Nature Walks: Princess Place Preserve

dscn1112-2  Nature Walks: Princess Place Preserve

Otters and osprey, oh my!  It’s now a week after Hurricane Hermine went through the Florida Panhandle and the weather has finally cleared up, leaving bright blue skies and no clouds (not even chemtrails!).  I thought I would let the trails dry out a little after all the stormy weather and was gifted to a beautiful day for a late summer walk.

Princess Place Preserve is a Flagler County Park, located at the confluence of Pellicer Creek and the Matzanas River (or Intercoastal Waterway).  It is an area of beautiful pine, oak and hardwood forests, sandy hammock, large grassy meadows and well-preserved older buildings from the original estate.

After recovering from a quaky stomach, nausea and headachy day previous, I decided to get some fresh air and took off on three different trails, Hominy, Creekview and Hardwood, for about 4.5 miles of walking.  The trails are sandy, grassy and paved in parts.  There were only a few people present, some walkers, a few campers and some fisher people.  I was presented with a sighting of two otters while crossing Stiles Creek and then saw some osprey near Pellicer Creek.

I’m gradually getting in shape for hiking which pleases me no end and spending a good half day in the woods and marshes was quite delightful.  Here’s some photos:







The otter is in the second picture cruising around a bend in Stiles Creek… looking like a brown log.  It did look at me briefly before swimming off.  There were a pair.  As you can see, it was low tide.  There are a lot of oyster beds in the marshes that get partially exposed at the lower tides.  When I walked around to the lodge, I could see Highway A1A across the Intercoastal.  Just brings home how narrow a strip the barrier islands are, with the ocean just out of sight behind the higher dunes.  Florida is SO different from Washington State, but I’m making the best of it, exploring the local area and slowly learning about some of the local flora and fauna.

I thought I would look up some animal totem meanings as the otters and ospreys were messengers for me today:

If Otter Has Swum Across Your Path

“It is time to allow yourself the freedom and pleasure of relaxing and letting go of all your daily concerns. The power of otter is in the knowing that you have to take care of yourself first in order to be of use to others. Go with the natural flow and ebbs and tides of your life and find joy and wonder in the small things that give you pleasure as an adult and that gave you pleasure as a child.

Alternatively otter may be reminding you that universal acceptance of “what is” in your life is the only way for you to move forward. This form of embracing the good with the bad and seeking out the joy of the moment will manifest a new freedom of love and acceptance. Honor the right of everything and everyone to be as they are. Simply allow things to unfold in your life.

If an Osprey Comes Swooping Into Your Life

Are you feeling a little out of your comfort zone? Has the changes in you and around you been a bit overwhelming of late? Osprey is here to let you know that you can put your head under the emotional water and still survive. Stop worrying what other people think, it’s only your ego that thinks they will notice anything in the first place.

Alternatively this bird of prey may be reminding you to respect other peoples boundaries and also make sure your own boundaries are clear enough so that others can respect you. This raptor is also connected to all aspects of Solar Worship and come into your life to emphasize the value and healing power of the sun. The Hawk is also a close relative of the this bird of prey and in this association shares the job of being a messenger. If this bird has flown into your life – stay alert because important information is pending.” (

Here’s another link for otter medicine:

Interesting link for Osprey:

Indigenous people living close to the earth always were aware of signs in their environment.  Animals and birds especially are often messengers of some sort.  The osprey was especially a messenger for me.  It got my attention by calling and when I looked up, the bird was looking right at me.  Beautiful creature and one of my favorite birds ever.  The otters are a playful creature and I was there enjoying the day with them.

Enjoy the rest of your week!


Eliza Ayres

All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres,

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