September 30, 2012

Nudging Downward

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Prices dropped 8-cents over the past month.  They actually got all the way up to $3.84 at this station, but started declining during the past week.  To see the roller coaster ride we've been on with gas prices, just click the label below to see prices over the past 19 months.

September 27, 2012

Myakka Hawk

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One last photo from my visit to Myakka State Park in Sarasota County.  I was surprised to see this red shouldered hawk because I've never seen one in the park before.  And, I was quite impressed by its girth.  What a plump birdie!

September 26, 2012

Oh, Deer

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This young buck was hanging out at Myakka State Park just before it started raining.  As we watched each other for several minutes, I kept looking for other deer. (Being a Michigan native, I know firsthand that deer rarely travel alone.)  Sure enough, when he started to trot away, a doe suddenly came into view.  The same ranger who I talked to about the silly great blue heron told me that 8-point and 6-point bucks were recently spotted in the same area.  I ended up seeing 11 deer that rainy afternoon -- the most I've ever seen here in Florida.

September 25, 2012

Playful Heron

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When it started raining quite hard at Myakka State Park, I was surprised to see this great blue heron standing in the parking lot getting soaked.  Then, things got really interesting when he started dancing. Yep, dancing in the rain! 
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This bird hopped, jumped, flapped its wings and pretty much let its guard down and just had fun in the downpour.  I was tucked inside my car and couldn't believe what I seeing.  What a goofy bird! But, when he finished dancing he wasn't done having fun. 
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He found this stick and starting playing with it...tossing it up and down.  When I mentioned the bird to a park ranger he immediately knew who I was talking about and where he was located in the park. Apparently, this great blue heron has quite a reputation for silly behavior.

September 24, 2012

National Plug in Day

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Yesterday was National Plug in Day -- as in plug in your electric vehicle -- and there was quite a celebration in Sarasota.  It started with a parade in downtown which included approximately 50 electric vehicles ranging from the rather pedestrian Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf to the high-end sporty Fisker Karma.  Even some electric motorcycles were there.  They paraded over the Ringling Bridge to St. Armands Circle where an all-day expo was held to educate folks about EVs.  Most owners drive their EVs 10 miles or so and then plug in.  And, in Sarasota there are nine EV charging stations in public parking areas where you can plug in for free.  I understand you can get some great deals right now on the government subsidized Volt.  The Telsa Roadster (that's the pretty blue car on the right) goes for a cool $120,000.   To learn more about EVs, check out the Electric Auto Association.  By the way, is anyone else having difficulties with the new Blogger format?  I scheduled this post for midnight and it didn't publish at the designated time.  Clarification:  Depending on the EV, mileage can range from 30-200 miles on a full charge.  Most EV owners, though, tend to use them just for driving short distances around town.

September 19, 2012


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For the first time in months, I went out on a photography adventure. It was great to be out and about again camera in hand.  Although it was raining, I decided to see what was going on at Myakka State Park.  Turns out, there was a lot of wildlife activity! Usually, I feel sorry for the great egrets.  Whenever I see them, they're standing very, very still hunting.  And, yet I rarely see them capture anything. All that intense waiting...and for what?  I was feeling especially sorry for this guy standing in the rain, when suddenly it nabbed dinner.  I wasn't quite sure as to the identity of the captured creature, so I showed the photo to a park ranger who suspected it's a crawfish.  Pretty cool.  I hope everyone in the blogosphere is doing well. I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of posting and commenting regularly. Hopefully, that's right around the corner!