JW Corbertt & Brody

One of the frustrating things about living in Florida is all the restrictions the Forest Preserves have regarding dogs. They are simply not permitted.  Ah – but I’ve now figured out that doesn’t necessary apply to Wildlife Management areas, e.g. public hunting areas. So, Brody and I headed off today to explore the 68,000 acre JW Corbertt Wildlife Management Area.  Take the word “explore” lightly in this case.  Most of the trail accessible areas were partially flooded (it is Florida after all) and I didn’t have boots so for the most part we just explored by SUV.

Given that limitation, we drove 62 miles of dirt, sand and mud trails through the area, and Brody hung with 2 feet out of the window for every one of them.  It felt great to experience wilderness again and we did make a few exploratory walks on some trails, so it’s definitely someplace we will go back to.  Obviously the Explorer paid the price and I spent the rest of the day cleaning the interior when we got home.  Tomorrow, I’ll have to take care of the exterior.

As always, click on any of the images to see them in full size.

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Morning Adventure in Stuart

5D3_8895-Pano-4Brody and I decided to run up to Stuart Florida this morning to catch the morning sunrise. It’s only about 60 miles but you got to leave early when the sun lights the sky by 5:45 this time of the year.

This is the St Lucie River and that bridge is a spectacular scene when lit up at night.  Check out my Intercoastal Gallery to see what I mean.  In any case, I’m a big fan of pastel sunrises so this morning was perfect.

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Since we were in the neighborhood, Brody wanted to do find some crabs so we ran over the the House of Refuge at Gilberts Bar (Hutchinson Island).  We timed the trip to be there at low tide to maximize Brody’s chances and so I could shoot the House of Refuge from the Ocean perspective.

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So while I was doing my thing, Brody went and did his thing.  Martin county allows dogs on all non-lifeguarded beaches (bless their hearts), but require a leash, so Brody has to drag his rope around with him.  It works and it doesn’t get snagged anywhere because there’s no loops on the end, but it’s not fun to pick up after he’s dragged it all over the beach.

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Much to my surprise, after he was done playing around in the rocks, Brody decided to rinse off in the ocean.  He’s not usually a fan and I figured after he got buried by a wave last week, he’d be done with it. But, he’s smart and just stuck to the edges.

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All in all, a fun way to spend the morning.  Thanks for looking

 

 

Brody’s Bunny

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Today, Brody was determined to prove that playing with his Bunny was as much fun as playing with his ball.

I’m pretty sure he convinced me!

 

 

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Sexy Six

Watch out world, Brody turned 6 today.  I think he knows because  he was driving me crazy with his enthusiasm last night.  Just wait until he realizes we won’t have cake and presents until after work  tonight.  Hope he doesn’t mind that his present is wrapped in Christmas paper….

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UPDATE
This wasn’t Brody’s best birthday only because it’s the middle of the week and no Adventures were to be had. I mean when he was a puppy we’d go chase eagles on his birthday, or visit American Pickers. In comparison going for a short car ride to visit the Dry Cleaners, doesn’t really count for much.

Yet, he made the best of it. Loved opening his present, didn’t care that it was Christmas wrap and had ice cream for desert.
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Unsuccessful Successful Adventure

I’ve been wanting to get back to Jacksonville, FL to photograph “The Landings” from the fountain across the river. With Brody’s car seat all done and fair weather predicted we set out Friday night about 9:30 with an expectation to arrive in Jacksonville around 1:30AM.  The trip didn’t exactly go as planned but I always enjoy our adventures so to that end it was successful.

First, Brody didn’t really relish the new car seat.  He found it ok but couldn’t understand why he was supposed to favor that over my lap. In protest he spent the entire trip going from the car seat, to trying to get on my lap, to the back cargo area where he’d take short naps on the bed back there and then start the circuit all over again.  I’ve now decided that since he didn’t love it and because he eventually made it back onto my lap anyway,  there’s no reason for me to forfeit the front and back footwells. So, I’ve removed the car seat.

Second, just as we got parked in Jacksonville and started to get the gear out fog rolled in.  This is the only shot I got before the tops of the buildings disappeared.

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And this is the only shot I got of The Jacksonville Landing before the whole scene turned to mist.

