Nature Walks – Bulow Woods Trail: After the Storm
After getting my hair trimmed, I thought I would pop down to Bulow Plantation Site State Park… but the park was closed (T / W) so I decided to take a walk on the Bulow Woods Trail. I first walked through this forest in September. The woods were greatly affected by Hurricane Matthew, but the trail is “open”.
The first part of the trail from the parking area was in pretty good shape; you would hardly notice any disturbance from the storm. After about one mile, the trail got a bit rougher, barely a cat (caterpillar tractor) trail, with piles of fallen trees, branches and brush strewn off to the side. There were some big trees down, especially oaks, but not all. There will be more light into the under-story of the forest for a while as the younger trees grown into the spaces made available by the fall of giants.
The larger trees here are enormous hardwoods, pines and tall limber Sabal Palm, otherwise known as Cabbage Palm. I took some photographs to illustrate the piles of fallen trees and just how big some of them were. One tree that I measured was over three feet in diameter.
The further I went, the more difficult the trail became. I had already taken a walk that morning, so decided just to go the first 1.5 miles in and out, feeling that was enough. The weather was very pleasant, in the mid-70’s F, with gentle breezes stirring the canopy above my head… in places some 80 to 100 feet. Occasionally, I saw where a smaller tree was still being propped up despite being partially uprooted during the storm, leaning against a large neighbor. The sheer amount of suspended lumber was daunting. Not a place to hang out in a windstorm.
There were no wildlife sightings, just one or two crashing noises as a startled animal fled deeper into cover. Few birds were singing and I saw no squirrels… rather unusual since there was plenty of food available, especially the large hickory nuts on the forest duff.
Flagler County does have a super abundance of trails and outdoor activity opportunities. It was a good place for me to land in considering I didn’t know anything about Florida just months ago.
I realize these little reports have nothing to do with metaphysics and world events, but they are a record of my experiences here. I’ve been doing trip reports now for years, starting from my days as a trip leader and participant in Seattle Mountaineer activities in the Cascades and Olympics of Washington State. Like I have said before, Nature is my church. I go there for the exercise, to explore and to feel the peace and oneness that envelopes one as you walk through a natural setting without a crowd of people, cars or noise. It is wonderful that there are still places like this within an hour drive of busy Orlando, Florida.
Blessings to all,
All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com
Photo Credits: Bulow Woods State Park, post- Hurricane Matthew, 2016