Posted on April 26, 2019
After a week at Mike Roess State Park we travelled a short distance to what has become one of our favorite parks for wildlife viewing, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. After a week there we would travel to Blackwater River State Park which was a new park for us and recommended because of the beauty of the river. We planned on being there for a week before traveling home to Ohio for what we hoped would be just a brief period of winter before spring arrived.
Paynes Prairie is not a great paddling destination but does offer good hiking within the park and good bicycling opportunities in the park as well as on nearby roads and bike trails. The park offers great opportunities for viewing nature and is highly recommended if that is your passion. Just a short drive away the Bolen Bluff Trail, Barr Hammock Preserve, Sweetwater Wetlands Park, and the parks north entrance with a boardwalk along Alachua Sink are an added bonus. We had no problem keeping ourselves busy during our one week stay.
Remember: you can click on the images should you desire a better view.
The Bolen Bluff Trail turned out to be a great “wildlife” trail but in our case did require use of the car to get to the trailhead.
There is no need to get into the car as we found plenty to see on park trails that can be accessed right from the campground.
Paynes Prairie Preserve north entrance, Alachua Sink was another excellent natural area just a short drive away.
Finally another excellent area that is even a shorter drive is Barr Hammock Preserve. The preserve trail consists of a large loop circling what used to be farmland but which is now at least partially flooded.
Compared to other parks visited, wildlife sighting were not nearly as common at Blackwater River SP. However quality made up for quantity with a rare wildflower sighting and the pleasant surprise of a Red-cockaded Woodpecker sighting. Also the river did live up to its reputation for being a beautiful and during our one paddle a bonus was enjoying the many turtles that had taken up residence on shoreline logs. Our stay in the park was a quiet one so walking along a park road or a trail offered an equal opportunity to see wildlife.
. . . and at river’s edge:
In the order of carnivorous insects, Odonata, we were also fortunate to see a beautiful Green Darner one of the larger dragonflies.
. . . and also a pair of mating Cypress Clubtail Dragonflies.
Where there are butterflies there are often wildflowers.
Due to weather and river flow conditions we only paddled once but it was energy well spent.
The next post we will be back in Ohio in search of Ohio’s spring wildflowers but whether it’s nature in Florida or Ohio we remain amazed and enchanted.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Blackwater River SP, Central Ohio Nature, Florida, Nature Photography, Payne's Prairie Preserve SP Tagged: Alligator, American Bittern, Anhinga, Barred Owl, Brown Thrasher, Carolina Satyr, Cloudless Sulphur, Cypress Clubtail Dragonfly, Dubious Tiger Moth, Eastern Towhee, False Rosemary, Florida Cooter, Gaint Swallowtail, Great Blue Heron, Great Horned Owl, Green Darner, Katydid, Largeflower Primrose-Willow, Little Blue Heron, Little Yellow Butterfly, Northern Parula Warbler, Palamedes Swallowtail, Pileated Woodpecker, Queen Butterfly, Red-cockaded woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, River Jewelwing, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Tri-color Heron, White Ibis, Yellow Butterwort, Zebra Swallowtail
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