Posted on March 27, 2019
This year we cut our stay short at Myakka River SP so we could check out Little Manatee River SP a new park for us. It looked good on paper with a number of hiking trails, the Little Manatee River, and it was close to points of interest along the gulf coast near Tampa.
The park was a bit of a disappointment for us largely due to the fact that many of the hiking trails were flooded and even our campsite was also flooded for several days the result of heavy rain just after our arrival. The river through the park was pretty but we didn’t bother paddling it as it’s often narrow width and rain induced high flow would have made nature photography difficult if not impossible. Many of the hiking trails are also designated as equestrian with fairly heavy use and as a result were pretty torn up and muddy in spots. Despite the challenges we did find trails to explore and things to see even if we did arrive back at camp with wet hiking boots.
A nice break not far for Little Manatee River SP was Fort Desoto Park. If you enjoy walking the beach, collecting shells, or observing birds it’s a great place to spend a few hours.
For us the big attraction were we to return to this park would be it’s close proximity to the ocean. Other parks in this part of Florida offer more hiking and more biodiversity within the park itself. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Florida, Little Manatee River State Park Tagged: Armadillo, Beggar's Needle, Catbird, Dunlin, Flowering Blackberry, Least Terns, Leavenworth's Tickseed, Lipstick Lichen, Mockingbird, Moonflower, Pileated Woodpecker, Pink Wood Sorrel, Reindeer Lichen, Roseate Skimmer, Spider Lily, Willet, Wilson's Plover, Zebra Heliconian, Zebra Swallowtail
Posted on September 20, 2016
Every once in awhile we head off with friends to do some hiking. This year it was Acadia National Park in Maine. While there, our base of operation was Moseley Cottage Inn & Town Motel in Bar Harbor located easy walking distance to shops, restaurants and the harbor. We used the excellent free (donation requested) shuttle bus service to get around the island and access the trails.
September is a great time to visit the coast of Maine with clearer cooler days and little fog. This is particularly important when hiking the rocky hills of Acadia which offer many unobstructed views of Frenchman’s Bay and the surrounding area.
The first thing that impresses one is the rock. It’s some of the very oldest on the planet. It’s weathered surface, in various forms, having stood exposed to the elements since the last ice age, is everywhere. In fact the last ice age is why the area with it’s barren hills, deep clear lakes, islands, and rugged coastline looks the way it does.
Hiking on the Maine Coast rock blurs one’s concept of time. In “rock years” the span of my life was of no more consequence than my next step. The rock doesn’t care. For a time while on the trail, I tried to fathom it all, walking mindfully, no longer “falling” from one foot to the other, but slower, placing each step, feeling muscles work, attention to each breath, balance, and control, giving thanks for this moment in time and place.
But there is a lot more than rocks and one of the first things noticed walking one of the park’s many excellent trails, are the wildflowers. However, before a hike is undertaken, care should be used in the selection because the level of difficulty ranges from very easy to extremely difficult.
LICHEN AND FUNGI
Looking a little closer, when not negotiating one of the steeper more challenging stretches, lichen and fungi were also seen.
Some trails such as Wonderland and Ship Harbor took us right along the rocky coast with tide pools to explore.
Hiking with friends was the primary objective but near the ocean we were fortunate to see a few birds.
A hike around Jordan Pond was also on the week’s menu or was it the popovers at Jordan Pond House and then the hike? I’ll never tell.
Pausing for a moment at waters edge we listened and looked. The sun did it’s best to warm the late summer day as a cool lake breeze rustled the overhead leaves. The sound of gentle waves playing against the shore as patterns of light danced on the rocks below.
While in Maine it is hard to avoid the temptation to capture the local ambiance. This trip was no acceptation.
It’s probably best to consider this post as just the barest of appetizers. However, if you’ve never been to Maine or Acadia National Park, hopefully it has provided some encouragement to make the trip.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, photography, Wildflowers Tagged: Bar Harbor, Black Guillemot, Bog Cotton, Bunch Berries, Calico Aster, Common Eiders, Common Loon, Goldenrod, Hairy White Oldfield Aster, Hermit Crab, Jordan Pond, New England Aster, Partridge Berry, Rose Hip Flower, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Shadow Darner, Wilson's Plover
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