A week or two later, one of my older daughters, Sarah, and I went back to the same preserve from part number 1 to try to photograph one of the two native species of orchids found here (Habenaria odontopetala and Epidendrum magnoliae). I was recounting the tale from the last time, instructing her in no uncertain terms that she should keep an eye on the ground carefully to make sure she didn't step on a cottonmouth. As I was pontificating, Sarah was trying to quietly get my attention, "Dad....Dad....Dad". "What?" I say. "Look ahead up the trail". Right there, about 100 feet away, was a young black bear. I managed to get out my camera and fire off a shot before he/she noticed us and scampered off quickly into the woods (the Floridian population of Ursus americanus is known for its relative shyness). This was only the second time in my life I've seen a black bear...once, I saw a young bear scampering away in the Tallahassee area as I was walking in the woods.
Here is the photo from the day:
"Empty salsa bowl" transition - Yes we just got some rain ... But don't count on it to last. Chart showing metaphorical relationship between water levels and surficial dryness in the swam...
4 hours ago