Saturday, March 12, 2011

Call of the wild

All is quiet on the domestic front late this evening - everyone to bed except yours truly. I'd better not make it too late either since we're forfeiting an hour's sleep tonight and the young 'uns aren't aware of that - I expect their 'wake up call' that much earlier.

Today's main event was a trip to a 90,000+ acre wilderness adventure park where we were taken for a tour on a 'buggy' (a well-past-its-best-before-date school bus with very large openings where windows used to be). We were not disappointed by the denizens of the wild - we saw many, and we even had the privilege of caressing the skin (hide ?) of an alligator ! Our granddaughters also participated in that, although with some initial trepidation. Oh, the alligator was only about 1m/3' long and seemed to be under control of the driver - who doubled as the tour guide.

Near the end of the tour we stopped on a bridge over a cypress swamp - here are photos made of both sides of the bridge. I'll share more shots in future posts.

(both photos made with a 70-200mm lens at f5.6, ISO200 and shutter speeds of 1/100 and 1/500 sec)



24 comments:

darlin said...

Rick, the scenery is something else. To touch an alligator is very brave of your sweet granddaughters, you sure wouldn't catch me doing that... I don't think. The girls are going to have some wonderful stories to share when they get back home, stories which will turn into beautiful memories. It sounds like everyone is enjoying themselves, and keeping Grandpa busy! :-)

ju-north said...

You had a really good day - these photos give a fascinating glimpse of another world!

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

The cypress swamp looks very mysterious. Certainly there is all sorts of interesting wildlife in there. Great that you are exposing your granddaughters to nature.

biebkriebels said...

The adventure parc looks wonderfull with the trees standing in the water.
Groeten van Marianne

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

In spite of the age of the bus,this sounds delightful.

becky said...

A LIVE alligator? you're crazy! the time change always throws me off... my alarm went off for work, and my body was like "Huh?"
Oh well, have fun w/ the grandkids... maybe they'll letcha sleep in a bit!

Leovi said...

Gorgeous and soft play of light and shadows in beautiful shades of green. How beautiful is the forest. Greetings.

teca said...

I love walking in places like this! How beautiful! What wonderful lighting!
Thanks for sharing! I'll wait for the next pictures and stories. ;)

Many beijos to you and yours.
Love.

CarreraCaballo said...

Wow, the first photo is like in Paradise, maybe a dangerous paradise . . . LOL

I made it into your blog, I have too much going on, breath . . . breath . . . breath . . .

Greetz,


Joseph

Michelle said...

There's something almost magical about the first photo. I love the composition.

magda said...

Beautiful photos, the first is like dream !!!
Kisses to the girls xxxx
Have a nice week!

Jeanne Klaver said...

Part of our property is wetlands; we planted bald cypress trees a few years ago in hopes they would grow. They not only grew, but produced "knees." I'll get a photo posted today of our bald cypress knees. I have to tell you, though, we don't have the added excitement of an alligator!!

Melissa Jo said...

Wow. I love cypress swamps! It reminds me of growing up in Florida! SOunds like ya'll had a lot of fun!

Elizabeth Grimes said...

I think I would still be a little nervous about touching an alligator, even if it was small. Brave girls! Great pictures today. :)

Farmchick said...

The first photo is so beautiful. Hiding a lot of danger underneath....

Dawn said...

Wow! I got chills looking at that 1st shot. I was waiting for something to pop its head out of the water.....
What fun you seem to have with your company;) Tell your granddaughter she is very brave. I wouldn't have touched it. At all.
:)

chasity said...

it sounds like you are having a great trip...
and making wonderful memories!!!
what a treasure.

Rick said...

Ah, the gator was only about 3' long, Darlene - nothing to worry about as long as you kept anything you didn't want bitten away from its mouth ;-) Both of these girls are very active, and good, swimmers so no problem keeping them busy !

It was excellent, Julia and this place seemed more like steamy Africa (even though I've never been there).

You wouldn't catch me wading in there, Karin ;-) The girls loved the trip especially when looking out for gators !

Dank je wel, Marianne. 't was een echt mooie plek.

Rick said...

LOL, so true Ruth - at least it got us there and back !

But Becky - it was only 3' long ;-) ! Btw - no sleeping in for me either ;-)

Thank you, Leovi - it was a spectacular place, although potentially a little dangerous.

Obrigado, teca. We did go for a little walk - along a boardwalk above the swamp which was almost dry at that point. More photos soon. Many beijos for you too - I shall be around to visit soon.

Thank you Joseph - I know what you mean. Yes, a bit of danger lurking in amongst all that nice green. Hopefully I can visit a few of you before it's too late tonight.

Rick said...

Thank you, Michelle - yes, a wonderful place that cypress swamp.

Thank you very much, Magda !

LOL Jeanne - I'm not sure a gator would survive where you live but it would sure add some excitement, wouldn't it ? Btw - lovely 'knees' you posted ;-)

We sure did Melissa - my first intro to a cypress swamp - WITH gators ! Fascinating.

Thanks Elizabeth - they were both quite brave ! We all touched the gator except for my wife - she saw no need to ;-)

Thanks Farmchick - and that's unlikely to become a swimming hole on a hot day for anyone but a gator !

Ha ha, Dawn - the 2nd photo was taken just on the other side of the bridge where the water hyacinths were crawling with gators. literally ! Nice to behold. from the bus !

Hi Chasity - thanks for dropping by. Absolutely right - we'll be able to share some gator memories later on. Having a blast ! Hope all is well with you and yours.

Soraia B. said...

Great photos!

Rick said...

Thank you Soraia !

Felicity said...

It's such a treat for me to see this part of the world 'for real'.
I'm not sure if I'd be brave enough to pat an alligator though, we Aussies are fairly cautious of equine reptiles!

Great to be follow you back to your blog Rick - I love the title and the header image.

Felicity

Rick said...

Hi Felicity - thanks for visiting and leaving such a nice comment - much appreciated. I can understand your reluctance to pat an alligator given the size of the crocs down under ! ;-) Feel free to pay another visit whenever you like !