Just returned from 5 days at Big Lagoon SP campground. The weather was generally cloudy with one day of rain and one sunny day. We were joined by Carol’s sister and husband. I brought both of my sea kayaks and did get in one day on the water. Really enjoyed the stay. The Panhandle Gulf Coast is a remarkable habitat that looks rather daunting if you had to bushwhack your way inland from the sea. Surprise! I am posting photos from the trip.
Our home away from home.
Checking out the new neighbors.
The second day was cloudy with scattered showers, so we drove the short distance to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Curtis my BIL did a survey for wastewater treatment on Perido Key 30 plus years ago. I blamed him for the condos that have popped up since then!
Beautiful Gulf waters and white sand beaches. There were rip tide warnings this day.
They found the buffet!
Likes to eat alone.
Beach bum wondering where all the fishermen are.
The iffy weather made for dramatic skies.
The Big Lagoon side of the barrier island. Looking across to the State Park where we camped.
Roosting for the evening
Carol and I walked the Sand Pine Trail one morning. Much of the local flora was in bloom and the birds were very active early mornings
Boat Tailed Grackles were numerous.The red wing Blackbirds were hard to photograph but numerous too as you could hear them calling.
Florida state bird.
The landscape is a series of old dunes with ridges of high ground and low. Often the low areas form freshwater ponds and marshy ground. The park warns about the numerous Cottonmouth Moccasins, and that gators are also present.
This small fellow was seen in the road while walking in the campground.
The high ground has pines and Live oaks and many other plants that can tolerate the sandy dry ridges.
Transitioning to marshy wet low areas
Aquatic penny wort and duckweed which is one of the smallest flowering plants.
Then there are the ponds.
Spring and many different plants blooming.
Well, we finally did go paddling. If I had been by myself, I would have done more even in the iffy weather. The Gulf on the day we drove there looked like a fun washing machine. We Curtis and I put in at the park ramp.
We were met by this fellow who was indifferent to us being close by. Not what I am use to on SC rivers where they fly away at a distance.
The lagoon was shallow with surprising clear water compared to the SC coastal areas.
More hurricane damage. The State Park had areas closed to the public until repairs could be made. This meant there wasn’t any access to the waterfront from the trails on land.
The inlet to the Gulf of Mexico.
Barge traffic on the ICW.
The view once past the State Park.
Eventually we had to head home and rode off into the sunset in a manner of speaking.