Friday, March 9, 2012

New Park, New Sights, WOW!

We traveled about 200 miles today from the Midway Campground in Big Cypress Preserve to Port St. Lucie. We got two free nights' stay at St. Lucie West, a motorcoach only park, from a coupon picked up at the Tampa RV show in January. Normal rate is about 66.00 a night--ouch! BUT--we are staying two free nights plus one additional night out of our pocket, so our stay outside the Thousand Trails system is costing us 22.00 a night at Port St. Lucie, under budget for us. Coming out of Midway at 10.00 a night, we don't mind paying a little extra for one night at an absolutely beautiful resort....

This motorhome only resort has THREE swimming pools, pickleball courts, tennis, a 14 hole par 3 golf course, 401 spacious RV lots, cable TV, and fast internet with our mi-fi card or free wi-fi at the clubhouse. It must be 4G here, our phones are full bars, and everything is lightning fast! Plenty of road to bike on, there are outside the park bike trails, the St. Lucie River is nearby for kayaking, and the Atlantic Ocean not too far from that. But we have yet to find it! (We've only been here for a few hours, Sparky! reminds E.) Right! More about the park tomorrow.....We just started exploring it....

While pulling in here today, Sparky saw two adult cranes with two babies on the golf course!

Just as soon as we got settled, Sparky was off to photograph the beautiful cranes and their beautiful little babies. The same pair returns to nest every year and raise a couple of babies. These babies had just hatched in the last day or so, as their little legs could barely hold them up. One of the little babies was a little newer, or a little more frail, he kept plopping down on the grass and resting.
Aren't they cute?
They patiently sat and waited for mom to help them get their food.....
Even though they were just a few days old at most, they were already preening.
At one point, the stronger little bird of the two got tired of waiting for mom to help him eat, so he walked off towards his dad.
It was fun watching them try out their wings and their little spindly legs. They would stretch a leg and kick it out back. They would flutter their little wings, like, "o-o-o-oh, what are these things?"
"Look ma, no hands!"
Trying them again and again.......
The little baby on the left hardly got anything from the mother. And he was the most tired, walking a little bit, then plopping down. The other one was a real go getter, following mom and dad everywhere. Kinda like kids, I guess..Sometimes one is more on the active side, the other one quiet and contemplative. But it still worried Sparky to see the more active one get most of the bugs. Mom wasn't feeding them evenly from what she saw...But that's nature at work. Maybe the other little baby got his share earlier.

At this young age, they already have the "pose".....
The babies made motions like they were digging for grubs, but it seemed that the mom was feeding them for the most part. She would dig like a jackhammer into the mulch and the grass, get some bugs, then feed them to the babies. Here she has a bug for one of the little babies, and he eats it.

Sparky could have watched these beautiful birds and their cute little babies all afternoon, but she would have had to follow them all over the park. Fifty photos was probably enough for one day! (Ya think??) Eldo just smiles...he knows Sparky LOVES to take nature photos...... We'll see what tomorrow brings....Sparky might look for the little cranes again to see how the weaker one is doing.....Stay tuned!


  1. Love those cranes. The babies are adorable!Pretty protective parents! ~wheresweaver

  2. Great photos of the little ones!! Nature is Amazing!!!!

  3. Lovely cranes. First time seeing the chicks ... I would have been sitting with them all day. I wonder if cranes are like penguins, feeding the chick that is more likely to survive to increase its chances to do just that. The penguin chicks we saw in the Antarctic had to run after the parent to be fed, and whichever was more aggressive got the lion's share of the food.

  4. cute. That Mama better start feeding that other baby, or you'll just have to help out.

    Looks like a real nice resort. Glad you're managing your 7 days out so well. The Thousand Trails membership can sure cut down your expenses if you use it right.

    The one in Peace River is real nice too...and on a nice river for kayaking. Just note, there are TWO Peace River CG's and only one is TT

  5. Wow two free nights!! I was at the Tampa Show and didn't see that one. DARN!

    Darling pictures. Amazing that the cranes people go all over to see are just hanging out raising chicks at an RV park. Sure hope mom doesn't continue to ignore that little one. Don't tell me if something bad happens. OK?

  6. Those cranes are Florida Sandhill Cranes, and like the Mississippi cranes, they do not migrate. They have adjusted to mankind better than the Mississippi s, so are not endangered.

    How nice that you got to watch the young ones. :)

  7. Judy has spoken my thoughts exactly. Adorable babies, I would have sat there all day too. Thanks for posting.