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Undeterred, we jumped back onto the interstate and crossed into Georgia at the welcome center where we killed time until sunrise.  The plan was to return and shoot this scene in the morning light.  Not so much … A gray dingy morning.  So, we headed towards St Augustine.  By the time we got there the sky was blue and clear but it was rapidly becoming too late in the day for any great photos.

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St Augustine wasn’t a destination, just a starting point.

I wanted to drive A1A, the intercostal highway, from St Augustine to Daytona Beach.  This was more of a scouting trip than anything.

It was a beautiful trip. Some amazing homes populated that journey but just as importantly, there are plenty of beach areas along the way to visit if your so inclined.

We stopped a few times to see what we could see, but I wasn’t prepared for Brody to get all wet or sandy so we kept our distance.

At each stop, we did see a few people who where fishing or sunbathing or surfing but generally the beaches were pretty empty.

It is interesting that while my part of Florida is packed with Snow Birds right now, I didn’t see that kind of population mass anywhere along this trip.  Including Daytona Beach!

Speaking of Daytona Beach, I was really interested to see if this might be a weekend destination sometime.  From what I saw just driving through, it’s has an amazing boardwalk area, a great fishing pier, the Speedway, some very unique buildings and all the trappings that could be this a fun place to photograph.  But, for sure, I’d have to pick the right time.  Both the beach and the Speedway draw a lot of visitors.

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Before we left, I tried to get Brody to duplicate the pose of this fish. I don’t think his heart was into it, but he got pretty close.
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Brody’s New Car Seat

In an effort to get Brody off my lap I built him a car seat in the Explorer.  He likes the view and the extra room and being able to stick his head out the window without standing on his tippi toes is a plus.  But, he’s conflicted because of his life long habit of sitting on my lap when we’re taking our trips.  We’ll just have to see how it goes.

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In an effort to get Brody off my lap, I built him his own car seat. Now he's conflicted. On one hand he loves the visability and extra room the car seat offers on the other he's fighting a live time habit of riding on my lap.

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On The Road Again

It has been a few months since Brody has been on an adventure. Ok, so maybe more than a few. But, the offset is that his best friend and sister Lexie and his mom have been here. So, he’s had 2 of his favorite things at his disposal. Especially, the one that spoils him.
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Never-the-less, you can only keep a good dog home for so long so for our starter trip, we took an exploratory trip around Lake Okeechobee.  For those who don’t know It is the seventh largest freshwater lake in the United States, including Lake Michigan in the count.  The lake covers 720 square miles and has 135 miles of shoreline.  It is a shallow lake with an average depth of 9′ and it is a premier fishing destination, especially for Bass.

My goal, other than to give Brody an adventure was to get a visual idea as to how photogenic a location Lake Okeechobee might be.  The answer in short is, very if you have a boat.  From the shoreline, the jury is still out.

In any case here are a few photos from the adventure,  the most interesting, I think, was finding the remains of the Glades hotel fire which seems to have a number of interesting innuendos around it.

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Of course as you might expect, you can find plenty of bird friends to photograph as you make your way around the lake.

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This lake has a tremendous number of recreational opportunities.  I wasn’t really exploring those, so you might want to do some of your own research.  For this trip, I just wanted to see what was visually available on a drive-by basis.  What I seemed to have found was that starting from the South and all along the Western Shore there really were not great views of the lake itself.  Most of these boundaries seem to contain canals that feed into the lake rather than provide views of the lake.  North and East offered better views for what I was seeking.  So, in the end I got a chance to photograph Brody with the lake in the background and he got a chance to run around and explore a new area.

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Christmas 2016

At 5.8 years old Brody is fully into Christmas spirit this year.  And with Pam and Lexie here since early November, it’s been great all around.

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Brody’s Lack of Adventures

Brody has been a little PO’d with me because we have not been on any travel adventures. But, he makes the best of the situation by making me play ball a hundred times a day.

Jumping Brody

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Reality Dawns on Me

Brody-8680I’m in the yard tonight playing ball with Brody when a relatively new neighbor walks by and says; “I’ve never seen a beagle fetch before'”

And at that moment a reality I’ve never thought about came to light!

“He’s not playing fetch, he’s playing chase.”  Beagles were built to chase things like rabbits.  So, Brody is very inclined to chase the ball.  The only reason he brings it back is that he knows, it’s the only way I can throw it again and therefore the only way he can chase it again, which is really all he wants to do.

 

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