Picnic and Birding

We had a busy week that involved a lot of driving. Florida’s seasonal residents, called snowbirds by nearly everyone, start arriving in October and usually arrivals peak around January. This year we think a lot of them are arriving a little earlier that usual, so traffic is already very heavy most of the day.

Since we suspected our morning trip might extend to early afternoon, I suggested I pack a picnic lunch just in case. We used to picnic quite a bit, but eventually morphed into leaving wherever we were and finding a restaurant. It happened so slowly that we suddenly realized we never took a picnic anymore.

We did end up longer than we thought, and since we were close to Crystal River we stopped at the archeological park. Some Moms and kids were packing up their picnic and leaving as we arrived, otherwise we had the place to ourselves. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch, surrounded by butterflies and birds. The park is along the river, and as we ate this sandpiper walked along the wall.

Bluebirds, warblers, and various other birds flew from tree to tree, and the flowers attracted numerous butterflies. As we walked back toward the car, I tried to get a shot of a small Metal Mark butterfly, without success. A woman and her young son saw me and asked what I was doing. I talked about all the birds and butterflies we had seen, and suddenly the boy looked around and started noticing the butterflies all around. He got excited and started looking for more. I’m glad I missed that shot, it was worth it to talk to them and see him start noticing the butterflies around him.

We decided to start taking a picnic with us again, we forgot how nice and calming that break can be during the day.

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