Nature Walks – Bulow Woods
It was an overcast but pleasant day to take a walk so I headed to nearby Bulow Woods. I hadn’t visited the mid-section of Bulow Woods Trail since before the hurricane. Parking at the trail head located on Walter Boardman Lane, I headed north towards Boardman Pond and Cisco Ditch. If you will recall (or not) I did the northern most section of the trail a couple of weeks ago.
The forest was quiet and bird sightings scarce at the pond, so I headed towards the ditch (an old man-made canal) to stretch my legs. I was there quite fast; the road trail was nicely cleared of all storm debris and in good shape. Cisco Ditch is one of hundreds if not thousands of canals that were used to drain portions of the ancient marshlands to allow for planting and later, building. If you look closely at an aerial maps of portions of Florida, you will see these canals pretty much everywhere. Although man-made, Cisco Ditch looks more like an unnaturally straight creek, complete with some tiny rapids and vegetation growing along its slopes. The water is clear unlike the tea-colored local creeks and has a white sand bottom.
Turning around, I headed south along the trail back to the car and when I got there decided to go further towards Cedar Creek and the red trail loop to the Crabbing Hole. When I arrived at Cedar Creek, I found a brand new bridge crossing it… some of the storm clean-up funds apparently being used to rebuild the dangerously rotten old bridge. The new bridge is sturdy enough for the rangers ATVs to go across the creek safely.
In the Cedar Creek Marsh I saw a large white egret and a Blue Heron, both standing like statues waiting for their lunch to swim by. The marshes provide good fishing grounds for these wading birds as many young fish can be seen in their dark waters, as well as adult mullets splashing occasionally.
I turned back to the road / trail and found the beginning of the red trail, which makes a lazy loop through the oak hammock that exists between the two creeks, Bulow and Cedar. The loop ends at the crabbing hole, which is also the end of the sandy road (vehicles allowed on this part of the trail). Along a curve in the trail, I startled an armadillo who promptly plunged into some shrubbery to hide. Apparently, they are not totally nocturnal as this is the third armadillo that I’ve seen out in broad daylight. Later, I saw and heard a kingfisher busily flouncing through the shrubs. I worked my way out to the point that sticks out into the marsh from which you can get a good view of the marsh. Turning back, I saw a white pelican land in the nearby water. I crept forward hoping to get a shot, but the great bird startled and flew off. Also, at some point on the trail, I heard, not saw, a flock of robins. I had seen robins at Ravine Gardens State Park and later at Washington Oaks Gardens. They’re back from wherever they winter… at least to Florida.
So… it was a pleasant forest hike with a few wildlife sightings of note… and oh, yes, a small woodpecker looking for a rotten oak to drill holes into. Then it was back to the car and a drive homeward.
Today the energies of the full moon are being felt. It’s always a good thing to get some Nature in when the emotional energies are running high, like I did today with my little walk through Bulow Woods.
Many blessings to all,
All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com