2011: Birds in the snow - Seneca, MO

Ringing in the new year with a bit of snow. Lovely! Expecting it very cold, all week long. The birds really appreciate the bird feeder, and we have a fox who chases the squirrels in the mornings (while Maggie sends out the alarm in her shrill schnauzer shreak). Also had a deer passing through a couple days ago (don't see them too often).

The variety of birds is amazing, lots of red cardinals - though I didn't manage to snap a picture of one this morning.

The RV is winterized - back deck is all closed up

December 31 - National Parks and Lands photos

A collection of our favorites from 2010...

Zion, UT, in spring

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

RMNP, CO - Got absolutely poured on, right after this!

Hope Lake Trail - Uncompahgre Nat'l Forest near Telluride, CO

Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument, UT,
looking towards Brian Head

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bristlecone Pines, UT

Gary kayaking Virgin River, Zion Nat'l Park, UT

Maroon Bells relected in Maroon Lake,
White River Nat'l Forest near Aspen, CO

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness,
White River Nat'l Forest, CO 

Crater Lake Trail, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness,
White River Nat'l Forest, CO

One of many tremendous views from Highway 12,
Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument, UT

Stormy day at Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park, UT

The big storm brewing at Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park, UT

Amazing geologic features and colors at
Capitol Reef Nat'l Park, UT

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UT

Yankee Boy Basin, San Juan Mountains,
Uncompahgre Nat'l Forest, CO

Trout Lake near Telluride, CO

Sunset and moonrise over Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument, UT

Alpine Ridge Trail, Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, CO

December 7: Everglades National Park

With not nearly enough time, we ducked into the everglades for a few moments, on our drive from Key West to Orlando to fly home. Yikes, it was a long day.

So glad we checked it out, but next time, we will spend days or weeks - perhaps as a camp host! Thick with wildlife, particularly birds and alligators...what a great place to explore.

First stop - and there's a gator up close. I thought he was fake -
you know, for the tourists - that is, until Gary sat down
and I saw the gators eyes open...yikes! Move away!

how many gators can you spot in this picture?

his skin looks so dry - got lotion?

On the hwy back to the airport, a common sight in Florida -
thousands of vultures around a local dump

December 5-6: Key West

We drove from Daytona down to Key West (quite a distance); not sure when we'll get back to Florida, so we thought we should check out the keys while we can!  We enjoyed most of the local attractions (Hemingway house, Sloppy Joes where Hemingway hung out, Mallory Square for all the street performers, walk around Duval Street, visit the "Southernmost Point") but the weather was very cold and rough, so snorkeling wasn't a good option (though we had brought all our equipment along!)...

We did not take the trip to Dry Tortugas National Park, though someday I hope we get the chance! The boat or plane trip is quite expensive, so we would need to make it worth our while and stay for a couple of nights at least.

More information on Key West parks

The very long drive island hopping from the mainland
to Key West - 85+ miles

The Christmas lights were fabulous!

oh look....a chicken!

Hemingway look-a-likes at Sloppy Joe's

Banyan trees

the Conch Train tour