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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Lovers Key

February 9th, 2013 · 1 Comment

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For many years, people could get to Lovers Key only by boat. In consequence only lovers supposedly traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach. Today, it is connected by bridges to Fort Myers, which is less than 25 miles north. Lovers Key is now one of four barrier islands that make up Lovers Key State Park.

My friend Sharon and I hiked three of the four islands. The park’s main entrance doesn’t open until 8 a.m. so we started at the unlocked north entrance and walked down the Lovers Key beach. There we found an oystercatcher that had just found its breakfast.

An American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) Gets a Clam

An American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) Gets a Clam

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After crossing Inner Key we hiked the 2.6 mile Black Island Trail where we were seldom out of sight of the water. Once when Sharon looked down, she saw a manatee just below us and pointed it out to me. I had always wanted to see one of these gentle mammals, but never expected that I would. What a thrill!

My First Sighting of a Manatee

My First Sighting of a Manatee

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At the same place, we watched while many fish jumped out of the water: out of sheer exuberance, to catch flying insects, to knock off a parasite, to evade a predator, or for some reason no one understands. They jump so quickly that getting a photo of them in the air is tough. The trick, as my new friend Tom taught me, is to catch them on their second or third jump in succession — if they make one. This one did.

A Mullet Jumps

A Mullet Jumps

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Further down the trail we saw this “flying flower.”

A Butterfly Sips Nectar from a Flower

A Butterfly Sips Nectar from a Flower

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As I started to photograph the woodpecker below, it flew away. I was disappointed — until I saw the shot on my computer. We saw this species just about everywhere we went.

But this is the only shot that I got that shows both its reddish belly and red head, to say nothing of its wings spread in flight.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) Shows Its Red Belly

A Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) Shows Its Red Belly

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In the early afternoon as we walked back on the Gulf beach of Lovers Key, we watched storm clouds building up. The first drops of rain fell just as we reached our rental car. We had continued good luck.

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Posted in: Florida

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Rosemary H. // Mar 1, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I always enjoy your photos. and of course the Diabetes website. One of the first I discovered when diagnosed with Type 1 D.

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