Category Archives: Nature

Ginnie Springs, Part 11: Hyla chrysoscelis, Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Hyla chrysoscelis, Cope’s gray treefrog, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Earlier in our Ginnie Springs micro-series, we saw a rather pale Cope’s gray treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis. This post features many, many more H. chrysoscelis. Once night had settled … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 10: Hyla cinerea, the American Green Treefrog

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Hyla cinerea, the American green treefrog, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). There’s nothing quite like the densely blanketed tangles of frogs calling to one another on a softly warm, early spring night.  Such was the ambient soundtrack as the sun sank … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 09: Anaxyrus terrestris, the Southern Toad

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Anaxyrus terrestris, the Southern toad, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). As night descended upon Ginnie Springs, the park’s frogs and toads perked up for a nice, long night of singing and breeding. Spring can be quite awesome when the … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 08: Orgyia detrita, the Fir Tussock Moth

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Orgyia detrita, the Fir tussock moth, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Yesterday we saw a mighty fine lookin’ Forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria — a species that was damn near omnipresent throughout Ginnie Springs last weekend. Today … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 07: Malacosoma disstria, the Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth!

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Malacosoma disstria, the Forest tent caterpillar moth, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Have you ever seen a silky web, perhaps between a few tree branches, packed not with spiders, but with caterpillars? If so, there’s a good … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 06: A Rather Tiny Acrididae Grasshopper!

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Melanoplus punctulatus (likely, not confirmed), the Pine tree spur-throated grasshopper, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Back in Alaska, April truly was the cruelest month. With easing temperatures, we’d suffer through unfathomable snow melt punctuated by bouts of freezing … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 05: A Rather Large Tipulidae Crane Fly

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Male cranefly, family Tipulidae (Identification Pending), photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Another short post for today… Here we see a male crane fly of Family Tipulidae perched atop a flooded palmetto just above the waterline. At this time, … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 04: A Really Cool Snail! [Updated 18 April 2014!]

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Likely Euglandina rosea, the Rosy wolfsnail, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). We have a couple of short posts coming up on Dust Tracks consisting of unidentified organisms. Typically, I hold off on posting anything I haven’t managed to … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 03: The American Green Treefrog, Hyla cinerea

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Hyla cinerea, the Green treefrog, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Shortly after I photographed the Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) tuckered out on the palmetto, I came across a more-often-seen species of treefrog: Hyla cinerea, the American green … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 02: Cope’s Gray Treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis

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Hyla chrysoscelis, Cope’s gray treefrog, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12 April 2014). Camping at Ginnie Springs this past weekend, I was delighted to find that a significant portion of the park was inundated with standing water. The Santa Fe River … Continue reading

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Ginnie Springs, Part 01: Introduction

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Ginnie Springs, photographed in Gilchrist county, Florida (12-13 April 2014). This past weekend, the weekend of April 12th and 13th, 2014, I bolted northwest to Ginnie Springs Park in Gilchrist county, Florida for a weekend group campout. An old friend … Continue reading

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Anax junius, the Common green darner, in Flagler county, Florida; 10 April 2014

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Anax junius, the Common green darner, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (10 April 2014). The drive from my home in Ormond Beach to the Flagler/Palm Coast DSC campus is quite fantastic. I head up there every Wednesday for work, and I take … Continue reading

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Spodoptera dolichos, the Sweetpotato armyworm moth, in Ormond Beach, Florida; 23 March 2014

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Spodoptera dolichos, the Sweetpotato armyworm moth, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (23 March 2014). This is a Sweetpotato armyworm moth, Spodoptera dolichos – a new species for Dust Tracks, but certainly not a rare one in the southeastern United States. In … Continue reading

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Camponotus castaneus, the Reddish carpenter ant, in Ormond Beach, Florida; 16 March 2014

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Camponotus castaneus, the Reddish carpenter ant, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (16 March 2014). To step away from the increasing presence of snakes this spring, let’s take a brief look at a winged carpenter ant I photographed on a broad tropical leaf under … Continue reading

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30-Year-Old-Janson Would’ve Totally Caught This Snake

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Coluber constrictor priapus, the Southern black racer, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (06 April 2014). 30-Year-Old-Janson would’ve totally caught this Southern black racer (Coluber constrictor priapus). 40-Year-Old-Janson, however, failed miserably. Heh. With their sharp visual acuity and remarkable speed and … Continue reading

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The Florida Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti) in Heart Island Conservation Area, Florida; 06 April 2014

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Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti, the Florida cottonmouth, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (06 April 2014). Oh, hell. I know, I know. Another snake post, Janson? Well, yes. Another snake post. At the end of last post, after all my fawning over … Continue reading

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Garter Snake Blue in Flagler county, Florida! 02 April 2014

