Following Hurricane Matthew - Winter 2017 travel blog


mother owl

father owl


fishing hole

drying out in the sun

on the nature trail


sandhill cranes

on a neighbor's porch

When we've camped in national parks like Yellowstone or traveled in Alaska, we've expected to see wild animals. We had no idea how much wild life we would see here, living in civilization with 50amp electrical service and robust wifi. We feel especially lucky now that we noticed that a mother owl has permanently planted herself on a branch within clear view of our rig 24/7. We assume there are eggs beneath her; babies to follow. Even though we know exactly where she is, she is so well camouflaged that it's easy to miss her. When she gets hot, she waves the white feathers beneath her beak and that catches our attention. She has a sweetie who is always nearby, but much harder to spot. After dark we hear them chattering with each other in hooting tones. Tonight we saw ( or kind of saw) him swoop into a palm tree and snag dinner. The battle was brief and as he took his dinner to a more stable tree limb, we struggled to see what was on the menu. We thought we saw four legs dangling, but that palm tree was so tall and had such a slippery trunk we couldn't imagine a rodent climbing up that high. When he finally took off, we thought he would deliver dinner to his sweetie who had been sitting on his eggs all day. Fat chance! He flew in a totally different direction. Maybe he's two timing our owl with another. The plot thickens.

TGO has a nature center with an enthusiastic volunteer staff that hold informational programs and field trips. One volunteer's speciality is catching and moving snakes, once she has identified them and knows they won't do her harm. The walls of the center are papered with great photographs of critters that have been seen here. Whenever we ride around on our bikes, we see birds fishing, gators sunning, turtles moseying. Residents put photos of bobcats on their patios on Facebook. It's like we are living in the Garden of Eden.

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