Nan and I arrived at St. Andrews State Park after dark, so my first picture was sunrise out my back door the next morning.
After breakfast, Thistle and I took a walk. What did we see?
Two deer,One Red-bellied Woodpecker,
A bird in a tree,An osprey perched atop this capsized sailboat.
Colorful kayaks at the ready,
A history lesson,Turpentine Still
Woodsmen cut wood to fire the kettle. Keeping a hot fire during the distilling process required large quantities of wood.
Strainers and rosin vats.
This steam pump was used to pump water to the tank containing the condensation coils.
Wagons loaded with barrels of raw gum were unloaded at a dock and rolled up a ramp to the second level. The barrels weighed 500 pounds.
Loading dock and ramp
Barrels were emptied into the copper still kettle. THis process was called "charging." When the kettle was full the cap was tightened and the cooking started.
As a charge cooked, the turpentine and water vapors were forced through an outlet in the cap to the condensing coils. These ran through a tank of cool water that condensed the vapor inside the coil and then emptied the liquid into the first separator barrel.
After that lesson, Thistle was ready for a walk through the Piney Woods.Thistle looking for more deer in the piney woods.
We think this is a pine warbler.
Whatever it is, it was hanging out in the sand pines.
The trail leads to the lagoon, where lots of birds can be seen.
The beach on the lagoon side of the park.
Looking back toward the campground. Dogs are allowed on this side, but not the Gulf side beach.
And back home this Great Blue Heron was fishing out my back door.
And this Great Egret was nearby.
That was so much fun, we decided to try another trail after lunch...to Gator Lake.
Are there really alligators in Gator Lake?
Bet he tastes like chicken, Thistle thinks.
In the middle of Gator Lake is a small island which is a rookery for the Great Blue Herons.
Their nests need a little work.
This pair of Snowy Egrets were on the island too.And this pair of Coots.
After our hike, Thistle and I decided to sit by the water and rest.
What did we see?
A Bufflehead,Two Pelicans flying by,
This red-roofed building across the lagoon,
Another Great Blue Heron,
A Little Blue Heron,
Two Red-breasted Mergansers,
Lots of gulls; don't ask me what kind,
Hooded mergansers female,
And after dark...a bunny.
I think I will have a very merry Christmas at the beach.