Sunday, September 20, 2009


Because I have spent so much time out there this spring and summer I thought I would write about it this month. Last month I talked about the rookery out there and that is where I havebeen spending my time lately.

This is just a small area of to the left just as you enter the Nature Center property. This little area has been so full of life and a great place to watch birds as they go about their daily routines as they first build their nests and then lay and incubates their eggs.

Then the real fun begins as the chicks hatch and you watch the parents feed them and they grow and begin to move about the nest then slowly and cautiously move outside the nest onto the surrounding branches learning to wait and play there waiting for the parents to return and feed them. These babies are always hungry and will reach up and pull the parent down by whatever means it can try to get something to eat.

As they grow the parents will try to teach the young to look for food in the surrounding water and then eventually comes the flying lesson. Soon there are birds flying all around and over your head. Now would be a good time to wear a hat to protect your

Soon though they will be gone and I will miss all that activity but will continue to make little trips out there to discover what else I might find.

The water’s edge here around the rookery seems to be a good source for dragonflies and I have seen a few different ones depending on the season. The bridge area too is a good source for dragonflies and damselflies.
From the bridge I have seen Green Herons, Pied-Billed Grebes, White Ibis, a Great Egret and even got to see my first Swallow-tailed Kite.

There are lawn areas with picnic tables and sometimes the oaks are filled with warblers. There is a pair of Grackles that hangs around hoping to get a snack and I have seen Blue Jays and Cardinals, Sapsuckers and other wood pecker plus was treated one day to a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers flying all over the property.

There are many different butterflies in the area as well. I have seen White Peacocks, Orange Julia’s Zebra’s and Queens.

One day when I went out there the field to the right, as you enter was filled with Killdeer all scurrying around looking for food. Another day the field was filled with Great Egrets and their young leaning to find food.

The center does offer guided nature walks and although I have gone on one yet I am considering a full moon walk here in the near future. I have signed up for one) I have done the short nature trail a couple of times and my son does it just about every time we go out there. Sometimes for me it is just too hot so I sit and rock and enjoy. I guess I would enjoy it more if there were more to see besides spiders. There was some talk of a trail expansion so hopefully in the near future......

There is an 18,000-square foot nature center building that houses an exhibit hall, educational displays, an interactive replica of an archeological dig pit, an assembly hall, classroom, theater, and a photographs from the famous photographer of Florida's natural wonders, Clyde Butcher. Now to be truthful I haven’t really spent a lot of time inside. I do know that there are rocking chairs and ceiling fans on 3 sides of the outside of this building. It is nice sometime to just
sit and rock and enjoy the serenity of course the inside is air conditioned and great on these hot, hot, days of summer.