Nature Walks – Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Yesterday, I also visited Wakodahatchee on my way back home up Jog Road. I thought I would post these photos separately. I actually took about 110 photos yesterday, most at the Japanese Gardens. The place is extremely photogenic by design.
Walking through the wetlands that I visit weekly wasn’t a let-down, but it is very different. There I was looking for creatures, feathered, armored and furry. I was rewarded with a glimpse of some turtles, an alligator sunning on the lawn and several birds. Apparently, another pair of Ospreys has taken up residence as they were announcing their presence and flying high above the marsh. I noticed many of the other birds were sheltering under or near bushes and trees to avoid being lunch.
There were some iguanas enjoying the warm autumn sunshine on the grass. Mated pairs of herons were busily constructing twig nests in pond apple trees. It was interesting to see the male fetching the twigs and giving them to the female to place into the nest structure. Other birds, like Tri-colored Herons and Egrets, were wading in the dark waters looking for lunch, mainly the ever-present minnows. Anhingas were hanging about drying out or acting like submarines, with their long pliable necks sticking out of the water before diving after prey. Tiny songbirds were flitting around the branches in the hammocks but moving too swiftly for me to capture any photos of them. I did see some noisy grackles and mockingbirds. There were a few colorful gallinules wading in the muddy waters beneath the pond apple trees, as well.
What have I gained by going to these wetlands? Well, appreciation for the variety of wildlife that does still exist in South Florida, despite the destruction of habitat. I was told that the wetlands were constructed and the birds and animals came to claim it as their own. I’m not sure about the alligators. They were probably introduced specifically into each wetland, although the beasts can easily climb chain-link fences. The fish were also introduced, but are native species. Mosquito fish keep down the mosquito larvae so it isn’t necessary to put on any insect repellent while visiting these “tame” wetlands.
The wetlands also provide tiny sanctuaries where you can walk without the presence of vehicles, although street noise filters through the tree line screening the perimeters of the preserve. I find that my level of relaxation and sense of well-being increases by just walking through on the boardwalk and it gives me something to do while I am living in this area.
And in closing, here are a few more photos from the Japanese Gardens to enjoy. The Japanese learned how to live within and practiced each task with intent and focus. We could learn from them, as well as the beauty and diversity of Nature, with its flow of seasons and natural cycles of birth, death, and renewal.
Enjoy your weekend!
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Photo Credits: Eliza Ayres