Nature Walks – Graham Swamp
One thing that Florida has in abundance besides oranges and sunshine is swamps. Today I visited one of the nearby remaining swamps, Graham Swamp, which sits between Palm Coast Parkway and Moody Blvd. (SR 100).
I started at the northernmost trail head, 1.25 miles south of Palm Coast Pkwy, on the left. The actual trail is a coquina and boardwalk trail, but I found myself drawn to some more casual trails encircling some nearby ponds that led me deeper into the swamp itself. The interior, at least the part that I reached on my little adventure, is piney – oak and hardwood woods, filled with a variety of vegetation. The trails, such as they were, were grassy, sandy and matted with layers of forest duff. I was completely alone, although not far from “civilization” as road noise from busy Old King’s Hwy. managed to filtrate through the forest cover.
After exploring three ponds, I wound my way back to the “real” trail and followed it for a ways, traveling in a northerly direction, paralleling Old King’s Road. I decided that I had enough of the boringly wide coquina trail and headed back to the car. Coquina is a locally available building material consisting of crushed shells that is brownish orange in coloration. It is used in landscaping and was used to build houses and other edifices in old Florida. It is a durable soft limestone.
Next I drove to the other Graham Swamp Preserve Trailhead, off of Colbert Lane. This is a 2.2 mile trail, moderate in difficulty, with some mild ups and downs over roots, ancient middens and the occasional fallen pine. The trail parallels Colbert Lane, winding gently up and down the ancient sandy dunes. There is also a very challenging cross-country bicycle trail, 4.7 miles in length that winds up and down parallel to the walking trail. On Colbert Lane, bike trails connect up with the Lehigh Trail and other trails leading to Flagler Beach and parts of the City of Palm Coast.
The day was getting hot and I was getting faint in the humid heat, so I finished only a portion of the more rugged trail today, but will go back when the weather gets a little cooler… in a couple of weeks. I had one wildlife sighting today: a racoon that scrambled up a large oak tree and out of sight of my photo lens.
Here are some more photos taken on today’s walks…
The last photo is of Beauty Bush, a beautiful native plant.
It’s another scorcher today, with temperatures reaching into the mid-90’s and high humidity. Best to stay cool and continue reading “Ascension Mysteries” by David Wilcox… I’m reviewing it pre-publishing! Stay tuned for my written review.
Love and blessings to all,
All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com