Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lake Lizzie

I had half a day to fill so I headed over to a new spot for me. Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve is near St. Cloud, Florida. The preserve has a few trails but I only had time to take the shortest route. I was looking for reported Red-headed Woodpeckers but I did not find them. In fact, there was very little activity at all.

Lake Lizzie Sign

So, determined to finish the loop trail, I took time to check out the other offerings like flowers. Seems like the Tar Flowers are in full bloom. This flower gets its name due to the sticky substance that occurs on the back side of the petals.

Tar Flower

Numerous bat houses dot the area, which were part of an Eagle Scout project. One of them hangs on a tree next to a little observation deck that extends into the marsh that approaches Lake Lizzie, itself. This must be more interesting when the water is back. Currently, we are far behind on our rain totals.


Next to the observation deck is a small stretch of boardwalk that makes for a pretty view into the woods.


Back on the dirt trail one has to side step a lot of Robber Flies. They like to buzz around you but they are looking out for other insects to eat.

Robber Fly

Where the land becomes a bit more moist, Sabatias bloom in many spots.


The one surprising find today was made while I was trying to get some flower shots. I was setting up a shot and them heard a kind of cluck and them the unmistakable sound of a large bird taking off behind me. As I spun around, I saw a Turkey hen and several chicks flying away from me and into the woods. One of the chicks didn't make it as far but landed in a tree nearby. You can just make it out. I was trying not to frighten it more so I moved on.


Regaining my pace, I found some more interesting flower displays.


I will return here, probably in the Fall. A lot of interesting habitat to explore and I bet the migrants love it. Beside the Turkey, my most surprising find was on the way home. Along a busy road and down in a small retention pond I saw something out of the corner of my eye that made me find a place to turn back. A Sandhill Crane had built a nest in this tiny spot.

Sandhill Crane

Hope it doesn't flood if we get the expected rains next week.

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