We pulled into our campsite at Fort De Soto State Park and WOW!
This was our back yard. A private beach, just for us…
and the dolphins. Can you see them?
At first we thought they were sharks, because we naturally put the deadliest twist on every situation, but they were just dolphins. It was amazing watching them swim the bay, find a school of fish, and send them all into an uproar. We’re convinced they’re bullies. Wink.
Come closer, Dolphin. I want to taste you. Just a little nibble.
Speaking of fish, this bay is loaded with mullet which, as you may already know, jump like crazy. There are many speculations as to why they do this, but, after watching them for a few days, we decided they jump because it’s fun to confuse mankind. One of them skipped all across the bay on the surface of the water like a skipped rock. We were impressed.
Here’s a jumper for you:
Fish rocket! Woo hoooo!
Did you see that?!
Neither did I.
How do you work these things?
I know these aren’t the world’s greatest leaping fish pictures, but after 1437 shots, that’s the best we have. Here’s a better idea.
Go to the red bubble, get a site, set up a chair, make some popcorn, set your camera on high-speed burst, and watch the fish jump.
Watch the clouds, reflections, and birds while you’re at it.
If you watch the birds, keep your mouth closed.
Some of the campers fished off their private beaches. We gave it a go.
Ellie: Do we have to eat that?
Yup, Kiddo, that’s dinner. Lip-smackin’ goodness fresh from the bay.
We visited this thousand-foot pier (not 999, not 1001, 1000), where we found all sorts of treasures.
Oooooooo. It’s a…treasure.
Some we left on the beach…
and others we crammed into our teeeeeeny little pockets.
The birds in Florida are amazing, especially in the winter when huge flocks have migrated from colder climes. These are a few we encountered on our thousand-foot pier walk.
Before you go bird-watching with us, remember to keep your mouth covered when looking up.
Of course, we named them.
This is Stanley
The critter on the left is Elijah, and the one on the right is Roger.
This dapper fella is Hopkins.
This strapping lad, Siegfried, put on a show for us. Watch it…or else. Or else what? Or else you’ll miss it, that’s what!
“I’m safe up here from all you pests!”
That was Rocky.
And finally, this is Rodney…
who did not want a hug from this bird lover.
The sunset over the water was once again beautiful at the pier…
and back at the campsite.
I’ve heard dogs are colorblind. Hmmm.
While at Fort De Soto, we did our share of hiking and exploring with Jedi in tow, and saw many lovely and interesting sights.
These trees are amazing!
Ellie is quite a hiker.
These are mangroves, also known as alien sandworm invaders.
Take me to your leader.
We were given the heads up about this playset that had an elevator on it. Gotta love that!
This little sweetie was afraid of the elevator, so she held on tight to her big strong daddy…
and down they went…
safe and sound.
She had such fun, she insisted on doing it over and over again with “no help at all.”
Here’s Steve pretending he’s not holding onto the back of her dress.
Hannah! What are you doing up there?!
Jedi waited patiently at the park, despite the abundance of teasing squirrels.
Oops. That one got the best of him.
Finally it was his turn to frolic at the dog beach.
He was obsessed with catching this bird, as befits his breed.
Wet and smelly also befit his breed.
Why do dogs always wait until they’re standing right next to a two-legged friend to do this?
The happy dog.
The happy boys.
The happy girls.
Another sunset at camp.
Another morning waking up on the beach.
A little farewell to the neighbor’s horseshoe crab, and we were down the road.
We’ll miss this backyard.
A shout out and an extra piece of chocolate go to Emily and Elisabeth for some of the photos.