Lens-Artists #69: Seeing Double

This week, Tina has challenged us to focus on things that come in twos.

I enjoy taking animal and bird photographs. As I searched through my archives I came up with a few of my favorite animal and bird pairs.

Animal pairs are fun to capture. These two Irish sheep looked right at me as if posing for this photo.

20190509-Day-9-Ring-of-Kerry-Sony-(113)
Pair of Irish Sheep

A pair of Scottish Highland Cows, Hamish and Heather, came to the fence to beg for some free food.

20190520-Day-20-Aberdeen-to-Fernie-Clastle-Hamish-the-Highland-Cow-Sony-(161)
Pair of Highland Cows in Scotland

These next photos are some of my favorite pairs of birds.  The photo at the top of the page is a pair of Bald Eagles we saw from a wildlife and glacier cruise in Valdez, Alaska.

Pair of Whooping Cranes
Pair of Whooping Cranes on Texas Gulf Coast
Pair of Ospreys on the nature trail
Pair of Ospreys on the nature trail, Gulf Islands National Seashore at Ft. Pickens, Florida
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(103)
Pair of great egrets at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

Many thanks to Tina for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Seeing Double

 

Throwback Thursday #2 – August 8, 2006

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

Flashback to our first RV trip in the summer of 2006. On this day 13 years ago, August 8, 2006, the Wandering Dawgs were enjoying the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park.

That day we watched Old Faithful erupt and drove the Lower Loop Road where we saw Bison herds (American Buffalo), waterfalls, and spectacular scenery. It was one of our most memorable days from all of our RV travels.

Old Faithful
Old Faithful (Wyoming)
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
20060808Yellowstone-Lower-Loop-Rd-(20)
Waterfall along Yellowstone Lower Loop Road
20060808Yellowstone-(23)
View on Lower Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park
20060808Yellowstone-Lower-Loop-Rd-(28)
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
20060808Yellowstone-Lower-Loop-Rd-(51)
Bison at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
20060808Yellowstone-(7)
Wandering Dawgs at Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 2006

We spent about a week camping outside of Yellowstone National Park and spent most of those days exploring the park.

 

McQueen’s – Tybee Island Trail

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy nonprofit organization has created a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines. The McQueen’s – Tybee Island Trail near Savannah, Georgia is one of the those trails. The gravel trail is a popular place for walking, biking and jogging.

The trail suffered extensive damage in 2016 when Hurricane Matthew came through the area in October. Less that a year later, Hurricane Irma caused more damage. The work to repair the damage is still not complete and parts of trail are closed.

As of now, the only access to the trail is a parking area at the trailhead near the entrance to Fort Pulaski National Monument.  Starting at the trailhead, we walked until we came to a damaged bridge that still can be crossed safely. In all we went about about a mile and a half round trip.

20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(7)
The bridge to Fort Pulaski National Monument as seen from McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(8)
McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(12)
McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(18)
McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(4)
This bridge was damaged during one of the storms that went through the area
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(36)
A great place to sit and enjoy the view
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(37)
Driftwood in the salt marsh beside the trail

We spied some wildlife along the trail.

20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(16)
This little diamond back terrapin was crossing the trail in front of us
20190310-Rails-to-Trails-(25)
Great blue heron in the salt marsh beside the trail

It was a gorgeous March day to get out and explore close to home.

 

 

Wandering around Saint Augustine

It’s been over 40 years since we last camped in Anastasia State Park. We were camping in a tent with our kids and back then you could drive on the beach.

Today there is no more driving on the beach in the state park. Instead, there is a huge parking area with walkways over the dunes and a wheelchair accessible beach mat to the beach.

It was chilly, foggy and raining during most of our stay. On the first sunny day we went exploring. After a drive south on famous highway A1A, we headed to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

Founded in 1893, the Alligator Farm started out with just a few exhibits of Florida reptiles. It has expanded over the years to include not only reptiles but also birds and mammals from all around the world. Today, in addition to the educational shows and exhibits, it is also used for research.

As we wandered through the zoo toward the Native Swamp and Rookery to see the nesting birds (I posted about them here) we stopped to observe the many varieties of animal life.

We took a break for lunch and drove to the nearby Conch House Marina and Guesthouse to eat outside on their waterfront deck.

20190211-St-Augustine-Alligator-Farm-(17)
Lunch with a view at Conch House Restaurant

After lunch it was back to the Alligator Farm to watch the 3:00 alligator feeding. Can you say feeding frenzy?

Our next stop was the Saint Augustine Lighthouse. Gorgeous views were our reward for climbing all the steps to the top.

When we weren’t exploring St. Augustine we enjoyed being in Anastasia State Park. Our campsite was surrounded on three sides by natural vegetation and the beach was only a 10 minute walk from our campsite. One afternoon we explored the nature trail near the campground.

 

 

Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

The next stop on our winter RV journey was Saint Augustine, Florida. We had a beautiful campsite in Anastasia State Park to call home for a few days. The weather was lousy most of the time but we picked a perfect sunny day to do some sightseeing.

At the top of my to do list was visit the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Wading Bird Rookery. During nesting season wading birds come to nest in the trees in the Native Swamp at the Alligator Farm. The birds who nest here are wild and can come and go as they please. Although it was a little early in the nesting season there were a lot of great egrets and roseate spoonbills wearing their breeding plumage and some pairs were starting to build their nests.

The trees surround a swamp area filled with alligators. A boardwalk winds around the swamp giving visitors close up views of the alligators in the water and the birds in the trees.

The Great Egrets showed off their breeding plumage and pairs worked on their nests.

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(39)
Great Egret with breeding plumage at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(45)
Pair of egrets working on their nest
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(103)
Pair of great egrets at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(137)
Egrets at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(121)
You can take my picture now
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(162)
Great Egret Breeding Plumage

The Roseate Spoonbills were my favorite.

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(174)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(220)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(241)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(250)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(320)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(417)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(431)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery
20190211-Alligator-Farm-(432)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

Coming up next, more about our St. Augustine adventure including other critters at the Alligator Farm.