Silver Springs State Park

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer Silver Springs State Park We took a day trip to the Ocala area to visit Silver Springs State Park. I had been looking at the State Parks web site and in particular Silver Springs. The springs actually refer to a group of artesian springs and a historic tourist attraction. In the early to mid 1800’s it began attracting visitors from across the United States. In the mid 1870’s glass bottom boat tours began. In the 1920s, W. Carl Ray and W.M. “Shorty” Davidson, after leasing the land from Ed Carmichael (upon whose death the springs were left to the University of Florida), developed the land around the headwaters of the Silver River into an …

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer Merritt National Wildlife Refuge Merritt Island National  Wildlife Refuge is a bit of a long drive from Orlando but well worth the effort.  The wildlife refuge is situated within view of Kennedy Space Center.  The vehicle assembly buildings are clearly visible from various points in the refuge.  We drove through the refuge to the areas we were most interested in.  The refuge is quite large (218 mi2 ), but has roadways to allow vehicular traffic to areas of interest to visitors.  There is a $5.00 per vehicle entrance fee for entry into the Black Point Wildlife Drive.   Black Point Wildlife Drive The refuge is teaming with wildlife.  We saw almost every species of water …

Hillsborough River State Park

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer Hillsborough River State Park We entered the park through the Main Entrance and proceeded to Parking 2, which is the River Rapids trail head.  We were not disappointed with the trail.  Almost immediately after we entered we heard a pileated woodpecker and got a quick glimpse of it.  They are very large woodpeckers, with a red crest on their head and black and white stripes on their face.  A bit further in and we approached the river.  The Hillsborough River is not very deep, but is very picturesque.  The park has done an excellent job of making the river accessible as well.  As we continued our hike we came upon the first set of …

A Day In The Scrub

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer I’ve been photographing scrub-jays now for a few months.  I’ve read many things about the birds and talked with a few people that either manage the areas populated by the birds or research the birds.  I’ve read and heard the birds referred to as boisterous.  I would wholeheartedly agree, they definitely make themselves known.  I’ve also read and heard people refer to the birds as curious.  Again I agree, they are very inquisitive creatures from my experience so far.  I’ve read and heard friendly…  This is where opinions differ.  I agree that in environments where the birds are very consistently exposed to people and the habitat is well managed the birds do seem to …

Polk County Environmental Lands Photo Contest 2015

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer In early March I entered a photography contest hosted by the Polk County Environmental Lands Program.  The photographs had to be taken on property managed by the program and be in any of 10 categories.  Today we went out to the Discovery Center at Circle B Bar Reserve to attend the award ceromony for the contest.  Three of my photographs were selected as runner ups for the contest out of 506 photographs submitted to the contest.   The winning photographs and the runner up photographs were on display in the Discovery center.  I must say that there are quite a few very talented photographers taking photographs at Circle B Bar Reserve.  I myself was …

Catfish Creek Preserve State Park

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer As we continue to work on our Florida Scrub Jay project we ventured out in the early morning to Allen David Boussard Catfish Creek Preserve State park. This park has some rugged trails that are mostly soft white sand. The trails are a bit hard to walk and balance in (think of white powdery beach sand). The trails are also a bit hilly. We observed two hairy woodpeckers in the area. I photographed them as they pecked away looking for breakfast. Down the hill from us there were a few more standing dead trees. I walked down the hill and threre were more woodpeckers. This time red-bellied and hairy woodpeckers. I thought it was …

Lake Marion Creek WMA

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer We are extremely excited to have had the opportunity to photograph not just one but three Florida Scrub Jays. We began our morning heading out to Lake Marion Creek WMA, which is close to where we live. Little did we know when we left home that we would have this opportunity. We arrive at Lake Marion Creek WMA just after sunrise and I captured a couple of nice landscapes with the sun rising and a heavy dense fog. As we began our trek through the Wildlife Management Area we noticed there was quite a bit of bird activity. We stopped by a large longleaf pine and watched and photographed several warblers and two blue …

Disney Wilderness Preserve

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer In the early 1990’s the Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney World) purchased a 8,500 acre area of land in Poinciana, FL that was slated to be developed. The tract of land was once a large cattle ranch situated at the head of the Greater Everglades Watershed. Because the ranch cut most of the trees and vegetation the wetlands were in a very degraded state. Disney transferred the property to The Nature Conservancy to mitigate the destruction of the wetlands which are home to a considerable number of endangered plants and animal species. In the mid 1990’s an additional 3,000 acres was added by the Orlando Aviation Authority bringing the Preserve to 11,500 acres. The …

Florida Everglades National Park

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer We were very excited to go to the Everglades and experience native Florida as it was before southern Florida was inhabited by humans. We entered the park through the Earnest F. Coe entrance near Homestead Florida. Our first trail was the Anhinga Trail located near the Royal Palm Visitor Center. Anhinga Trail As soon as we parked we noticed a huge number of black vultures in the parking lot. Another visitor pointed out the box in front of the visitor center containing tarps the National Park Service provides to cover your vehicle with. Covering your vehicle is a really good idea. If you don’t (like the people who owned the vehicle in the photo …

Circle B Bar Reserve

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Mark Kosinski Landscape and Nature Photographer For the nature lovers, bird watchers or conservationist Circle B Bar Reserve is a perfect destination. Located in Polk County in Lakeland, Florida. This preserve offers something for everyone. The name is established from a ranch that occupied the 1,267 acres and has been part of a restoration project to return the property to restore much of the original hydrologic function of the lands. The preserve offers one of the most impressive bird populations that I have encountered here in central Florida. Among them are the Osprey, American Bald eagle, a large variety of wading birds and the endangered wood stork. Fresh water marshes, Oak hammocks and hardwood swamp are all habitats nestled on …