Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Florida Part 2/3: The Keys

After a great day in the Everglades we decided to head down from Florida City to Marathon, a large island in the middle of the Florida Keys.  Along the way we stopped at several spots in Key Largo including one of our favourites, John Pennekamp State Park.

Kayaking in the mangroves in John Pennekamp!
Mangroves! We saw a sting ray right near this spot, but it was too quick to get a picture

Palm Warbler was the most common warbler in the keys
John Pennekamp had some really neat walking trails
The grove trail

The grove had lime trees!
Unidentified lizard.
Crappy shot of a breeding Lesser Black-backed Gull
Marathon keys sunset
We hiked the short trails at Crane point on Marathon Key, which is a beautiful nature preserve that encompasses some of the largest intact forests in the keys.
Crane Point Marathon key
Hammock Skipper
Thatched Palm?, common in forests within the keys- Caitlyn's favourite plant of the trip!
The Crane Point
After Marathon Key, we visited the nearby Bahia Honda Key State Park, renowned mostly for its beautiful white sand beaches.

Rated the best beach in America in 1993.
Bahia Honda Beach
One of our favourite, less crowded parks was Curry Hammock State Park.  This spot boasted awesome beaches and much more wildlife than Bahia Honda.

Curry Hammock State Park
Semi-palmated Plover, should soon be on his way up north to breed

Sanderlings and Black Skimmer
Beautiful sand and water of Curry Hammock

Jellyfish sack
Curry Hammock Trail
Whiptail species.  I find these guys hard to tell apart. 
One day we visited the historic Key West, renowned for its shops, night life and sight seeing.  The town itself is beautiful, with massive trees and vines encircling large, beautiful, southern style homes.

Key West

Ernest Hemingway's house.  He doesn't live there anymore

St. Mary's Star of the Sea Basilica

Key West Marina

My apologies for all those pictures of buildings and towns.  We will now get back to the important nature stuff.

Black Skimmers having a good time at the Key West docks

Two of three White-crowned Pigeons we saw in the keys.  Very rare outside of southern Florida

And of course a Brown Pelican!
Part 3 of this blog will show photos from what was arguably the most exciting part of the trip, a 70 mile boat journey to Dry Tortugas National Park! I should have that up in the next couple days.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Nice shot on the White-crowned Pigeons! They're pretty hard. to see so well!