Winter has come to Florida

January 2012

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!

 

Young Osprey warming in the sun

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!

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

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.

Sandwich Tern and Rough Seas

Sandwich Tern and Rough Seas

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!

The trail at Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve

The trail at Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve

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.

Raccoon and coyote tracks

Raccoon and coyote tracks

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.

The Tiny Pink Sundew

The Tiny Pink Sundew

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.

Flowering Hooded Pitcher Plant

Flowering Hooded Pitcher Plant

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,

Jeanene

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

Don’t forget fan us on Facebook! Http://www.facebook.com/notaclueadventures

Now on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/notacluegal

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About notacluegal

Jeanene was born in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young child her family was very active in the outdoors. Things changed when her parents decided to travel down different paths in life and with that decision so went many of the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Being lucky to live in the suburbs Jeanene always had a backyard to play in and loved being outdoors. As the years passed she took every opportunity to be outdoors. She bought land in Tennessee and as a single mom moved her young daughter to the mountains. The were many life lessons learned on that mountain. There was no plumbing on the property – or even a house, but that did not stop her. She learned to live off of what was available and built her own cabin from the trees on her property. Those were rough years but the most rewarding. Now Jeanene resides in Tampa, Fl. and works as an office manager full time….but still yeans to be outdoors. Jeanene started “Not a Clue Adventures” to teach everyone she could how wonderful the outdoors are! That camping and fishing and hiking can be done by everyone and at many different levels. Single mom’s no longer have to be afraid to take their sons and daughters outdoors. By working with young couples, single parents and even seniors, she gets to teach others about her love for the outdoors and hopes to open their eyes to new adventures. In 2009, Jeanene completed certification as a Leave No Trace Instructor. She also works closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Florida State Parks. Jeanene is also certified in First Aid/Adult CPR.
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