wetlands

Free Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Colt Creek State Park HDR February 2010

Free desktop calendar wallpaper for February 2010, Colt Creek State Park HDR

Jason Collin Photography is offering the image "Colt Creek State Park HDR" as a free* desktop wallpaper calendar. If you use it as your desktop wallpaper, please let me know in the comments.

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This image was made in September 2009 on a hot trek through little known Colt Creek State Park.  Many of the trails were flooded so the view in the photograph above is as close as I got to the forest on the horizon that day.  Someday I will return to the park and camp there to photograph the sunrise over the wetlands.  

* All desktop wallpapers are provided without any technical support.  All images are Copyright Jason Collin Photography, All Rights Reserved.  Removing the watermark by digital alteration or cropping is prohibited.  You are granted a single use, non-exclusive, perpetual license to install this wallpaper on any personal computer personally owned by you. This license grants you the right to use the wallpaper for non-commercial/personal use only. You may not re-sell, distribute, print or otherwise publish the image without the express written consent of the Copyright owner: Jason Collin Photography

Colt Creek State Park Landscapes & Wildlife

HDR of the expansive wetlands of Colt Creek State Park

I enjoy pulling up Google Maps and looking for new state parks that are manageable day trips from St. Petersburg.  Colt Creek State Park is a very new state park, I imagine the newest, as it just became public land in 2007.  I called a day before visiting to confirm that dogs were allowed on the hiking trails and got a prompt call back to my voicemail stating pets are ok.  Horseback riding is allowed in the park as well.

these riders kindly encouraged the birds into flight for me

The park's website mentioned that some hiking trails can easily get flooded.  This was the case as we visited the park at the height of the rainy season.  The horses pictured above seemed to enjoy traipsing through the foot deep water, but we were limited in which trails we could brave.  The horseback riders, as they circumnavigated the lake, spooked a flock of ibises from one end to the other.  I tried to get back in position to capture these mini-migrations.

a flock of mostly white ibises disturbed by horseback riders flew back and forth

Despite the strong Florida mid-day sunshine, I was pleased with the landscape shots I was able to make, both in high speed shots, like the flock of birds immediately above, and the HDR shots like the lead photo.  There are primitive campgrounds in this park that would make great staging areas for sunrise and sunset landscape photography.  Once the temperatures go down and the mosquitoes take the fall and winter off, we will return and camp so as to be able to photograph the full beauty this park has to offer.

Likewise for the wildlife.  Again, even in mid-day, there were plenty of white ibis wading and feeding, as well as some hiding out in the woods.

white ibis do not mind crooked perches apparently

Besides the flocks of white ibis, there were a few other stray birds I could not quite see well enough to identify.  While walking through a forest fire road, a good sized deer did not mind us interrupting her foraging for awhile.  I say for awhile because as soon as I snapped on the old 80-200mm lens, she pranced off into the dense wood.  Even though I did have my macro lens with me, I did not get around to photographing either of the two peculiar spider specimens we came across.  Lazy for a photographer, I know, but the heat!

I look forward to returning to this mostly unknown state park and seeing what it has to offer in cooler times.

only a small portion of the 12 miles of trails seemed to be dry