point.

I visited Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge many times.  Most of the time I did the loop on my bike. 

Roseate Spoonbill and Reddish Egret -


Close-up of Juvenille Yellow Crowned Night Heron - san_juv_yellow_crowned_night_heron

Adult Yellow Crowned Night Heron -


2 pictures of Spoonbills feeding -


One day while riding my bike in the refuge I watched this pelican, it looked like he was doing his morning exercises.

And then some just relaxing -

I have too many pictures for one blog, so the next blog will have pictures of interesting beach creatures, sunrise and sunset pictures…