Monday, December 13, 2010

Welaka State Forest

It was a beautiful afternoon for a walk.

We didn't take advantage of all the trails in the forest as we have in years past. The Sun was already slipping along the western slope of Sky so we had only enough time to make it to the St. John's River and back to the car. The St. Johns in this area opens wide You'll see in the pictures, later.

The forest is mixed between hammocks of hardwood (maples and oaks) and high sand ridges
with long leaf pine.

As you get closer to the river, the hardwoods grow.

The sun is also sliding along pretty fast....

It is a nice trail; twisting and turning until you come upon the river landing.

The wind was howling.

I tried to capture is visibly by the way it whipped the moss into a frenzy as it hung onto the trees.

Since we only had time to make it to this one landing, I took a few pictures. Again, this is where the St. Johns River gets wide. Not as wide as it does just a piece North in Jacksonville, but it is pretty wide here.

And, of course, I have to show you a photograph
of the knees, cypress knees. 

Time to get back.

The freshwater pond had Ibises on the walk up and on the way back had these, Sand Hill Cranes.

The Ibis flew from the pond as we approached some ways away. We could see why. Two bald Eagles, one mature, one immature were circling the pond.
My camera couldn't pick up the shot that far above.
I am going to get a zoom lens. It is going to be for the surf widow but will work for nature shots also!!

This shot didn't do so well on the camera without a zoom lens. Soon....

And, I always love the Trees.

This one with the bottom burned area looks like it is a frilly part of a fancy dress; with applique flower up the side. It has resurrection fern in the crook of the branches but that could be a little shawl.

Tom noticed this one. The face.

It looks like a bear asleep above a little doorway.
Or, curled up next to the tree?

Yes, we made it back just in time to have a sandwich and a mug of warm tea before dark.

Here is a link to Florida State Parks. There is a link to the Trail Walkers Program. Tom, Masala and I participated in it a few years ago. We received certificates and bandannas. I don't know if we will be able to participate in the next phase, Trail Blazers. But, we still love to visit the State Parks.




  1. How lucky you are to be able to hike in such a beautiful place. Nature is great !!