Turning into TRC's gate, we came upon this:
We stared at each other in stunned silence. It seemed like a cross between a monkey, a squirrel, and a kangaroo. Perhaps it was the skunk ape we knew was there but could never find. It didn't move one whisker. After a lengthy discussion, we decided our friend Ron put a toy on the post as a joke.
And then it scampered off.
Not like a City squirrel "oh my gosh - oh my gosh - oh my gosh - I gotta get outta here". Nope. He was just on his way down the hill to check on a horse.
At first we were sure we discovered a new species, but no, it's a Fox Squirrel. Just something City folk have never seen. Fox Squirrels can get up to 3 pounds and I'm thinking this guy has been eating a lot of chunky monkey. I hope he decides to stick around for a while.
We set up camp, and decided to take the Polaris for a drive around the Preserve just before sunset.
It's hard to tell, but that's an alligator in the lower right of the picture.
I don't know what happened, but he wasn't alive.
It was overcast, but cool and beautiful.
As we drove around, the we noticed pockets of very pronounced smells. We've never noticed this during our daily drives, but that evening you could smell night blooming jasmine, animals, a musky smell, a swampy smell.
Then we went back to start the fire and eat some hot dogs.
I made a double wiener stick.
Retro Man made fun of me all night for doing a selfie, but I wanted to show the super cool sweatshirt I bought at the dollar store. It's the best 15 dollars I ever spent. The weather was beautiful when we left the City, but I forgot to bring a jacket. Nights can get really cool at Tree Ring.
Shocking isn't it? I've always been afraid of hunters not seeing me, but I don't think I have anything to worry about any more.
That night as we sat by the fire, the sound coming from the front of the property was louder than a Bucs game. It seemed as though every animal and insect was partying at the dry pond. Frogs croaking, birds screeching, animals grunting, cicadas humming and cicada killers buzzing. Chuck Wills widow was singing.
All in all a wonderful day. I'll post Day 2 later this week.