It's been a quiet summer -- at least birdwise. Because we've been busy with our adult children, who are now located on opposite corners of the country (Seattle, WA and Hollywood, FL), we've been doing quite a bit of non-birding travel, although there's always some birding involved in any place we go and anything we do.
We did travel over to Hollywood to visit our daughter for a few days and, in between, caught a ride to the John Lloyd State Park, just a few miles away from her apt. A friend of my daughter's gave us a ride and dropped us off at the entrance. Unfortunately, we miscalculated distances and wound up walking much farther into the park to get to the nature trail than we had originally thought. It was hot and humid and we also didn't bring water, assuming our walk would be minimal.
Luckily, there were restrooms with vending machines near the nature trail, so we corrected our mistake (one which I plan to never make again) and checked out what their trail had to offer. The trail took us through various habitats, including mangroves, beachside, intracoastal waterway, and forest. Though it wasn't very birdy, we thoroughly enjoyed the local Agriope Spiders and their enormous webs. We approximated one to be about 6 feet from top to bottom.
I think we also saw Horseshoe Crab nests with distinctive trails leading to and from the sandy areas in which they were located.
We're both looking forward to going back and, instead of helping our daughter get settled, getting in some quality birding time.
Also in the nearer future: a road trip through part of the Southwest. On the itinerary during our West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah travels:
White Sands National Monument, Bosque del Apache, possibly Sandia National Forest, Acoma Pueblo, Painted Desert/Petrified National Forest, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, a visit to Phoenix (to see my husband's medical school roommate), and a couple of other stops which are yet to be determined. If you have any suggestions, especially between Phoenix, AZ and Las Cruces, NM, please be sure to let me know in the comments section.
Finally, in the more distant future, we'll be going on a birding survey in Cuba with the Ct. Audubon Society's Ecotravel divisition and the Caribbean Conservation Trust (just got word of this year's license approval). With all the talk of allowing Americans to, once again, travel to Cuba, I'm happy we'll be seeing it before the influx of American development.
Apparently Nature just had a special on what Cuba has to offer for someone interested in nature. You can watch it here. I haven't seen it yet, but will be watching it within the next couple of days.
So, stay tuned. I'm hoping our time in the field will increase, as will the birding posts here.