It's funny when I tell people that I work as a park ranger. I guess they don't think I look the type. They have asked if I am everything from a doctor, lawyer, or someone else paid more than 20k a year. Someone even once asked if I was a Hillis Hiya--that made me snort coffee out my nose!
This weekend in the park was pretty busy. Most of the people in the campground were scouting groups, girl scouts and boy scouts. That is because the first weekend in December is usually when they have the opportunity to camp, the other weekends of the month taken up with winter break, family Christmas vacations, or fund-raisers like selling Christmas trees.
I was making the rounds Saturday night, and found a group of the teen scouts, boys and girls, huddled together in a mass in a dark corner of the campground. It was quiet time and I sent them back to their camps. I probably spoiled their date!
There have been a lot of wildlife sightings. A bald eagle was seen by some of the rangers, and I heard it squawking across the road for two different nights when I was taking down the flags.
There were a number of manatees seen in the boat basin. Ranger Henry went down the river and filmed dolphins chasing after fish in Palm Bay.
And the panthers have been seen around the park. Henry saw one of the panthers, probably the mother, near the Walking Dredge. A hiker saw a juvenile panther on the hiking/biking trail, just a couple hundred yards from the entrance. And one of the kids with the scouts saw a large furry animal run past him Friday night near the boat basin--probably also a panther from his description.
And I have a few spectacular snail photos. These liguus snails are of the Brickell Hammock variety, proving that the snails in our hammock have been planted. So I have a pretty diverse group of snails to look at.