Tuesday, October 20, 2009

JEEPINESS HAPPINESS

Like a kid in a candy store ...

There were so darn many of these forest roads beckoning us to stray from our path to the Ferry. I found them quite distracting and could not keep myself from turning down one after another.


When I did, I was rewarded with flowering prairies ...



... and open, long leaf pine savannahs ...




... and scrubby sand pine ridges.


It was pretty darn wonderful and these were only off of Forest Road 43 on the way down to the Ferry.

The total number of open dirt roads in the 500,000 acre Ocala National Forest boggles the mind and makes me want to get back there ASAP.



Are you picturing the Chinese protester in front of the tank?


I did not run over the frog. Actually, there were so many frogs in this huge puddle, that we backed up and went off to find other trails and muddier puddles to splash through.



The cold front had brought some rain and wind the night before. We saw freshly downed trees on some trails and puddles of water still standing in porous sugar sand.



The frog wasn't taking any chances and jumped in the water while we poked around his "pondle".




I took this pic of Emma and I by setting up the tripod across the puddle, hitting the 10 second timer and then hightailing it back along the bank, before leaping into position for the shot.
I had a little video for you, but it failed to load so look for it sometime in the future.
This was a great day, made even nicer by the little side diversions that popped up on the way to our goal sites.
I am sooooo digging out my forest map and planning the next excursion ...

13 comments:

threecollie said...

Yay frogs!
Yay Jeeps and daughters and wild roads that call your name....and hooray for your wonderful new header too.

Dani said...

I second 3C!!!


I'm such a slacker right now, cause it's just beautiful outside! And really who needs clean clothes and dishes when there is fun to be had out the door.

cndymkr / jean said...

Great photos. I really liked the frog with it's big eyes.

Hurricane Teen said...

Perfect header pic!
I love Ocala NF! Very unique place, made all the more interesting in that it's where the Baxters lived :-)
And is that a leopard frog? I see those guys trying to hide from me in the swamp sometimes.

Felicia said...

What a wonderful day you two must have had out there!

And I loved that little ferry you wrote about yesterday. I was poking around on the web and saw that it's been in operation since the 1850s! (Probably not that exact same little tug, of course.) It occurred to me that this could have been the same ferry crossing of the St. John's described in The Yearling. If anyone would know if this is the case or not, it would be you...

Deb said...

Nice pine savannah! Jack pine savannah is a precious commodity around here nowadays. And nice JEEP header!

Floridacracker said...

3C,
Amen to that! Hooray for unpaved roads that lead us where ever. Glad you like the header!

Dani,
That's not slackin', that's livin.
:)

Jean,
It is their most endearing quality to me.

HT,
I get my grass frogs and leopard frogs mixed sometimes, but this looks like a leopard to me.

Felicia,
Without any kind of checking, I have to say that it almost has to be the one. It has the right lifespan and it is smack in the center of Yearling country.

Deb,
Glad you like the new header. It was really tough to take down the Jr and Bear one. Emma fills in nicely though.

kathy a. said...

wonderful photos!

robin andrea said...

Just the idea of a 500,000 acre national park makes me happy. All that wide open space for critters trees and flowers. Oh yes, definitely go back there soon.

TROLL Y2K said...

Okay, I'm motivated. First trip to the Ocala National Forest in TEN YEARS this weekend.

Mockingbird said...

I love this post!
Spring and fall, I go to the Oceola National Forest/Ocean Pond to drive, then walk the roads. Heaven really is mostly pine and palmetto!
Frog, snake, bobcat, deer and turkey are the citizens(oops, hog too).

Miz S said...

I want to come to Florida.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

hey! that's a leopard frog like the one in my water garden. He is still living there, and I love him a bunch!!!