The U.S. Forest Service “Juniper Springs Campground” is on Highway 40 in Marion County, FL, between Ocala and Daytona. This public campground features junipers, pines, sweet gums, palms, and huge oaks. There is a rustic display of an old spring-fed electric power generating mill in the campground. This mill, like the campground, was built by the U.S. Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
This is a natural spring area which offers a several miles-long canoe and kayak run (rentals available) as well as a nice semi-natural swimming pool (no alligators!). Because it was chilly we skipped the water-oriented sports. I have included a few pictures of the stream that runs from the springs.
We did try to do a little bit of bird watching. We saw several woodpeckers and sapsuckers and did see a nice male Common Grackle bird. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This Red-bellied Woodpecker was quite noisily chatty when flying between a Washington Palm and a bountiful acorn-filled Live Oak at the shoreline of the pretty Freedom Pointe Lake here in The Villages, Florida on Sunday morning, Dec. 17, 2017. I just love these boisterous birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
White-tailed Deer; Nine-banded Armadillos; a Juvenile Little Blue Heron; a Great Egret; a Double-crested Cormorant, a chatty Red-bellied Woodpecker, and an enormous migratory flock of Turkey Vultures were spotted at the lovely Manatee Springs State Park near Chiefland, Florida on November 8, 2016. Sorry to say, I did not see a single Manatee. I think it is probably too early in the season for Manatee sightings here.
This beautiful little Florida State Park is on the shoreline of the Manatee Spring and also the Suwanee River. There is a very nice campground and the park also has a canoe and Kayak rental program also with a nice launch area and small concession stand restaurant. People may swim in the 72 degree spring but there is no lifeguard service. I chose not to swim as it was too cool for that. I will conclude my series about this park on Monday with my next post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Cypress Tree “Knees”
The Suwanee River
This Red-bellied Woodpecker was hunting for insects, likely Ants, in the crevices of a low wooden rail fence at a small park I visited on Monday afternoon. The birds and animals at this park, probably see people all the time, which is why the bird was so close to where the parking lot and people were on this occasion.
This bird was not in any way concerned about anything other than catching its meal! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger photograph. Enjoy!
Male Downy Woodpecker
Here are some pictures of both a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a tiny male Downy Woodpecker that were here on my street this last week. I saw that Red-bellied Woodpecker across the street in my neighbor’s tree and on their home (I shooed it away gently as it was drumming on the metal flashing of the eves).
The Downy Woodpecker was looking for insects on my Magnolia Tree. I love all of the woodpeckers and was just thrilled to see both of the birds here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
I photographed this Red-bellied Woodpecker as it went from tree to tree in the yards near my home on May 10, 2015. It was among a large group of songbirds that arrived together and feasted on rather plentiful insects in the trees. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!