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The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
The End, Lil Guys, & Next Time
    Way back in May I started describing my Adventure 2012 #XIV trip through the warm and less traveled and many times remote parts of our country and where I was going 2013. I rarely have a detailed plan. That’s not my style. I like to stay flexible, so some of what I said I was going to do has changed! I have the nest (slide-in camper on a pick’em up truck) prepared, ready, and I’ll be heading south in a month or so.
    Here, I’ll begin talking about the lil critters that stole the show in America’s Jungle but didn’t get their own article, then some of my “plans,” and fill the page with some photos that got cut from other articles, but are gorgeous.
    Of course I want to see the spectacular. That’s a 400 lb. bear, a rattlesnake, roseate spoonbill, snail kite, bittern and/or a panther here in Big Cypress in the Everglades (www.nps.gov/bicy/). A bald eagle, bobcat, wood duck, piliated wood pecker, limpkin, or any critter putting on a unique show is welcome, too, fascinating, and makes my day. In 2012, however, the little guys were it, the stars.
    There are lots of geckos here in Florida, out west and everywhere, but one morning I saw a little lizard that was not one of them - it was a salamander! As a sighting here it was a first for me. A couple dozen crawfish skeletons I saw one morning would have made a tasty meal on a stump, but some kind of bird beat me to them, but I know they’re here now, and I’m going to have to get a trap for next time.
    A black beetle on another morning looked like a prehistoric tiny beast. The snail with a butterscotch colored shell was very impressive, had three sets of tentacles, one of which had its eyes at the end. I envied to add the shell to my collection, but it was in use. Several mornings I saw a whitish colored snail without a shell with a pair of feelers. It was defenseless, so I guess it didn’t taste good. A little frog I thought was playing dead along the Perocchi Grade Trail one morning was covered with ants the next morning. Not sure why it gave up on life. The little green racer snake with a longitudinal yellow stripe I left alone like all snakes. They are not to be messed with, because they’re all aggressive and I hope pythons stay on my absentee list!
    The four inch long orange grass hopper was spectacular and I only see one of those every couple years, but one appeared this year. The most stunning of the lil critters were spiders, though; they made the best photographs, and again I don’t mess with them.
    Since I was there this year in January rather February I was a little early for the wild flowers, but I did see a small orchid-like flower I’d never seen before. I felt very fortunate to be able to say ‘yes’ when asked if I’d seen a panther (that’s the most popular question, I’m asked.). One left its calling card (a pile of feces) one morning near my camper, when I was out looking for one! I guess it was trying to say it was there whether I saw it or not!
    My 2013 Adventure XV will be somewhat different from others. I’ve been going to lots of the same places, but I’m always shown different happenings. This time lots of new places will fill the last couple months and I don’t have a clue what will happen! Of course south Florida is the warmest part of the country I can drive to, so I’ll be there til latter February. I felt like I slighted Big Cypress in 2012, so this year I’ll be there for most of December.  The US Park Service intended to develop the accessible part with bus-sized RV facilities. I hoped this would not happen. A quick check of the website indicates I got my wish. Good, I’ll be able enjoy the remote, natural, gorgeous solitude once more!  Last February, I found a place where I can net 7+” blue crabs right out of the water - no bait needed, too.  I’ll be doing that the first day for sure!
    Then I’ll be in Islamorada for several days each way as I go to and from Key West to kayak, be dazzled by the sun’s show as it rises and sets, and enjoy HH at the Lor E Lei (MM 82). Key West will get a much shorter time period, since the local government has declared war on anyone who sleeps in a vehicle, except in an RV park - not my style & too expensive!  I’ll be there long enough to enjoy John LaMere’s and Kevin Poole’s music, several sound checks at the Green Parrot, plus the oyster race at Pepe’s.
    Then I’ll be returning to America’s Jungle for the EverGlades City (Music) Seafood Festival, then back to 25+ miles deep in Big Cypress for a while. By mid February after stops in Marco Island & Ft. Myers Beach, I’ll be heading for Cibola, NWR, in Ariz. for March, and then changes begin. I’ll be there long enough this time (I’ve always shorted it before). No stops in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Grand Canyon or southern Utah, except to O/N at MegaMart. Lots of them are where snow and inclement weather chased me last winter! Cibola is nearly as remote as any place in our contiguous 48 states and there are mountains, wetlands, lakes, and a river, with bobcats, owls, burros, eagles in an oasis in the desert!
    My next destination will be British Columbia, all new for me, with maybe a short stop in Las Vegas for the buffets. I’ll be taking a ferry from the Seattle area to Prince Rupert near the Alaska Line, and then driving southeast back to Ocean City.  I’ll be on the ferry for fifteen hours and should see whales breeching, glaciers meeting the ocean, and the mountainous coastline from the sea. I’ll make sure I do that on a good weather day! What I’ve read about the road east from Prince Rupert I’m promised plenty of bears, caribou, elk, wolves, and more! I should be back in O.C. for our world class event, the Air Show, but of course there may be many changes!
    See ya on the boards, at HH, where it’s warm this winter, and get your mask and costume ready!!!
bruthrauff@aol.com more photos @
http://picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
http://PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz & FaceBook Bob OCfotoguy & Travel Articles @ CoconutTimes.com

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