Capo Tower at Guana River

Yesterday, I returned to Capo Tower at Guana River Wildlife Management Area (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida), which can be accessed by way of the Savannah Loop trail. During my last visit in the fall of 2021, the path to the tower was blocked and under construction. The partial boardwalk was being extended all of theContinue reading “Capo Tower at Guana River”

Walkingstick Rescue

I’ve been partial toward stick insects since my husband and I hiked a Florida park, where sporadic high-pitched whines crossed the trail in waves. Sometimes the sound was nearly imperceptible, then slowly grew in volume. At its peak, the sound matched the whir of green aliens in outer space movies. Late that afternoon, we noticedContinue reading “Walkingstick Rescue”

Paraners Branch Loop Trail in O’leno State Park

I visited O’leno State Park during a foggy, overcast day. My plan was to try Paraners Branch Loop Trail, which I missed during my last visit. I crossed the swinging bridge and stopped to take some pictures along the water. I then took River Trail. After following yellow trail markers for a time, I turnedContinue reading “Paraners Branch Loop Trail in O’leno State Park”

Scenic O’leno State Park

O’leno State Park (High Springs, Florida) surpasses expectations. The road into the park is paved, and the parking lot holds a moderate number of cars. Visitors are greeted with well-kept restrooms, a playground, and an expansive, well-kept picnic area. On this initial visit, I walked River Trail, Dogwood Trail (to Limestone Trail), and Limestone Trail,Continue reading “Scenic O’leno State Park”

Turkey Creek – easy trail through new-growth forest

This week, I visited Turkey Creek Preserve, which opened to the public last year (2021). A dozen years after its purchase in 2009, this 376 acre site remains new-growth forest. It is testimony to the fact that it takes decades to reestablish decimated habitat. There are two trailheads, one of which offers a well-kept parkingContinue reading “Turkey Creek – easy trail through new-growth forest”

A Nan Buddhist Park—a place for quiet contemplation

After a recent hike, I visited A Nan Monastery and Buddhist Statue Park in Gainesville, Florida. The park has been in development since 2010. In 2011, the yellow  building was constructed, and was designed to resemble a temple in Vietnam. Although it looks small from the outside, it contains 3,144 square feet of usable space.Continue reading “A Nan Buddhist Park—a place for quiet contemplation”

Dinosaur eggs and babies on display

Tiny Titans is a temporary display of dinosaur eggs, embryos, and hatchlings at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Upon entering the exhibit, one sees a case holding the eggs of modern birds. The dark-green egg on the left belongs to an emu, while the “small” egg on the right belongs to anContinue reading “Dinosaur eggs and babies on display”

Photos from the Butterfly Rainforest

The photos below were taken during a visit to the Butterfly Rainforest, a year-round exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History (Gainesville, FL). The best time to photograph the butterflies is in the morning, when the natural lighting is soft and the butterflies are warming up for daytime flight. Once the sun is directlyContinue reading “Photos from the Butterfly Rainforest”

The Secret Gem at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

The first time I visited Washington Oaks Gardens State Park (Palm Coast, Florida), I didn’t realize that it is divided by Old A1A, the two-lane highway that follows the eastern coastline. I enjoyed the manicured garden and hiking trail, but completely missed the beach and its coquina outcropping, one of the largest in the country.Continue reading “The Secret Gem at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park”