Endangered Gopher Tortoise at Sawgrass Lake Park in Florida – Photos

Filed in Gather Travel Essential by on July 17, 2010 0 Comments

Yesterday I took a stroll, camera in hand, through Sawgrass Lake Park in Florida. It’s protected wetlands are home to endangered wildlife, waterbirds, alligators, turtles and the prettiest dragonflies you ever saw.

Sawgrass Lake Park is located in the Tampa Bay Area in St. Petersburg, FL and if you are looking for things-to-do in Tampa Bay this is a wonderful nature park to spend a couple of hours or an entire day.

 In the parking lot I was surprised by a gopher tortoise intent on crossing the road to reach it’s underground dugout on the other side. I know this because I always stop by his dugout to see if he’s home:) Us regular park goers all know where he lives.


Here he is strutting with a purpose …


Gopher tortoise are on the endangered species list and so I hung around hovering with my camera and watching for oncoming traffic so it would be a safe crossing for him/it.




He is actually supposed to cross here – the little jay walker.



Besides, I think he could use a pedicure.


Oh ya, this guy could use a trim.


While he’s at the turtle salon:)

maybe he should inquire about a good neck cream too.



I’m off



walking toward the riverbank

drawn to the lone wild red sage.

 A wild seed escaped from

the nearby strip of butterfly garden plantings.


A blue dragonfly is resting

before it’s off again to chase after

one of it’s friends.



I spot a little reddish blue heron looking for supper.

His blue beak reminds me of the photos in National Geographic like exotic birds of Madagaskar.

Isn’t he gorgeous in his blueness?



It’s hot and humid and my camera is starting to feel heavy.

I’m glad I brought a bottle of water.

Even the critters don’t seem to feel much like hanging out in this smothering heat. 


The squirrels want nothing to do with me ….


They all run off in the other direction when they see me coming.

Is it me or my …..?

OK – I can take a hint!


So I continue my photo tour

past an Anhinga perched on a log.



Standing on a bridge,


 I drink in the green scenery

moved to reflect upon my good fortune,

the clouds in the sky …..




forgetting about everything

seeing only

 a reflection of perfection. 


(I know, bad poetry:), but this is my post, folks.)




Soothing for the soul - green … 



Suddenly, I heard a splash,

thinking it might be an alligator, I went on alert.


It turned out to be

the prettiest little moorhen…….



Such a joy to see her revelry




and happy abandonment 


dipping and diving and twirling







 savoring her bath in the green wetness.



One more tug - just so – this girl likes to look good:)



 Flapping those wings ……..

…and would you just look at those green feet:)

I walked away happy and smiling,

feeling like

 I just received a gift.


Hope you enjoyed this walk with me!


Written by Rose Hill on July 16, 2010 All Rights Reserved

 All images © Rose Hill 


If you happen to visit the Tampa Bay Area I highly recommend a trip to this park, link to the park’s own website Sawgrass Lake Park.


Click below

for more of my posts about this park

Alligators and Armadillo

Great Blue Heron

Wildlife and Waterbirds


Thanks for looking!


About the Author ()

My interests keep changing. I love to garden and I enjoy photography. I have an opinion about everything and like to exchange with others. It's what makes me happy.

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