Nature Walks: John Prince Park and Loxahatchee Nat’l Wildlife Preserve
A little study of maps and internet serves up information on local parks. I visited a new one, for me, today — John Prince Memorial Park — located in the west part of Lake Worth, Florida. The large park is located on Lake Osborne, a large lake with many fingers. As with any body of water in Florida, it is the home of alligators, turtles and fish, with birds and squirrels to be found in the surrounding marshes, shoreline and lawns.
The park has several facilities, including various picnic areas, very long walking / biking trails, an exercise area, fishing docks and children’s playgrounds. There is even a large camping area associated with this park, which I find a bit unusual.
I parked near one of the pavilions and started walking, observing the wildlife and taking photos. As I neared the 6th Avenue Bridge, I was surprised to see that the lake continued well beyond. I knew that I couldn’t walk the entire length, but any good bike rider would be pleased with the level, paved trails. I didn’t see any boat ramps, but there was one boat on the lake, plus an air boat, a conveyance unique to Florida… and very noisy.
I saw a baby turtle, several birds, some iguanas, squirrels… and a Blue Jay. It was a very pretty bird. Another lady on the trail had seen a large alligator in the water. The numerous lakes and ponds in Florida are not good for swimming as you never know what might be lurking in the dark waters, such as snakes and gators. Small children and dogs should be kept under control while walking near the water.
On Wednesday, I visited Loxahatchee, which has become a favorite walking area. I saw several young alligators and spoke briefly with some Rangers who were prepping for an onslaught of children. The kids were going to plant some trees. I didn’t ask what kind, but probably the lovely and long-lived Bald Cypress. The preserve has been attempting to get the cypress forest started again after years of draining and clearing the swamps and marshes (by others before the preserve was opened). The bald cypress are capable of living in marshy conditions and provide good cover for many other plants and animals.
I must say ever since the first time at the Preserve, there hasn’t been as many birds to see up close, but it could be that the days are getting longer and most of the birds have gone elsewhere to feed by the time I arrive. I also wait until the same flood of commute traffic is over as I need to go on Boynton Blvd. to access the Preserve, which is located off of SR 441, near the Florida Turnpike. Technicalities!
Hope you enjoy an assortment of photos from these two interesting places:
Enjoy your upcoming weekend!
All Rights Reserved 2017, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com