Summer Morning Hike at Circle B Bar Reserve

Hot summer days in July are well known in Florida to produce summer thunderstorms every afternoon. If you want to get a good hike in you must start early in the morning. It just so happens that most of the wildlife can be seen in the morning as well!

It had been a terribly dry winter and spring in Central Florida and I was excited to  see how the Reserve recovered with all the current rainfall. It did not take long to see the results of all the rain!

We have water


All of the culverts were rapidly draining water from one pond to others. There were many shorebirds, gators and other wildlife active and visible throughout the property. We even startled a crawfish crossing one of the paths! As far as you could see there was life exploding.

The rains also brought out the flowers and butterflies – Passion Flowers were blooming all around and there must have been no less than 10 varieties of butterflies. Marsh Rabbit run was closed due to nesting alligators but I wanted to walk to where it was blocked to see if I could spot a Purple Gallinule that I had seen in that area on my last visit. As I was looking through my binoculars trying to find them I was also on the lookout for gators. It was not till I put down the binoculars and looked down at the channel along side of the path that I realized there as a 12 foot gator no more than 8 ft from me almost completely hidden in the lush grasses. I politely excused myself and let the gator have her space (after grabbing 1 hurried photo).

We were greeted on the trail by a pair of Sand Hill Cranes that were not interested in moving out of our way so we circled around them and came upon a pair of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks and a very cooperative Limpkin.

Out last trail of the day would be Alligator Alley and we found very large tracks where a gator had recently crossed over. there were many gators to be seen if the time was taken to look for them. There were also many Osprey and Squirrels. Out on the lake the wind was picking up and there were barely and alligators visible, and storm clouds were building so it was time to head back to the truck. Please with the many sightings for the day we arrived back just as the rains began to fall. A wonderful morning….and more rain. This is a Florida Summer!

For more information on Circle B Bar Reserve please visit:

For a guided birding, photography or wildlife viewing trip please visit our website for contact information

For additional photos from this trip :

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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4 Responses to Summer Morning Hike at Circle B Bar Reserve

  1. Phil Lanoue says:

    Thanks so much for posting this I really enjoyed going along on your journey through this amazing area! I liked your photos very much, it was great seeing the sandhill cranes, the limpkin and of course the alligator. A purple gallinule is high on my wish list as a bird I want to see.

    • notacluegal says:

      Purple Gallinule can be spotted there – especially in the spring – take binoculars, zoom lens and patience! I have seen them at the beginning of Marsh Rabbit Run on more than one occasion 🙂

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