As most of you who are here in Florida can tell we have finally gotten in some pretty chilly temperatures. This morning when we woke it was actually warmer in Montana than here! But, there is reason to get out of your warm homes and see what winter brings to our beautiful state!
We hiked Honeymoon Island near Dunedin, Florida again this week. The eagles have returned to their nest on the North end of Osprey Trail and their chicks hatched on 12/15. They will be leaving the nest soon – you really should get out and see them! Take binoculars and the kids. Please to spend the day and picnic to! The Osprey are all nesting as well and were very close to the trail. We were even able to see a great horned owl resting on a high perch!
After hiking the wooded trails we went over and hiked the beach. The wind was really blowing and it was interesting to watch the bird fighting the wind, almost hovering, before diving in the rough water for a meal.
All over the island there are berries of many colors growing for the birds to feed on. We saw many raccoon tracks and heard many songbirds. This time of year the only persons you see in shorts are the visitor. Make sure to say hello to them and offer any info on the area. They may like your favorite restaurant or shop to!
We also took a hike up in Lutz, Florida. Our visit took us to the Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve. This preserve is made up of 1,111 acres and contains the largest area of contiguous natural habitat remaining in NW Hillsborough County. They are open from Sunrise to sunset and it is free to visit. The trails are wide and well maintained – but not especially well marked. Print a map from home just in case they are out at the kiosk if this is your first visit.
It was a perfect chilly day to hike the trails. There were flocks of Tree Sparrows flying over us and in the open meadow we saw a lone Red Shouldered Hawk hunting them, rather unsuccessfully. We saw a lot of animal sing on the trails. Scat and tracks were bountiful! This small area is home to many wonderful critters including coyote, hog, deer, and raccoons. You will see a large variety of birds as well.
My favorites on this trip we the plants. We were able to locate the beautiful tiny carnivorous Pink Sundew and Hooded Pitcher-plants. It was very exciting to see them both here. The Hooded Pitcher plane is extremely rare south of N.C. This one was actually blooming out of season.
So you see Florida does have much to offer in the winter. Enough to keep your going until the spring flowers bloom! For more informationadn photos from both locations please visit the links below. For a guided trip please contact us at http://www.notaclueadventures.com
See you on the trail,
For more information on Honeymoon Island visit: http://www.floridastateparks.org/honeymoonisland/
For additional photos from this trip: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150666344091982.491198.123289366981&type=3
For more information on Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve visit: http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/brookercreekheadwaters.html
For additional photos from this trip: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150663565476982.490592.123289366981&type=3
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