Friday, April 16, 2010
As Trapper's budget is, well, puny, he can't get good help. The last blog entry should also have included his travels to Ft. Desoto. While there he inspected the very long fishing pier. Word of his arrival must have leaked as many, many people were there. They were pretending to fish so their staring would not be blatant. But he wasn't fooled. They were there ONLY to see him!
During his stroll of the pier he had the chance to meet various fish being hauled over the rail. They were most excited at making his acquaintance and absolutely could not control themselves. He was almost embarrassed for their enthusiasm.
After a snack of various rocks, twigs and perhaps the odd truffle dug up while his handlers lunched at a shady picnic table, it was off to the beach! There were quite a few tasty morsels in the sand followed by a bit of a romp. The deep sand was a curiosity but not a huge distraction the first time around.
More recently, Trapper traveled to the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. His first adventure there was a pontoon boat ride down Pepper Creek. Since he was wise enough to direct his handlers to park on the far end of the creek, the boat was not overcrowded as it is coming from the visitor center to the park. The ride was interesting as he was fixated on the water flowing past.
Once at the visitor center, Trapper guided his people to the open tram for the ride back to the park entrance. That went well but there was a lot of clanking and groaning from that tram!
Strolling through the park was a different experience. There are a lot of sights, sounds and smells there. From Lou the hippo, past the densely populated gator pond, Trapper took it all in. The wolves and foxes noted his passage warily as did the eagles and other birds of prey. He and the flamingos ignored each other but he was captivated by a swan and a Sandhill crane. The Roseate Spoonbills were a bit wary of him and burbled their concern to one another as he passed.
The bears snoozed through his passage but not so the panther! It was razor eyes locked onto his furriness as he strolled past. He was curious as while the panther looked somewhat like the kitties he has at home, there was somewhat of a size difference. We decided to make haste away from the panther habitat as the critter started to dig at the bottom of its fence. 8-o
The bridge over the spring water gave Trapper a good view of a huge school of snook and ladyfish with a sprinkling of mullet and sheepshead. Then it was off to a shady bench to watch, of all things, a yellow lab repeatedly jumping from the bow of a pontoon boat to retrieve for his master. The pooch swam around to the back of the boat each time and climbed the ladder. It was entertaining.
A visit to the spring observation deck wrapped up this exposure. Trapper was interested in seeing the huge schools of fish that mill around the head of the spring. We got there too late to hear the manatee lecture but that was fine. It meant we also missed the busloads of elementary school students that were leaving as we arrived. We would likely still be there doing "greets"...