Cold and rain followed me all the way from L.A. to Florida and then back again, making for stressful driving and camping through the swamplands of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and E. Texas. I took a detour through New Orleans to visit the Whitney Plantation, the first slavery museum in this country. Only open for two months, it still has a way to go, but I’m glad I went. (Click any image for full resolution.)
While in Florida I finally got to see some Sandhill Cranes. In fact, there was a breeding pair where I was staying and I got to witness their crazy mating dance, the male trying to impress his lady with his not so smooth moves.
This pair had been in residence for some years. Last year they raised two chicks but one got carried off by a hawk. Shortly after this photo was taken the male appeared alone, meaning the female was brooding.
Also spent a day with the Ocala Audubon club for their spring bird count. A wonderful and knowledgeable group of volunteers helped us identify and count at the local park. We did have a few sunny days in Florida, the Sunshine State, though this day was very cold.
It was a push drive getting through the southern states. Then Texas is a third of the journey by itself. Still, good to be back in the west. I planned a couple of days rest in the San Pedro Riparian area south of Tucson before the last push across the desert back to L.A.
Lots of time to hike and bird. Took a drive through Tombstone but it was late and I was too tired from long days hiking and photographing. On the way back to camp the setting sun lit up the cottonwoods along the river bottom. A lot to see here, so I hope to be able to return with more time.