After spending far too many consecutive days behind my computer, I decided visit Myakka River State Park for a few days last week. The weather has been warm and sunny (a little too warm, perhaps), and I love shooting in cloudy weather.
Fields of yellow tickseed are currently blooming along the upper lake. I stopped in to take a few photos, to look for butterflies, and to eat a picnic lunch. On Tuesday afternoon, big rain clouds were rolling in, which gave me a dramatic sky as a backdrop. The butterflies were far too clever for me, though, and kept their distance.
Perhaps more interesting, though, were the orchids that were in bloom. Encyclia tampensis, one of the many species commonly called the “butterfly orchid”, is a relatively common native orchid, though it is found only in Florida and some nearby islands. I found several plants in early bloom, but the main flush appears to be a week or two away. Since the orchids are epiphytic, growing on relatively high tree branches, they weren’t easy to photograph. I’ll probably head back to the park next week and see if I can find any low-hanging fruit, so to speak.
The park also seems to be full of newborn animals. I saw two spotted fawns, sandhill crane chicks, and young alligators, among others. Definitely a good time to get out into the fresh air.