I got up at 6:00 a.m. to go watch the sunrise. Linda decided to stay snuggled up in bed. :)
Florida Bay was dead calm when I arrived at the Visitor Center and café.
A single dolphin came into the cove while I sat by myself in the pre-dawn darkness.
I sat and watched the morning come alive as the birds started flying in from their roosting grounds, fish splashed in front of me, and the fishermen headed out into the bay.
I was sitting at a picnic table, and this gull decided I must be eating something and, therefore, there must be some scraps to be had.
Finally, the sun made its appearance on the horizon.
Another dolphin arrived and entertained me with a few jumps.
I love this photo with the bird and the leaping dolphin.
As the sun continued to climb, more dolphins arrived and began feeding right in front of me.
What a fantastic start to the day. :)
Eventually, I left and headed over to Eco Pond near the campground. A few birders were already there, and a couple pointed out a gorgeous Painted Bunting.
It was the longest, best look I've ever had at one of these beauties, and I took advantage of the opportunity.
I only wish my Mom could enjoy the photos. That was my sadness moment for the day.
My next treat was seeing the lovely green female Painted Bunting and being able to get the pair in a few shots together.
To get such a great look at both these birds made me quite happy. :)
While watching the buntings, there were also cardinals, catbirds, vireos, woodpeckers, gnatcatchers, and this Black & White Warbler.
At the edge of the pond, there was a Great Egret, a Roseate Spoonbill, a Reddish Egret, and a couple of White Ibis feeding across the way.
And I zoomed in on this Red-shouldered Hawk as it came in for a landing.
After walking around the pond, I headed back to the rig. I got back around 8:00, and Linda was still in bed. :)
But she then got up and had her coffee while I went through the morning pictures. She started out on her exercise, and I joined her later. Our campground loop is six tenths of a mile and she ran three miles while I ran a couple.
She got a shower and got out a lounger to read in the sun. And I started a series of chores.
I got out the ladder and washed the fifth wheel windows. It had been awhile. :)
Then I climbed up on the roof and cleaned the solar panels. Yesterday, we used about 100 amps of battery capacity while watching five hours of TV, using our laptops, heating some cobbler up in the microwave, and Linda used her Keurig to make some coffee.
We try not to use our generator and let the solar panels recharge the batteries. By cleaning the panels, we got an extra amp of charge per hour.
I hadn't taken time to wash it since we got it last September, and having the truck sit under trees for the six weeks I was in Louisville, certainly didn't help. There was a grimy film all over it.
The WashWaxAll did a great job of cutting through the film and, though I wasn't planning on it, I ended up washing the entire truck and the windows. Linda pitched in and polished all the chrome.
Then she moved on to wash the Jeep windows, and I used the dry wash to clean the lower third of the fifth wheel and the front cap. We worked hard in the middle of the day, but the truck and trailer look great.
After all that, we had one more chore to get done. Linda got out the clippers and cut my hair. :)
Late in the afternoon, we rode our bikes over to Eco Pond for a quick look. A hawk flew in and landed in the tree right above us.
Other than that, we didn't see much on that trip.
However, on the road to the beach-side tent camping area, there is a large Osprey nest and while one bird was sitting on the nest, the other was on a branch in the same tree eating a fish.
The fish-eater had decapitated its dinner and posed proudly with it.
It was starting to cool off, so we rode back to our campsite, where I returned a few emails until it was time to go watch the sunset.
I rode my bike over to the beachfront camping area, and waited.
I noticed some birds in the surf and went over to get some shots. They were Black Skimmers.
They have a black and bright orange bill, and the lower mandible is significantly longer than the upper which works great as they fly just above the water "skimming" for food as they fly.
I turned my attention back to the sunset ....
and a camper joined me out on the beach. It turns out that he is from Louisville and is a full-time boater. He hauls his sailboat across the country and sleeps in it in campgrounds while it is on the trailer. Interesting character.
The sun disappeared over Bradley Key, and the colors were stunning.
I then headed back to the rig where Linda was putting dinner together. She was preparing the remaining fish from our fishing trip the other day, and she cooked it on her Grill It stovetop grill.
So, we had a great dinner, watched a little TV and called it a night.
It was a great day here at Flamingo, and a productive one at that. Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds - perhaps some paddling? :)