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Thamnophis sirtalis, the Garter snake, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (02 April 2014). Okay, yeah, so I know in the last post that I hinted bugs were coming next on Dust Tracks… and I truly do understand that what you see … Continue reading

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Diadophis punctatus punctatus, the Southern Ringneck Snake, in Mount Dora, Florida; 29 March 2014

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Diadophis punctatus punctatus, the Southern ringneck snake, photographed in Lake county, Florida (29 March 2014). Let’s make it three-for-three, shall we? Here then is a third snake post for the week! Rah! Truth be told, March was a pretty weak month on … Continue reading

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More than a few Florida Green Watersnakes (Nerodia floridana) at Palm Island Park; 15 March 2014

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Nerodia floridana, the Florida green watersnake, photographed in Lake county, Florida (15 March 2014). Behold! The mighty Florida green watersnake, Nerodia floridana! Indeed, I saw more than a few Florida greens during this short visit to Palm Island Park in Mount … Continue reading

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Storeria victa, the Florida Brown Snake, in Mount Dora, Florida; 15 March 2014

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Storeria victa (Storeria dekayi victa), the Florida brown snake, photographed in Lake county, Florida (15 March 2014). Ah yes, here we go! Spring is for snakes! Here we have a lovely Florida brown snake, Storeria victa, caught and photographed in my parents’ … Continue reading

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Cuban Brown Anoles, Spring, and a New Camera

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Anolis sagrei, the Cuban brown anole, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (12 March 2014). At long last, and with thanks to some friends and family for their support, I have my new camera: a Nikon D7100. And just in time … Continue reading

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Ctenosaura similis, the Black spiny-tiled iguana, at Amelia Earhart Park in North Miami; 08 March 2014

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Ctenosaura similis, the Black spiny-tailed iguana, photographed in Miami-Dade county, Florida (08 March 2014). On 08 March 2014, I bolted south to the Miami area for a fast and furious day trip, returning to central Florida that same evening. As … Continue reading

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Mniotilta varia, the Black-and-white warbler; 08 March 2014

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Mniotilta varia, the Black-and-white warbler, photographed in Miami-Dade county, Florida (08 March 2014). This is a new species for me — at least photographically. With its distinctive black and white patterning, I believe this is a Black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia). … Continue reading

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March and Transition; 40

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Amelia Earhart Park, photographed in Miami-Dade county, Florida (08 March 2014). I’m writing this post in mid-March of 2014. Sitting in my Ormond Beach, Florida back yard, it feels like spring may have finally arrived. The air outside is moderately … Continue reading

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Ichneumonidae! See Also: “Jaws” from James Bond

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Perhaps Ophion idoneus, the Short-tailed Icheumon wasp, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (04 March 2014). Here’s a fun little camper for you! This is a species of Ichneumon wasp, perhaps Ophion idoneus. It could possible be Enicospilus purgatus, but the top … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: Flagler Beach; 05 March 2014

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Flagler Beach, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (05 March 2014). Ah, March. Springtime, right? Warm air, clear skies, plenty of sunshine! Yay! We survived winter’s grasp! Well, not quite. Not yet, anyhow. I can’t really describe how unexpectedly bitter and … Continue reading

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Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Florida; 03 March 2014

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Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (03 March 2014). Monday 03 March 2014 was a busy day. My father –the enigmatic and curiously awesome Les Jones– underwent foot surgery the week prior. The medical folks played … Continue reading

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Scouting Rima Ridge and Tiger Bay; 02 March 2014

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Rima Ridge in Tiger Bay State Forest, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (02 March 2014). Yes, it’s been rather overcast and chilly throughout central Florida as of late. Yes, I’ve been rather busy with a number of issues both at … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: North Peninsula State Park; 26 February 2014

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North Peninsula State Park, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (26 February 2014). This is our sixth Atlantic Dawn post for 2014. Once again, we’re watching the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean at North Peninsula State Park early on a … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: North Peninsula State Park; 19 February 2014

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North Peninsula State Park, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (19 February 2014). It’s cold right now (Friday 28 February). Yeah, along with much of the Lower 48, central Florida’s taking a bit of a cold snap right now. Another cold … Continue reading

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In Only A Few Seconds… A Young Racer!

