Corner View is now a year old. For this anniversary, Jane of Spain Daily, the host of Corner View, has asked us to revisit a favorite theme from the past year. In keeping with Children and Nature Awareness Month and our recent activities, I have chosen "The Great Outdoors" as my theme for this week. The Great Outdoors originally appeared as a theme on May 12, 2009. At that time, I showed you pictures of Poe Springs; today I would like to show you Hillsborough River State Park.
While my husband stayed home and worked on the "quals" for his PHD (three days of uninterrupted, stressful typing), Blaze and I had Spring Break from school and went camping. We had never been to Hillsborough River State Park before and really chose it because it was one of the few Florida campgrounds that wasn't completely booked for Spring Break week.
I'm sure that our campground neighbors got some amusement out of watching me try to remember how to put up the tent all by myself, but after about a half hour of fumbling, I got it. It had been several months since our last camping trip.
The park is really beautiful, but I wouldn't choose it as a Spring Break destination again. Most of the campsites have very little space dividing one site from the next, so there is no feeling of privacy. It also becomes very noisy at night (right about the time I would be trying to get Blaze to go to sleep). There is a massive swimming pool near the campground, that would have been nice to play in after setting up the tent in 85 degree weather, but it won't open until the end of May. There were also more mosquitoes than I have ever seen before (and that's saying something). Our first day in camp, Blaze and I started out on a short hiking trail and he ran off ahead of me, so I couldn't see him. Just as I was calling to him to come back, he started screaming and ran back to me, covered in mosquitoes. I have a lot of bites, but they didn't think I was nearly as tasty as he was.
This may look like he's trying to re-enact the birth experience, but what he was really doing, was sticking his head out just long enough to tell me that he liked it in the tent and was never coming out again.
We weren't exactly "roughing it". With the air mattress, table, and chairs, it was very comfy and home-like in the tent.
The next day, we went into town and purchased bug repellent spray, a glow-in-the-dark bug repellent bracelet, and mosquito netting to wear over a hat. With all of that on, Blaze was ready to face the outdoors again. Without those things, I don't think I would have been able to pry Blaze from the tent for the remainder of the trip.
You have to look carefully to see them, but one evening there were 5 vultures in the tree branches above our tent.
Despite the mosquitoes trying to kill us and the vultures waiting to clean up what was left, we actually were able to take some nice walks in the woods and wetlands.
Tammy, this last picture is for you. This wasn't one of those baby alligators I usually photograph. Just the part sticking out of the water was longer than I am tall.