Animals,  Birds,  COVID 19,  Family,  photography,  Travel

Lake Woodruff – Florida Nature at It’s Best

Every year around the holidays or school vacation, my family would head south to Florida to get out of the snow and spend time with my father and wife, Nancy. This year was an exception because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, I get the call that no one likes to get; a family member is in the hospital. In this case, it was my dad, after suffering from a major stroke. 

My oldest daughter, Chelsea, and I made the trip to Florida, and we were able to spend some time with dad before he passed after a second major stroke. 

When I got my first digital DSLR and jumped back into photography, my dad also picked up a new camera and would dabble in photo taking. On a few occasions, we would go out together. One spot we liked was Lake Woodruff.

Left, dad and I having fun in an antique shop. Above, checking out Bellows Falls, VT.

Visiting Lake Woodruff helped me through this difficult time. Here is a collection of images taken over the last six years. In this collection, there are over twenty different animal and bird species and some beautiful sunsets. I dedicate this blog post to my dad.

Lake Woodruff Armadillo 2
I love watching these guys digging up their lunch.

Over a period of six years, I took close to 3000 images. I have compiled 100 images of the best shots. They include the following Florida critters: Great Blue HeronsGreen HeronsLittle Blue HeronsBald EaglesGreat EgretsSandhill CranesAnhingasWhite IbisLimpkinsGracklesMarsh RabbitsAlligators, ArmadillosRaccoonsMoorheadsPie-Billed GrebesAmerican CootsTurkey VulturesBlack VulturesRed-Shouldered HawksCormorantsOtters, and of course humans.

 The complete collection of images can be seen here.

Lake Woodruff Black Vultures 2
Usually, the first thing you see when you arrive are Black Vultures. These birds are everywhere, easy to get close to and interact like Crows.
If you are lucky, you might see one of the many Otters.
In the late afternoon, Marsh Rabbits are feeding along the banks of the dikes.

The 1066 acres that make-up Lake Woodruff Wilderness is part of the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, which comprises more than 22,000 acres. Activities include hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and hunting with the proper permits. With over fifteen miles of trails, most of the hiking is on top of man-made dikes surrounding large pools. The wide-open flat walking surface makes it easy to view plants and wildlife.

Lake Woodruff Map
Map Courtesy of

There have been 215 species of birds, 22 species of amphibians, and 50 species of reptiles cataloged in the refuge. So, these photos are only seeing a small portion of the animals and birds that could be seen there.

Lake Woodrudd Green Heron
A Green Heron waiting for lunch.
Lake Woodruff Raccoon
A Raccoon headed back to it's nest in a Sabel Palm.
Lake Woodruff Anhinga
An Anhinga drying it's wings.
A Red Shouldered Hawk.
A Turkey Vulture.
Lake Woodruff Blue Heron 1
A Great Blue Heron flyby.
Lake Woodruff Great Egrets
A Great Egret fishing.
A stare down with a Sandhill Crane.
Look at those teeth.
Lake Woodruff Grebe
A Pie-Billed Grebe.

Some Beautiful Lake Woodruff Sunsets

The complete collection of images can be found here.


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