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Coluber constrictor priapus, the Southern black racer, photographed in Lake county, Florida (15 February 2014). Last weekend, we packed up and headed inland to Mount Dora, Florida for my parents’ 47th wedding anniversary vow-renewal celebration of mayhem and awesomeness. We … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area, Florida; 12 February 2014

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Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (12 February 2014). Here’s our fourth “sunrise” post in this initial run of Atlantic Dawn posts, though I’m not sure “sunrise” really applies here. Heh. This was one seriously windy, … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: Flagler Beach, Florida; 05 February 2014

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Flagler Beach, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (05 February 2014). The past few months in central Florida haven’t been all sunshine and glory, of course. We’ve suffered quite a bit of relative chill and discomfort along with the rest of … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: North Peninsula State Park, Florida; 22 January 2014

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North Peninsula State Park, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (22 January 2014). Our next Atlantic dawn is more of the expected variety in eastern central Florida. This, my friends, is a typical sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean from the vantage … Continue reading

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Atlantic Dawn: Flagler Beach, Florida; 15 January 2014

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Flagler Beach, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (15 January 2014). On Wednesdays this semester, I work on the Flagler/Palm Coast campus of Daytona State College. Palm Coast is a bit north from where we live in Ormond Beach; it’s a … Continue reading

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The Banded Watersnake (Nerodia fasciata) at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Florida; 12 January 2014

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Nerodia fasciata, the Banded watersnake, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (12 January 2014). Continuing from the previous post’s coverage of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park on 12 January 2014, let’s focus more closely on the magnificent Banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata) … Continue reading

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Washington Oaks Gardens in Flagler county, Florida; 12 January 2014

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By the grace of all that is good and true in our glorious and titillating universe, cold temperatures have a tendency of dissipating in short form here in the Sunshine State. Sure, we sometimes get hit by some wicked, sustained, … Continue reading

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Arctic Blast: 1, Giant Katydid: 0 (and the Anole didn’t score too well, either)

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Stilpnochlora couloniana, the Giant katydid, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (07 January 2014). Ah, yes… January 7th, 2014. That was a fun morning. Though Florida had dodged most of the frozen shenanigans striking so many throughout the Lower 48, we … Continue reading

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Stomolophus meleagris, the Cannonball Jellyfish, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida; 04 January 2014

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Stomolophus meleagris, the Cannonball jellyfish, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (04 January 2014). And now, at last, it’s time for Dust Tracks to officially roll into fresh 2014 material. It was  a somewhat slow and slothy January on the blog … Continue reading

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Four Januaries in Alaska

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Good heavens, it’s been some time since we lived in Alaska. We moved to Anchorage in the summer of 2007 and finally retreated back to the American Southeast in the summer of 2011, two years after the birth of our … Continue reading

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South Florida EcoRomp Part VI: Anoles at Matheson Hammock Park, 28 December 2013

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South Florida EcoRomp Part VI Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI We conclude our South Florida EcoRomp miniseries with a return visit to Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables, Florida. Though I’ve spent about … Continue reading

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South Florida EcoRomp Part V: The River is Wide and Time is Long

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South Florida EcoRomp Part V Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI Once upon an ago, but not too long ago, the Florida Everglades formally reached north from Florida Bay to the southern edge of the vast … Continue reading

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South Florida EcoRomp Part IV: Everglades National Park, 27 December 2013

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South Florida EcoRomp Part IV Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI When I left Coral Gables with thoughts of anoles still bobbing in my head, the plan was to check out Crocodile Lake National Wildlife … Continue reading

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South Florida EcoRomp Part III: Chapman Field Park, 27 December 2013

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South Florida EcoRomp Part III Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI After visiting Matheson Hammock Park (Part I) and observing a number of Puerto Rican crested anoles (Part II), I hopped … Continue reading

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South Florida EcoRomp Part II: Anolis cristatellus at Matheson Hammock Park, 27 December 2013

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South Florida EcoRomp Part II Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI The Puerto Rican crested anole, Anolis cristatellus, is one of many non-native anole species now well-established in parts … Continue reading

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South Florida EcoRomp Part I: Matheson Hammock, 27 December 2013

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South Florida EcoRomp Part I Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI Alright, campers. At long last, it’s time to head down to South Florida! I often describe the southern … Continue reading

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State of Dust Tracks: 2014 Edition

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Dust Tracks was founded (in its current form) on 24 March 2011. At the time, we were still living in Alaska, gearing up for our move back to the American southeast. I wanted to reboot my blog before this major … Continue reading

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The Top 13 of ’13: Wildlife Edition

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Well, it’s 2014. It is, by our culturally agreed upon calendar, the start of a new year. With our symbolic recognition of yet another revolution around the sun, it’s also time for everybody under the sun (or at least everybody … Continue reading

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Enjoying the Moments of Blue Creek on the St. Johns River, Florida; 23 November 2013

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It seems fitting to wrap up 2013 on Dust Track with our third and final post covering the St. Johns River pontoon drift with my father this past November. We’ll have a bit of year-end-reflections following this post (The Top … Continue reading

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Morrison Creek on the St. Johns River, Florida; 23 November 2013

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I’m typing this post the morning after returning from my South Florida jaunt. Despite less-than-ideal weather, we have some great south Florida material coming up on Dust Tracks; however, before we dip our toes into the River of Grass of … Continue reading

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