Today, or yesterday as it were since it's now after midnight, I decided to take a break from my life and went for a walk. I was only planning on being gone for at the most an hour... but I ended up staying gone for 3 hours, just walking and enjoying Mother Nature's offerings. I was actually on a mission to get some good photos of banana spiders, but for some reason, there were none to be found. Although, my son found a nice one the other day and snapped a pic of it for me.
Anyway, I did run across some cool stuff today. First, I'd like to introduce you to the path I jog when the energy levels kick in. These shots were taken in the spring and show only about a half mile of what I run.
The first thing I ran into that caught my eye, was this big ol' locust thing. They're always back there along the trail except in the winter. This one is eating a button bush plant.
Then I walked a few more steps and encountered this curious little guy on the ground. When I put the camera down low to the ground, about an inch from him to get a close up, he kept walking toward the camera and touching it with his antennae. He kept following the camera, it was kinda neat. Then suddenly he jumped up onto the camera while I was holding it. After I got him off the camera, he just kept following the lens like he wanted to eat it, so I gave up and moved on.
I passed some green passion fruit getting heavy on the vines. The flowers were beautiful this spring.
Then I came to my original destination, the Slough. It's a trail along a creek in our neighborhood. When you step off the boardwalk, and cross the chain barrier, the first thing you see is this sign. The path starts off wide, but gets narrow toward the end.
Anyway, I walked a couple of miles ... I'm not sure how long the trail actually is, but like I said, I was gone a long time from home today. :) I had a nice little companion for the walk though. This blue dragonfly stayed with me the whole time I was on the trail in the woods. He'd fly up a ways, land and then I'd try to take a pic and he'd fly on a little further. I think he was taunting me since I LOVE dragonflies so much. I did finally manage to get one decent non-blurry picture though. His body is about 4 inches long and the top of its body is a royal blue.
Along the path, there were lots of these pretty little moths and purple flowers.
Finally, I came to the end of the trail where there is a little foot bridge to cross the water. Over on my left on the other side of the creek, sunning on a fallen tree, was a gator, about 4 feet in length. He seemed very unconcerned with me. Usually they take off into the water at the sight of a human.
After that, I emerged from the forest, crossed the soccer field and headed to the dock.
I got down to the gazebo and got a nice, but scary surprise up in the rafters. There was a HUGE spider resting up there on the ceiling of the gazebo. When I say huge, I mean it had the leg span of my hand. I totally got the shivers just looking at it up above me, like it was waiting to pounce on me as soon as I looked away. She just stayed there, in that one spot the entire time. And that was perfectly fine with me. I wish I'd had the good camera with me for this pic. This is as close as I could get with the zoom on the little Cybershot.
I managed to get one halfway decent picture of this butterfly that kept fluttering around me. It only took about 30 tries...lol
Finally, I figured I should probably get back home as it was dinner time and I'd been gone much longer than I thought I would be. So I stopped to get some pics of these colorful little birds that were twittering in the holly and crepe myrtles. They flew all around me, not really afraid. I stood within 3 feet of them.
In the last quarter mile before getting home, I stopped to say hi to a friend. This is one of our resident ducks that visits our house for free food.