Tell Me a Story: Paynes Prairie: Hunting wild horses

I traveled to Gainesville to stay with my daughter Amy while she had surgery.  Her surgery was done on Wednesday morning.  Thursday Xeno, the pet rat, had surgery.  Mom had two patients to take care of.  Amy was pretty easy.  The meds kicked in and she slept.  Xeno on the other hand, was a lot harder.  The poor little mite did not understand the need for a great big collar on her tiny neck.  For a good part of Thursday I had to hold her just to keep her still.

Friday Amy felt a little better and the meds did help.  Around lunch time she asked if I would like to go to Paynes Prairie State Park.  I had mentioned that I had seen a photo of wild horses and was really keen to get out and see if I could find them.  So with a swollen face, Amy graciously and courageously went out with me.

I went with all the details and so we made out way to the furthest point of the park where the horses had been seen, parked the car, and started to walk.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1848

Walking through the forest was kind of chilly.  I am fascinated by the Spanish moss that drapes the trees.  The walkways are quiet and restful.  Occasional benches are set along the way for folk to rest.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1856

Vines dangle in mid air from the trees above.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1860

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1851

Walking through the forest did not take to long,  We did not see any wild horses in that section much to my disappointment.  Through the stile and off we go along a dirt road that has obvious signs that horses have been out this way.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1867

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1870

So far we have got to see a Cardinal.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1874

And the real thrill, was to see a Bald Eagle in the wild.  Such a majestic bird, that swooped in and settled on a stump not too far from us.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1893

The area is very dry and the grasses are in abundance and my sinuses are not happy.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1898

For some reason and I am not sure what it is, some of the images have a crazy pattern in the background.  I am not sure if there was something on the lens or not, but I have re-edited a couple of times and they are still there.  So I am going to leave the crazy patterns.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1897

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1914

It is a beautiful day for strolling along the pathway.  I wish we had walked further but my feet are not up to the long walk.  Amy’s meds were also starting to wear off and she was ready to head on home. That aside we had left Xeno long enough.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1919

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1937

Back up into the forest and the cool air once again.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1941

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1940

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1961

I have to confess to being a little disappointed that I did not get to see wild horses, but like anything in nature you may see it and you may not and it really is the luck of the draw.  I got to see a Bald Eagle in the wild and I got time with Amy.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1952

I had asked Amy to model for me with a red umbrella.  I only wanted one image but she really got into the swing of things and we go a whole series of them.  For more on the umbrella story you can click here.

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 2008

This was my last day with Amy before I head on home.  I was so glad to be able to be up there when she had her surgery.  As a mom, I always worry about my children and when I know that they are hurting or have to have a general anesthetic, I want to be there with them.  Gainesville is an interesting town and I enjoyed spending a few days there, but it is back to work and the routine of an office again.

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”

~ George Gordon Byron

This is a circle blog so remember to go and check out what the other photographers have for you.  Up next is LUPJi Photography and just a little hint – look out for the snow.  As a Floridian, I have to be honest, I envy those who get to see snow, and yet I cannot begin to imagine spending too much time in the snow.  I will freeze.

You can read the other blogs on Roadtripping to Gainesville – Day 1, Day 2, and Later in the afternoon.

 If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.