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While unloading my kayak at the park next to the Yankee Town Boat ramp, this Red-Bellied Woodpecker flew right in front of me and landed on a cabbage palm. Delighted, I watched for a few moments, as I was in fully engrossed in the moment. I had never experiences on that close before. Then I decided that nature WAS handing me this photo opportunity. So, I quietly put everything down and slipped away to retreive my camera. Of course she had moved from her original location, but I followed her as she flew from tree to tree and she eventually settled back on a Cabbage Palm. I was able to get a few photos before she flew on into the marshlands of the Withlacoochee Preserve. I have come to realize that recognizing photo opportunities is half the battle of getting good photos!
The Yankee Town Boat ramp lies at the mouth of the Withlacoochee River where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. This boat ramp allows access to the Withlacoochee Preserve and the Waccasassa Preserve which encases over 31,000 acres of protected coastline along the Florida Gulf Coast from Cedar Key to Yankee Town.