Thursday, May 5, 2011

Touring Tiger Creek

Recently, we had the great pleasure of having a guided tour of the Tiger Creek Preserve, a managed area of The Nature Conservancy in central Florida. We rode in style.
This  Polaris is the only way to get around the 5,000 acres and see the property well. It was  fun, too! Our competent driver never once got us stuck in either muddy muck or soft sand.

It is mostly oak and pine scrub with a subtle charm all its own.

We saw pawpaws blooming.

Scrub-jays are relatively abundant there and I went hoping to see one. We caught a glimpse of one as it flew over us but then it quickly disappeared into--what else?--the dense scrub alongside the trail. We did hear others.

We were more successful with bald eagles. We saw two nests; both were vacant.

Here is a closer look.
Under the pine were the left-overs from previous dinners: this from a bird and others from fish.
Here is the second nest.
This one looked to be a bit larger.
We caught sight of the young eagles as they practiced their flying maneuvers. They were just getting some of the lighter feathers and sometimes looked more like vultures, but they were immature eagles alright.

Close observation will yield their yellow feet and the heavy bills.

The eagle pictures are courtesy of our son with the great camera and excellent photography skills.

I thought the dead tree below had such an interesting form.

We came upon this hog trap. Wild hogs do so much harm to the environment by rooting up native plants and creating erosion  problems.
It was a wonderful adventure and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There is one more thing to tell, but it deserves its own story.

1 comment:

James said...

Thanks for posting the great photos from Tiger Creek!