Friday, March 30, 2018

Photo Essay: Circle B Bar Reserve Feels Like Cheating

I’m not much of a wildlife photographer. I like doing it, but it isn’t something I’ve studied much, or even have the right gear for it. Still, this doesn’t keep me from traipsing around in the woods every chance I get to try to shoot some creatures (though mostly I settle for trees, mushrooms, and wildflowers).

Like a lot of people, I first heard of Circle B Bar Reserve through that video of the giant gator that went viral a few years ago. You know, this one. Excited by the prospect of getting an up-close view of a gator the size of an SUV, I went out there to explore. Circle B Bar is just South of Lakeland, and it isn’t a bad drive from Tampa (I-4 is always miserable but stopping Plant City for strawberry milkshakes or tacos makes it a lot better).

As I said, I’m not much of a wildlife photographer, but at Circle B Bar, I didn’t have to be. Every turn brings wading birds, gators, tortoises, snakes, armadillos, wild pigs, and more. It’s too easy, it feels like cheating. The place won't turn you into a great wildlife photographer, but it's a great place to walk around and pretend to be one for a while.



(A hole full of sleeping baby wild pigs, mom was rooting around nearby.)



(A Great Blue Heron eating a large Salamander.)



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