It has been a long time since I took a photo-hike at Weekiwachee Preserve. I do have several friends that post photos of their beautiful nature encounters and in a way, it kind of keeps me connected.
I finished everything I needed to do in the wee hours of the morning and decided to add a relaxing hike to the list of things to do for the day- actually to be honest before my 2 pm nap.
I packed up my little cart and started my photo journey and I practiced my 10-steps and stop guideline and was not disappointed.
Starting right at the parking lot, nature was at its splendor!
Yaupon Holly and Junipers bordered the fence before the entrance, showcasing their red, green and blue berries. Which actually gave me an creative idea-this can be the perfect inspiration for nature photographers to create Florida Christmas photo cards to send to family members or friends up north!
The American Sweetgums were bold and beautiful and its fruit are plentiful, which are suitable for many birds and other wildlife.
The breeze was welcoming, the sky was blue and enlighten, it was a beautiful Florida day.
I followed the first trail on the left. The sand oaks were bountiful and perfect coverage for wildlife. I noticed a couple of healthy and active gopher tortoise burrows but oddly, not much bird activity.
As I continued to keep my 10-steps and stop intact, I was able to see something that in my past visits to Weekiwachee Preserve, I would have never thought would be here. To my surprise, it was the Toothpetal False Reinorchid (also commonly called Mignonette Orchid), and what a delight to see!
The Toothpetal False Reinorchid is a native bog orchid. It was first documented in 1936 in Miami-Dade county. As far as my research goes, there is no conservation status listed. However, it is illegal to take any part of a plant-meaning seeds, flowers, leaves, fruit, etc…in any area like Weekwahcee Preserve. It’s always best to just enjoy them where they grow, in their natural habitat.
I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but overall it was a successful photo-day. Until we meet again Weekiwachee Preserve!
Weekiwachee Preserve has grown publicly to a place where you can run, walk, bird, fish, photograph and enjoy being surrounded by nature. I know many people who help keep that area clean and continually do so, and a Thank You to all of you. In my opinion, this area would make an excellent spot for an Environmental Education & Nature Center, not a recreational area that was proposed back in 2014. That was not a very good idea. This preserve and surrounding areas are crucial for wildlife since there is a lack of their natural habitat in that area. Both flora and fauna need space to grow and to roam. A center will also keep all that nonsense from happening in the preserve as well.
Stay safe in your travels!