I spent last weekend in Carrabelle, Florida, with a friend (Jim). Carrabelle is a small town in the Panhandle of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico that is surrounded by State and National forests, parks and preserves. Carrabelle is in Franklin County, and there are no traffic lights in the entire county. It is very rural and looks much like Florida used to look many years ago, and I loved that.
Jim owns a home on the Carrabelle River with gorgeous views of the river and surrounding salt marshes. He keeps a boat at the end of his dock, which we used to go fishing and to see some of the area from the water. Jim knew that I am a serious nature photographer, and therefore, we explored the Gulf Coast around Carrabelle from his boat and by car. I had a fantastic long weekend, took a lot of photographs, and was able to capture some of Carrabelle’s and Franklin County’s natural beauty.
The opening image was taken from Jim’s boat as we were returning from fishing, and the below image is of the same sunset but shot from his dock.
As the sun fell below the horizon, in the opposite direction the full moon was rising, as seen in the following image also shot from Jim’s dock. It was obviously a beautiful evening.
Saturday morning, we got up early and went to Carrabelle Beach to shoot the sunrise (below two images). It was spectacular and well worth getting up early on a chilly morning.
While out on Jim’s boat, I shot the following two images of pelicans in flight on the Carrabelle River.
Sunday morning was overcast but still beautiful on the river (below image).
Since the tides in Carrabelle were extremely low in the mornings that weekend, we could not go fishing so instead we explored Franklin County. One of the places we visited is known locally for its colony of white squirrels. Most white squirrels in North America are genetic color variants of the gray species. They are not albinos, breed normally and may have gray siblings. It is thought that the genes that normally produce a white underbelly in the gray squirrel are active in a wider area of their bodies, often leaving discernible gray patches on the spine and head. Below are two of the many images I took of the white squirrels. There were many of them in the area (approximately 10), and it was a very unusual sight.
We also went to Wakulla Springs State Park, which has one of the largest and deepest (over 180 feet) springs in the world. Wakulla Springs is home to many manatees during the winter, and when we were at the spring, there were over twenty manatees swimming gracefully in the clear water. Below are some of the manatees.
Above, a young manatee is nursing.
In the above image, the manatee appears to be smiling. The below image is of a manatee that was watching me as I was taking photographs of it and the others.
The following images were taken as I left Carrabelle and headed to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. A weather front was moving east and the sun was lighting up the salt marsh.
I spent the day at St. Marks photographing birds and the landscape, which I will post in my next blog article.