Nature, nuture, nature #natureismychurch #SMNWR #magic

Monday (March 29) we went for a bike ride at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. As you all know, the Refuge is my favorite part of north Florida. It’s a magical place full of birds, insects, flowers, trees, marshes, swamps, turtles, and alligators, to name a few of my favorite things. Without further ado …

Insects were enjoying them too. I guess you could say there was a lot of pollinating going on.

Other wildflowers and creatures were in abundance as well.

We took the long way around, over the farthest dike which I don’t believe I had been on before. We’ve traveled these trails by foot many times, but usually taking the dikes more inland. As we went back inland, more thistles.

A bald eagle on *his* tree. The majority of times we’ve come out here, he’s perched on that branch.

More water. I know there’s alligators in those waters, but often I wish we would ply our canoe around the marshy area.

It looks serene. Not too far from this spot, there is a primitive camping area. My husband said he’d like to camp there someday. Lovely idea … if only we didn’t have bad knees and bad backs and I wasn’t afraid of gators on land.

I could see he had a big grin, as if to say, “Come on in. The water’s fine!” No, thank you.

I think this guy was playing hide-and-seek. No matter where I walked, his head was hidden by the reeds. Fortunately, he’s too large to be completely hidden.

We saw a couple of other gators on our ride, but they were actually ON the trail so there was no stopping for photo ops. We just kept spinning our wheels and holding our breaths until we were clear.

Ah, life in North Florida. Even Raji likes St. Marks.

Ha ha ha … I LOVE photography apps! I made this photo of Raji at St. Marks with the Superimpose Classic app. It only costs $1.99, and this is the first photo merge I’ve done. I’m so happy with it, I had to put my name on it 😉

I hope you enjoyed the trip. Another one will be coming up soon!

I hope you all are well, healthy, happy, and vaccinated (if not now, then soon).

19 thoughts on “Nature, nuture, nature #natureismychurch #SMNWR #magic

  1. I can’t say I blame you for not wanting to camp in that area, Marie. I’d be sleeping with one eye open, that’s for sure. Thanks for the great tour! Your photos are gorgeous. When I saw Raji on Instagram, I was thinking what in the world! 🙂

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  2. Stunning, Marie! It looks like a such a beautiful place–except for the alligators. I think I’d be afraid to go walking there. I had the same reaction as Jill when I first saw the Rajii photo on Insta. I haven’t used any apps like that.

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    1. Thanks, Merril! Back in our hiking days, we’d see a rare gator on the trail, but not as big as these guys 😬 The app (Superimpose) was really easy to use. I learned about it through an iPhone photography class I’m taking.

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    1. Thank you! I was fine until I got home and had to face the pollen again. It’s really frustrating because the weather has been so nice for sitting on our back porch, but it’s also pollen season. 🤷🏼‍♀️ We should be getting some rain this weekend. That will help 🙂

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  3. I like thistles. I enjoy the purple color and the spikey-ness appeals to my occasionally snarky nature. All of your photos are wonderful, even if there are predators around it seems like a peaceful place to visit.

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    1. Thank you, Ally! It is a lovely place to visit and peaceful. I loved the thistles. Would love to have some in my yard. The good thing about the gators here is, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you 🙂

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    1. Hey, there! I agree with you on the thistles. I love all the purple. And also on the gator thing. I have a deep, abiding respect for them, as long as they are way far away from me!


  4. These photos! You are becoming such a nature artist, Marie! And the bald eagle–it amazes me to see this. Are you having too much fun being retired? HAHAHAHAHA xo

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