Emerson Point Preserve is located in Manatee County at 5801 17th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221. It's on the Florida Birding Trail and has lots of various types of Florida natural environments. Jimbo and I took a drive down to the 'point' and walked along the nature trail that is along the shore and has lots of mangrove trees.
The preserve is dog friendly, just keep them on a leash and let your dog enjoy the natural Florida. It's mid morning, and already very hot here, so having a shady trail to walk along was nice. This was the first bird we countered on our walk, looks like it's in the heron family, but not one that I am positive of its identification - perhaps a young yellow crowned night heron? Any of you birders know?
The mangrove trees are along the shoreline here. I used Topaz Impression to give a slight painterly look to the tree and water.
The roots of mangrove trees are full of interesting textures, but not much color. As the sun was getting higher, the light was not great for photography anymore although Jimbo was enjoying the walk along the shore.
As we headed out the long two lane road to leave the preserve, I spotted this bird hiding in the mangroves. This particular photograph was taken from the vehicle and looks like a young yellow crown heron (goggle confirms it).
There are a lot of different areas within the preserve to visit as well as various trails through out the preserve. Bugs weren't bad considering it's the middle of summer - great place to hang out along the water if you're looking for a less crowded place to enjoy.