Sunday, January 01, 2012

Key Deer, Key West, and New Year

Big Pine Key – Sunshine Key Rv Resort

We’ve been busy and haven’t had much time to post the blog. 

On Friday, we took a drive down to the main island of Big Pine Key to try to find the famous Key Deer.

They are smaller than white tailed deer with an adult male weighing between 55 and 75 pounds and standing about 30 inches tall at the shoulders.  Of course the female (does) are smaller.

They are considered an endangered species and are very carefully protected here in the Keys.  They estimate there are about 600-800 deer.  They mainly reside on Big Pine Key and No Name key, but recently some have been moved to other islands because of their population is getting too large to be sustained on Big Pine Key.

key deer road sign

There are also signs everywhere telling you not to feed them.  Some people don’t listen.

boy illegally feeding key deer

As soon as we spotted the first few deer, we could tell they were used to being fed because they started coming to you if you got out of the car.  If you put your hand out, they really came close.

baby  Key Deer of Big Pine Key

These were two youngsters looking for a handout.  I resisted.  Smile

Key Deer of Big Pine Key

herd of Key Deer of Big Pine Key

baby Key Deer of Big Pine Key

We spotted this large iguana in the same area.  People really don’t like them because they eat the blooms off the flowers.


Although not originally in our plans we ended up driving all the way down to Key West, which is about 40 miles from our campground

Map picture

Key West is the southernmost portion of the United States and at the end of a string of islands.

Cuba is only 90 miles from Key West.

We had been to Key West before and knew what to expect.  Crowds, traffic, and narrow streets.  Nothing had changed.

key west sign

There is a lot of history there…Ernest Hemingway, Fort Zachary Taylor.  There are a lot of old houses and one day I really would like to come back and take one of the trollies or trains and go on the tour.

It was very crowded when we went partially do to the beautiful 80 degree temperatures and partly because a lot of people were out of school for the Christmas break.

old houses in key west

bouganvilla along road

narrow streets of key west

traffic of key west..conch train

We did make a short stop at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.  There was no campground there, but they had a beautiful beach (just too crowded).

fort zachary taylor sp

cannon at fort zachary taylor sp

There was a nice area for snorkeling.

snorkeling beach at fort zachary taylor sp

Lots of sea grass washed up on the beach.  You can’t stop nature.

crowded beach at fort zachary taylor sp

The park was really very nice.  There was a nice picnic area.

On the way back home, we found a great little hidden gem of a campground.  I’ll post some pictures later.  I just wanted to catch up the blog a little bit.

New Years Eve found us on a kayak trip at Bahia Honda State Park.  Afterwards, we came home, grilled some steaks and fresh Key West shrimp and called it a day.  No, we didn’t stay up long enough to see the New Year in!  We were up early (as usual) yesterday morning to watch the sunrise, and by 10 pm, we were pooped out.

It’s going to be pretty warm here today.  It’s already 76 degrees and it’s only 9am.  We are having a front move in next week bringing wind and cooler weather, so we’re going to have to play hard until then.




  1. Happy New Year Karen and Al!!..we hope that 2012 brings you safe travels, good health and lots of kayaking and snorkeling!!

  2. I like your photos of the deer. Glad you resisted feeding's really tempting but not good for them. Have a wonderful 2012.

  3. It is so much better for the deer not to feed them. Happy new year!

  4. Happy New Year Karen and Al!!! Wishing you wonderful memories and safe travels in 2012.

    Love those little deer.

  5. Happy New Year to both of you. I so love Key West and it's nice to see you there.

  6. Love the Keys and the deers...Wishing you a year that brings good friends,good health, good luck, good things & safe travels!
    Happy New Year

  7. My brother inherited a house on Big Pine Key so we have been there several times. A nice island.

  8. Great pictures! 76 degrees sounds pefect. Is your cold spell going to take you all the way down to 60? LOL!


  9. I love it when the deer come up close, they are so cute. Sounds like a nice, busy day! I stayed up past midnight, but I was in bed reading when I heard firecrackers and looked at my clock - 12:00. Otherwise I wouldn't have known.

    Happy 2012! :)

  10. Happy New Year to you, and enjoy that sunshine while you can! Sure looks like a popular place there in the Keys. Never been there, but we love following your adventures here on the blog. Thanks for sharing.


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