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Gulf Coast & Coastal Interior Wetlands (Photo Heavy)

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by mistwalker, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Well, it's been a while since I posted anything because I've been away. My father's health is failing and deteriorating rapidly so I brought the family down to Florida for a week, a week was as long as my oldest could take off work. His health has deteriorated severely and he has slipped into dementia so I went to visit with him and left the little one on the island with mom when I did. I didn't want these to be her last and primary mental images of him. I preferred that they remember him the way they saw him a few months ago when he was still getting around ok and clear headed. We stayed out on one of the barrier islands on the gulf called Treasure Island. It was storming when we got there...typical Florida summer evening. The wilderness stuff is in the second half of the post.

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    The next morning was nice enough and the little one was really excited to see the ocean.

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    Various ways to see the beach from the air.

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    Te family did a good job of trying to keep me distracted from my thoughts as best they could. The wife soon drug me to the tiki bar, the oldest drug me to the nearest smoothie shop, and the youngest would tickle me with feathers...as well as her unending curiosity. I'm a lucky man. The youngest and I took a ferry out to a small island, I kept her in pants that day because her legs were already getting sunburned and I wanted to explore inland...she wanted to collect shells, so we did both. She collected treasure to take back to mom, and she got to see a real light house.

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    We got to cook out on the patio and just enjoy the beach together. Our suite was right on the beach, a little pricy, but nice.

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    A patio at a local ice cream parlor was a favorite.

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    Part of the beach on Treasure Island is a bird sanctuary, so lots of birds. Especially Seagulls.

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    A Black Skimmer

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    So named, I believe, because it does this...

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    Soon, the oldest and I both needed to be back at work, so they headed home. I have the good fortune of being able to do most of my work anywhere I go, so I stayed behind a while. I know when I leave this time it will be the last time I see my father alive. So I work in the mornings, visit dad in the afternoons, work in the evenings and go back to visit at night. Treasure Island is pricy so I came inland to work. The following are some shots from the interior wetlands.

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  2. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Lots of spiders of various sizes.

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    Lots of birds to. I got to watch a beautiful Osprey for a while, then he scratched his head and thought about it and remembered he needed to be somewhere else...

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    Other birds I ran across

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    I think all woods have squirrels...

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    Trying to take a picture of an egg laying, vibrating dragonfly in the bright sun is not easy...

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    I've had my office set up in various places, some with nice views

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    Some of the gear. With a couple of exceptions most of my knives have been stainless due to the humidity and salt/brackish water. I love how the S35VN the Spartan Hunter is made of shows no effect from the environment at all.

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    I've so far only found one snake, a brown water snake that nearly crawled into my lap one day.

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    But lots of Anoles

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    A couple of the area I have liked most so far.

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  3. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Did I mention the gators?

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  4. kgd

    kgd

    Feb 28, 2007
    Some beautiful pictures Mist. My sympathies go out to you for your father. The family vacation seems like a nice way to celebrate the love of family and life and in the end that is what it all about. Take care!

    Ken
     
  5. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks Ken, and you're right it is.
     
  6. willseeyalater

    willseeyalater

    678
    Jan 7, 2012
    Sorry about what you are facing with your dad. My wife and I had to watch her mom wind down the last two year with dementia. There were days when she was clear but not to many of those as time went on. It's a hard thing to see but good that you are there and not retreating from the situation. Our kids need to see that we take care of parents as much as we can.
     
  7. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks man. I'm just glad he isn't one of the ones there regretting having not lived while he was able. He's almost 80 and has had a full life. He grew up in south Florida and the keys, his biggest passion was fishing and he did a lot of it. He roamed the hills of the Tennessee mountains, he lived in the woods and made shine back in the day, raised fox and bobcat cubs that he had found orphaned, he went around the world in the Marines, he fought in Korea. He spent most of my childhood teaching me how to live off the land as best he could. He was plant manager of an outdoor advertising company, then he owned a salvage company and did a lot of diving all over the Caribbean. He did pretty much everything his ever heart desired and I am thankful for that. Even in his lucid moments he is at peace with his end, he's dealing with it better than I am.
     
  8. TheGame

    TheGame

    Sep 24, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your dad, Mist. Really sucks when any family member is going through difficulties, especially ones they were really close to.

    Thanks for sharing the pics, though. Really loved the Osprey pics. One of my favorite birds. (Along with Eagles and Peregrine falcons) Except the spiders.. do not like spiders.
     
  9. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Sorry to hear about your dad.:(

    Those spiders look nasty.:eek:
     
  10. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks man. The Osprey was really cool, I must have taken a couple dozen photos of it. Yeah, I said to myself as I took those shots that TG isn't going to like these lol.


    Thanks man, mostly the spider were small...other that the one with the long legs. I have no idea what kind it is, but it was about the size of my hand legs and all. The red spiky one is a spiny orb weaver about the size of a dime. The other was just a standard orb weaver a little bigger than a quarter.
     
  11. WILLIAM.M

    WILLIAM.M Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Sorry to learn about your fathers heath

    The photos are OUTSTANDING

    You should turn Pro!!!
     
  12. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thank you Bill, and thank you for your compliments, I'm glad you enjoyed them.
     
  13. Aubrey

    Aubrey Gold Member Gold Member

    655
    Mar 28, 1999
    Sorry to hear about your dad. Mine is going on 74 and still active but I enjoiy the time we have as there may not be many left.

    Great shots ...... nothing like this in the desert areas I favour but maybe time for a change.

    Cheers from Africa

    Aubrey
     
  14. Aubrey

    Aubrey Gold Member Gold Member

    655
    Mar 28, 1999
    Double tap ...sorry!!
     
  15. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks Aubrey. Dad is going on 80 now, but he had a full...albeit rough life. Seeing this has put some things into perspective for me.

    More than once since I've been down here I have wished dad did live in a high desert, but I seem to prefer whatever woods are available over whatever city is available. It's an interesting and beautiful place to visit and photograph, especially considering the last time I had this opportunity was 36 years ago and I was packing an old Kodak 35mm, but I would not wish to actually live here again unless I could live out on the coast.
     
  16. ErichM

    ErichM Gold Member Gold Member

    650
    Jun 3, 2011
    Great pics Mist!
     
  17. Stickman

    Stickman

    349
    Dec 25, 2006
    Hey Mist, sorry to read about your father's situation. My mother went through the same thing, we had her with us for the last two years of her life, wouldn't wish it on anyone. My mother, when lucid, wanted to end it all, but our laws prevent individuals from having that very personal freedom. Perhaps if the lawyers who love to control our lives get to experience this personally, they might reconsider an individual's right to their own life's choices, including when to end it.
    Wish you strength through this trial and on a pleasant note, thanks for the pictures!
     
  18. Joezilla

    Joezilla Moderator Moderator

    Jul 22, 2005
  19. scruffuk

    scruffuk

    Jan 14, 2010
    Wonderful post Misty.

    Its clear you have learned a lot from your pa. He sounds like a really inspirational guy.

    Too hard to pic out a particular photo....but I think the lone trees in the wetlands are pretty poignant.
    They have that look of wordly-wise about them.

    Stay strong.

    scruff
     
  20. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Treasure Island, Egmont Key, and north west Hillsborough Co Florida. They're all over the place down here.


    Thanks Scruff, I learned a lot from my dad. I'm glad you liked the photos. I like finding those lone old trees in the marshes, they have a presence of their own.
     

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