We had a wonderful walk today. One of the nicest ever. Alligator Lake Park is a county park right in Lake City. It is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. We chose the three-mile Montgomery Trail, which is on a dike around and through the lake. The lake had been diked and drained in the 1950s for agriculture.
I have tried to keep my photos in the order taken. I took about 235 pictures today, so this is just a small sample of the park experience. This is the beginning of the trail, just past the trail head sign.
This is my first glimpse of the water from the trail. It looks like Monet took the picture. The photo did not turn our weird, that is exactly how it looks.
As the trail rounded a curve, it became a grassy lawn. It was grassy most of the three miles.
There was water on both sides, but it took me a while to realize that we were walking on a dike. My turtle picture did not turn out too sharp. A lot of the pictures were a bit fuzzy today. I think the camera had trouble focusing, because the background was always so busy. I am a snapshooter and don’t mess with the camera settings, but I really should learn to use the manual focus. He is a big guy.
This is a snowy egret, a bit out of focus as well.
It was a pretty day, but mostly cloudy. Here, we wee approaching a bridge.
The landscape was full of these tiny Morning Glories. They were only about and inch or two across.
Here are a couple views of the open water/marsh.
I think I took this one from that bridge.
Butterflies were everywhere, fluttering all around us. This one is a Gulf Fritillary.
We got a laugh out of this Tiger Swallowtail inside a blossom.
I don’t think I have seen one of these before. Google Images tells me it is a Cloudless Sulphur.
Zebra Wings always flitter around so fast that I have a hard time getting a picture of one. This one cooperated for me. I had never noticed the red dots along the body on the underside of the wing before.
I thought this was a moth, but found it with Google Images. It is a Buckeye Butterfly. I suppose it is from Ohio.
Here is another Snowy Egret standing on a clump of grass out in the water.
We are a long way from the Everglades, so I was surprised to see Anhingas here. This is a female. You can tell by the brown neck and head; males are all black and with white marking on the back.
I liked this little island of small cypress trees. Notice all the water lillies in front of them.
We were walking along and minding our own business when suddenly this huge Great Blue Heron flapped and squawked out of the tree next to us. It landed just a few yards away, up to its belly in the water. I said we were just as startled my the heron as it was by us. Andy thought that knowledge would be of little comfort to the heron.
There were thousands of water lillies on the lake, but I did not get a single picture in sharp focus. This may be one of the best.
We came across another Great Blue Heron a bit farther along. This one was not bothered by us. I just love those red thighs.
Here is another snap of the trail.
We came to a second bridge.
Here is an Ibis sitting in a cypress tree.
A bit past that bridge, we saw a genuine swamp on the right side.
It is beautiful, in a swampy kind of way.
One more Snowy Egret with the yellow feet showing.
After the swamp, we left the water’s edge and walked through a bit of marshy forest. Before long, we got back to the playground and pavilion where we had parked the car. The parking lot was full and there were several picnics in progress. The playground was covered in children. There is also a large, screened in pavilion.
Despite the name of Alligator Lake, we did not see a single alligator today.