Nature Walk, 18 August 2017 – Summer Daze
The wetlands were relatively quiet today except for small groups of walkers chatting as they got in their daily exercise. With few tourists around now, there’s plenty of room for serious or not so serious walkers. And just a few elderly getting around slowly with stiff joints or simply while recuperating from knee surgeries.
The only birds who appear to be actively feeding their young are the cattle egrets who have moved to tree islands away from the boardwalk. I did hear the calls of an osprey couple who may be also raising some young, but didn’t spy out any nest in the thick strip of trees bordering the outer fringe of the wetlands. I did see one osprey adult take wing overhead, a beautiful sight.
This handsome fellow is a Tri-colored Heron (see above). Note the white belly.
These green iguanas seemed to be quite active munching on fallen leaves.
The wetlands are some of the few park-like settings in the nearby neighborhood that are not a half hour or more drive away. This area is quite built up and with all the gated neighborhoods, not very friendly to the passerby.
The ponds were mirror-like this morning in the growing heat of the day. No perceptible wind. Just an ever-changing carpet of clouds overhead.
The wetlands have these educational story boards spotted about to help visitors learn a bit more about the marsh land environment. The marshes are all man-made, used as a natural water filtration area by the local water department. Other nearby cities are also building their versions of this water filtration system so waters entering the Everglades, specifically the Loxahatchee, will be cleansed of all pollutants.
The elegant Great White Egret, which was nearly wiped out due to its feathers being used in fashion.
A lounging turtle hiding in the duck weed.
Another photographer kindly pointed out this juvenile Night Heron.
A basking turtle on its favorite perch, an old palm tree trunk.
In coming to these wetlands now for nearly four months, I’m becoming acquainted with some of the other visitors, frequent walkers and photographers, as well as the creatures who inhabit the marshes. It’s been quite an education and nice places to study at close hand some of the wild creatures of South Florida.
Most of the local beach parking requires payment of sometimes steep fees, unlike the Flagler County Beaches which were run by the county and/or State park systems. Being on a fixed income, I need to economize here and there, so enjoy getting outside where the parking is free and nearby. And I walk in my own neighborhood at times… where I can find some of the same birds fishing in our local ponds. Besides that, I just seem to gravitate more to the marshes than the beaches here. I get restless just lying around on the sticky, salty and very hot sand.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour. Have a lovely weekend everyone. The big American Eclipse AND a powerful New Moon are on Monday next, so take care of yourself. Find some time to detach and spend in Nature with friends or on your own.
© All Rights Reserved, Elizabeth Ayres Escher, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com