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Squadron of Spotted Eagle Rays

I had many fantastic wildlife encounters during my July 2018 trip to Key Largo, Florida. One of the best was the squadron of Spotted Eagle Rays that our diving group encountered near Permit Ledge on Molasses Reef.

Previous to this I had seen groups of 3 or 4 together but this was by far the largest squadron I have ever seen.

The Florida Museum of Natural History tells us,

"The spotted eagle ray is commonly observed in bays and over coral reefs as well as the occasional foray into estuarine habitats. Although it occurs in inshore waters to depths of approximately 200 feet (60 m), the spotted eagle ray spends most of its time swimming in schools in open water. In open waters, spotted eagle rays often form large schools and swim close to the surface."

The Florida Museum of Natural History website article (quoted above) about the Spotted Eagle Ray is one of the better sources of information that I have found. Read the full Blog article with video.

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Franconia Ridge in Franconia, NH

View of Franconia Ridge from Lonesome Lake

Hiking to AMC Lonesome Lake Hut

On February 23, 2019 I joined a meetup.com group to take my first hike to the AMC Lonesome Lake hut in Franconia Notch, Franconia, NH. Although the trail was only 1.6 miles from Lafayette Place Campground, it was a steep stair climber hike! Even though it was challenging climb, the view of Franconia Ridge was well worth it.

The Lonesome Lake Hut was a fantastic place to rest and relax. Hikers and overnight guests can buy a hot drink and snacks. The wood stove, the small book shelf filled with books and board games made the hut an awesome place to relax, unwind and warm up.

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