Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ravine Revisited

My middle guy had a second round of ACT test prep in Palatka yesterday, so I drove him down along with his older brother for the day. We started the drive in a heavy rain. My oldest son and I had originally planned on waiting out the time at Ravine Gardens State Park, but it looked like it wouldn't work out with all the rain we were in.

I dropped my middle guy off at the college, bless his heart. It was still pouring. Hoping to wait out the rain a little bit, I found a sweet little breakfast spot in the quaint downtown area of Palatka called The Magnolia Cafe. As my son sipped his coffee and ate his Belgian waffle, I gradually saw the rain start to diminish. Eventually it stopped altogether. The park was back on!

One of the first places I wanted to check out was the nest in the park that I'd spotted the prior week.
Four eggs still waiting to hatch!
We were in for a treat! Mama was with the nest this time. Can you spot her?

She doesn't look like a red eyed vireo to me!
Since mama was in house, it was clear to see she wasn't a red-eyed vireo after all. She is, instead, a white-eyed vireo!

Our vireos weren't the only glimpses of wildlife we managed to see, however. I actually did spot an alligator, although he was too shy to get his photo taken. Additionally, my son spotted a turtle in the water.
Swimming along...
Still, the plant life was stunning, too.


We enjoyed our time so much. We walked around, snapped photos, and eventually secured our own little gazebo from which to enjoy the surroundings. My boy read his book.. I graded papers. 

Soon enough it was time to leave to pick up my other boy. He'd had a solid session and now feels quite ready to tackle that big test next week. I'm sad I won't be returning next week. I hope the babies have a happy and healthy life and return to build their own nests in their own time. For me it was a special moment that I will always treasure.