Saturday, May 8, 2010

Can You Find The Fox

There is so much to do here in Florida and once again we stuck to our promise of a weekly outing. Yesterday we went to Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park which is eleven miles from our home. The park is one of the best I've been to in the whole country.

The park showcases the native flora and fauna of the state. We saw a pair of white swan with three little ones. The park rangers named the babies Peter, Paul, and Mary.

I've been to many zoos and animal parks and often I feel depressed when visiting there because the animals are caged in cramped quarters and it weighs on my mind to see them in such conditions. This park was different and most of the animals seemed to be in good spirits. Perhaps the puma or mountain lion would have liked to be roaming free, but he had a much larger enclosure than so many other's I've seen.

The park visit in this area wouldn't be complete without seeing a manatee and I finally saw one up close. These gentle giants are strictly vegetarian and are very curious and will come right up to a boat or person. Since manatees are shallow swimmers sometimes boat motor propellers injure them. The injured manatees are taken to the park where they are cared for till they are well. This large manatee was outside the rehabilitation tank talking to the injured manatees. I could hear them calling back and forth to one another.

When we were looking for a home one real estate agent kept telling us gophers were protected in Florida and Gary and I were wondering why such a prolific rodent that was so destructive to plant life would be protected. Well we found out it's actually the gopher turtle that is protected, which is entirely different than the gopher we thought she was talking about.

You know how they say an owl can turn his head completely around. Well this guy did that right in front of us and it was so surprising. Seeing a head turning completely around is almost like seeing one of those scary movie special effects, where you're wondering if your eyes are deceiving you.

Can you find the fox in the next photo. If I didn't know one was there I never would have noticed him. Gary and I both had so much fun we want to go back again to this beautiful park real soon.

I also brought my ceramics to be fired at Dirty Dog Pottery yesterday. Hildee was amazed my pieces have traveled in an RV across the country, then in my car to my home, then in my car to her studio. Hopefully their luck continues in her kiln. Next week I'll glaze some, set some aside for a barrel firing, and hopefully reserve a few for a raku firing. I'm thinking some the sculpture clay would work in the raku kiln, what do you think? Up next week more tropical inspiration. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. I love the pictures of the critters, especially the owl and the turtle - I have tiles of animals from a potter called Whistling Frog that your pictures remind me of. Glad to see you're enjoying your new home state!

  2. What a lovely excursion! Very happy to hear the critters have room to roam some. I hate seeing caged animals. Peter, Paul, and Mary -- love it! If you hadn't said there was a fox in the photo I wouldn't have known. Linda, can you work some of these critters into your pottery?? Can see one of the swans on a vase...the turtle inside a bowl...

  3. looks like a beautiful wildlife park! it is great that you are sticking to your pact of a weekly excursion. as soon as i am in NC i want to visit the NC zoo which is very close to seagrove. i hope it is as nice a place as the one near you... because i don't want to see animals in small cages either.

  4. Ooh...those are great pics! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I see you have been introduced to Florida wildlife. If that was a Florida panther, he was probably grateful just to be alive. They are so endangered.
    Spotted the fox right off but then they are my favorite animal and I used to have a pair that I rescued.
    Enjoy the bounty.

  6. Hi Belle Isle, thanks, I loved visiting the animal park here, so wonderful to see them all.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, I'm going to try and incorporate some of the native flora and fauna into my work, thanks for the suggestion.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I think every animal has feelings and I have never been able to stand to see them cooped up. I hope the zoo there is as nice as this one too.

    Hi turquoisemoon, thanks, I had so many more but didnt' want to overload the post. Ha.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I think this may have been a native as his coloring is definitely different than the puma I have seen in Arkansas and California.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment