(Update-2014: Updated the gallery with around 50 new photos from my recent trip.) Located about 45 minutes west of Vero Beach, Florida, and in the Blue Cypress Preserve, is a unique lake called Blue Cypress. (27°44'25" N 80°46'23" W)
It is unique in that along the west shore is a stand of beautiful Blue Cypress trees that stretch out into the water, creating a very surreal scene. Nesting among the branches of these beautiful trees are a couple of hundred pairs of ospreys, one of my favorite raptors.
We have been there to photograph the Ospreys a couple of times. Both times we stayed near Vero Beach and rented a pontoon boat from Middleton's Fish Camp. When you drive into the Middleton complex you step back into old Florida. There are cabins on docks in the water and a few folks with more permanent mobile homes on the property.
It is not a place to find the birds fishing as they do that in a pond away from the lake. But you can find them flying with fish, feeding their chicks and otherwise looking cool.
After Istanbul, the group flew to Cappadocia.
According to Wikipedia: The name was traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. The term, as used in tourism, roughly corresponds to present-day Nevşehir Province. In pre-Hellenistic times, Persians,Hittites Assyrians and Greeks all lived in Cappodocia. All of these groups were Hellenised in the era of the Greek city-states. During the Middle Ages, after the settlement of Armenians in the Cappadocian theme during the Byzantine era, numerous Turkish tribes invaded the region, which was subsequently settled by them. Since 1915-1922 Turkish people constitute the vast majority of the population of this region.
Cappadocia lies in eastern Anatolia, in the center of what is now Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks, with Mount Erciyes (ancient Argaeus) nearKayseri (ancient Caesarea) being the tallest at 3916 m. The boundaries of historical Cappadocia are vague, particularly towards the west. To the south, the Taurus Mountains form the boundary with Cilicia and separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, Cappadocia is bounded by the historical regions of Lycaonia to the southwest, and Galatia to the northwest. The Black Sea coastal ranges separate Cappadocia from Pontus and the Black Sea, while to the east Cappadocia is bounded by the upper Euphrates, before that river bends to the southeast to flow into Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Highland. This results in an area approximately 400 km (250 mi) east–west and 250 km (160 mi) north–south. Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters.