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Winter Wanderings Day #22-23, Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola, FL

Monday and Tuesday were dreamy at Big Lagoon. It was low 70’s, both days and we were in shorts. Yes, shorts! It was the first time on our Winter Wanderings this year, that I was able to don shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Oh, happy day!

Monday, it was sunny and bright, but not hot. Perfection! We hiked to the Governor’s Pavilion and scenic overlook on Big Lagoon. We had a nice picnic in the Pavilion, then, as we were about to leave, we noticed some picnic tables, past the playground, through the woods, so decided to check it out. Boy, were we glad, we did. We stumbled upon West Beach on the Lagoon. There was a great sandy grass area, right before the beach, that was perfect for Nigel to play ball. For Pippa, there was a tree with brush all around the base, that she stayed hidden in, blissfully, hunting the entire time, Nigel was fetching. Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

As we were leaving to head back to the van, I noticed a blue heron standing near the parking lot. Wiley stayed back with the dogs. As I got closer, it did not fly off, which I had never experienced with a heron. I thought maybe he was sick or hurt. I walked slowly and respectfully, closer to him, so I could take some pictures, expecting him to fly off at any moment. I was thrilled when he did not. I got plenty of pictures. Turned out, he was quite the poser. It was such a cool experience.

We returned, Tuesday at lunch to West Beach, to have a picnic and play. It was overcast, but felt great at 72 and breezy, ideal weather, in my opinion. As we walked towards the beach, our heron friend was there. Again, he did not fly away, but instead came closer, even with Nigel running and fetching, not far from him. It was crazy! My guess is he hangs out at he picnic area, and is tame, because people feed him. I dubbed him the park mascot. Nigel paused from his game a couple of times and walked towards the bird curiously. The bird did not budge. It was such a cool inter species interaction, but I missed getting the picture, because I was eating an orange, both times, and had to wipe off my hands…Shucks!

Both Monday and Tuesday evenings we took walks on the Estuary Trail. Monday was clear so, we took in the beautiful golden hour views of Long Pond, Salt Marsh, and Grand Lagoon, followed by a gorgeous sunset, reflecting on the water of Long Pond. Tuesday evening was overcast, but instead of the sunset, we were treated to many turtle heads popped up all along the water’s surface, greeting us. It was too cute!

I am just in awe of the natural treasure the park was. It far exceeded my expectations. We wanted to stay. Sad, we would have to leave the following day, due to meetings in Greenville, the coming week. It was time to head north. Can not wait to return to Big Lagoon. It was a marvelous few days.

Had to share some scenes from the van, because, well, puppies!

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