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A Day of Nature Photography

A good beginning

The day started out wonderfully. I presented my Energy program at a summer camp for homeless students in South Florida. They were a marvelous group, and I had a blast. On my way home, I took some time out for some nature photography. There were scattered showers along the way, which gave me some nice lightning to watch, as well as a beautiful rainbow.

My first stop was the Blue Heron Water Reclamation Facilities, on Hwy 50, west of Titusville. This is a water treatment plant, and part of a growing trend of turning these facilities into wetlands habitats. Another water reclamation site, the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in West Palm Beach is one of our favorite photography spots.

There is a very nice loop drive around a series of large ponds. The road is one way, and is raised high enough to give a good vantage point for wildlife. It is easier to spot birds in the winter, when the plants are not as lush, but I have had good luck every time here.

Common Moorhen

There are always lots of waterfowl. The reeds and cattails make a marvelous habitat, with lots of food and good shelter.

Red Winged Blackbird

Other birds take advantage of the ponds too. Red Winged Blackbirds are very common, and their songs fill the air, bringing back childhood memories of camping trips and nature hikes. We usually see bitterns here, very elusive birds, but this trip they were too elusive for me.

While I was enjoying the wildlife, another rain shower moved through. It brought just enough rain to cool things off, starting a chorus of frogs and bird songs.

The rain also brought out swarms of dragonflies, darting to gobble up mosquitos and other insects.

The loop drive only takes an hour or so, even with lots of pauses for photography. Considering that it is only 5 minutes west of I-95, this is a great place for a nature break on the long drive home.