Nature Walks – Turtles, Birds & Gators, oh my!
Continuing with my tours of the local Everglades… or what passes as Everglades around here after the destructive reconstruction projects of the 20th century, I took another walk at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve, located in Palm Beach County, Florida. Yesterday I didn’t go out due to a wave of heavy thunderstorms that roared through on their way to the sea.
As a result of the heavy rains, I quickly noticed that the water level in the canals and fields of the preserve were much higher. The water level in the main canal at the south end of the preserve was so high that the canal looked like it had doubled in size.
Each time I go to this preserve the type of animals I am able to observe differs so much. For some reason, it appeared to be a turtle day. I was seeing turtles every where or the splash and resulting rings as they disappeared under the coffee-colored waters. And then there was that gator that flipped into the water just as I detected his presence lounging there in the weeds at the water’s edge. Startled me for sure! It’s good to keep a wary eye out for the beasties, although they probably come out of the water mostly at night.
There were the usual suspects of wading birds… Great Blue Herons, Great White Egrets, Limpkins, some of the smaller herons (Tri-colored, Green) as well as lots of egrets flying overhead. I probably startled a few herons and egrets out of the reeds, but certainly not on purpose. They’re beautiful birds.
Another thing that struck me today was the amount of flowers in the marsh… beautiful white, pink and yellow… even lavender flowers. It’s a lovely spring time even in this very damaged place. And there were sightings of growing duck and marsh hen families… and even a turtle family.
While the temperature was hot and the flies biting, it was still a nice outing. I always enjoy being with the birds and open skies.
For those in the U.S. of A. enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and drive safely if headed out on a bit of holiday.
Blessings to all,
All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com