Monday, January 30, 2012

Circle B Bar Ranch Reserve

We spent a couple of hours hiking around the Circle B Bar Ranch Reserve today, There were a ton of people  there but there was also a lot of nature to photograph.


As always click on pictures to enlarge.



This dead tree reminded me of a big dog chewing on a bone.

Mommy eagle watching over here little chick in the nest.


Trying to swallow his catch.






Me and my Shadow.


Smile

 We got her about noon, one of the volunteers told us to really see a lot more we should come back around 7am before the crowds get there.
Gonna have to get a bird book so I'll know what they all are.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Airs Above the Ground

Today we drove over to Myakka City to watch the Lipazzan Horse's practice, Every Thursday and Friday at 3pm and Saturday at 10am they open the practice sessions to the public. This isn't a refined show but a training session for the new horses and riders, older horses and riders are mixed in to assist with the training. Today they introduced 2 horses that have never appeared in front of an audience or with the music playing on the speakers, it was fun to watch their reaction to the crowds and applause.

The horses are all born black or very dark gray, as they age they start to change color to white and by the time they are adults they are totally white, so most of the horses in the pictures have black or gray tails and mains.

It's a little hard to find out in the middle of nowhere, so pump this address in your GPS or check their .
Web page. 32755 Singletary Rd, Myakka City

The first time we visited we had the privilege of meeting Colonel Ottomar Herrmann, if you read up on their history you will see the role he played in bring the horses to America and how General George S Patton saved these magnificent animals during WWII.

There is no charge but they do pass a bucket for donations.

If you're in the area take time to go see them and if you happen to be around March 11th, they said that they are going to do a full dress show that day.


Click to enlarge:

Doing a little dance.










Accepting the applause of the crowd.















Bowing to the audience.
















After the Colonel died and his daughter took over she stopped the branding of the horses, they now have microchip implants, and added the Brand to the saddle blanket.












Learning the rear kick, used for when they were in battle.









This maneuver was important in battle, the horse learns to hold this pose for many seconds, this allowed the General to see over the troops so he could tell how the battle was going.










Final Parade.







video

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Marie Selby Gardens - Sarasota

And yet another one that we haven't been to in years, a beautiful place to spend a couple of hours just wandering around the grounds.  The thing I love about this place is the collection of trees.

Marie Selby Botanical Garden



Buddha in the pond




















Coffee beans











A tree you don't want to climb.


Interesting information on how trees protect themselves.




















Cathy's favorite sign


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sunken Gardens - St Petersburg

Another place we haven't been to in quite a few years and the flowers are as beautiful as ever.



















Mote Aquarium – Longboat Key

It's been about six years since we were last here so we figured we would see if anything has changed. The nice thing about this place is that there are volunteers everywhere and they can answer any questions you have and they provide all kinds of interesting facts about the animals and the facilities.  


 Located in the parking lot









The Rays were racing each other around their pool.  If you go here wear a bright blue shirt, Cathy did and all the animals would come towards here when she was at the side of their areas.  Found out that the feeders all wear bright blue shirts and they thought that Cathy was going to feed them.





A snail moving his house to a new neighborhood.


One of the sea turtles










NORMAL FISH



UGLY FISH

















They told us that all of these fish can be found locally in Tampa Bay, so think of that the next time you're wading around in the water along the beach.