Last week John, Jackie and Dick LeCompte returned to New Hampshire to be with a friend who lost her husband to cancer. Marlin and I filled in as dog sitters for the LaCompte's dog, Journey. Easy duty for a sweet dog that got me out walking even more.
On the evening they returned home, supper was ready. John and Mary Cole and their visiting friends also came, making for a full table and an enjoyable evening.
Kim & Garth Getchell, Dick LeCompte, John Miles, Marlin, Jackie LeCompte, John Cole & Mary Cole. John's new table sat all nine of us comfortably.
One day Marlin and I went to Corkscrew Swamp Audubon Preserve. The storks are nesting this year and a flock of them were using the natural thermals to assist them on their distance hunt for food.
There was a scope to view where they nest, which is a great distance from the viewing platform.
A docent said they travel as far as Lake Okeechobee to fish, more than 80 miles. We were also told the storks only come here to nest when the water is at a specific level. To high or to low and they nest elsewhere.
Lots of ibis.
Many great white Egrets
At Corkscrew your ticket is good for a two day entry. Mary Cole had never been to the preserve so she came with me the second day. She can't wait to go back with her John.
Strangler fig (Ficus aurea) vines cover many of the giant cypress trees. Florida strangler fig begins its life as a epiphyte or air plant, living in the branches of the trees. It sends its roots down toward the ground and when it reaches soil begins to grow, eventually wrapping around the host and becoming a tree itself, sometime killing the host tree.
Pig frog posed nicely for me. It is a Florida frog named for its croak that sounds like a pig grunt.
On January 31 we went to Bradenton to celebrate Julie's birthday.
Didn't think her camper would hold 70 balloons, so the balloon banner filled in as a substitute. Not as much fun as real balloons, but it's the thought that counts.
We did manage a couple of balloons. Great shot of Julie and Chuck
Another day I went to Barefoot beach with Estelle Saunders. Marlin and her husband Chuck went fishing at Lovers Key.
Lots of laid back fun in the sun.