Florida Day Eight: More Birds, Spiders And Butterflies At Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.
There are not a lot of hiking trails in the Florida Keys so I returned to the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park for a third day on Wednesday morning to hike in the sub-tropical hardwood hammock forest.
It was partly cloudy, humid and a mild 75 degrees when I started my hike just around sunrise at 6;45 a.m. I tried to make it to the ocean to watch the sunrise but it was already rising over the mangroves trees when I left the hardwood hammock forest.
I walked the trail to the inlet and ocean again. Along the trail I came upon this red orb spider sitting in the middle of his web. I think the warmer temperatures caused him to be active at this early hour.
The red bellied woodpecker was perched in the same tree as the day before.
I again saw a group of double-crested cormorants perched on some post and watched them as they flew off in search of their morning meal of fish.
There was only one tri-colored heron wading in the canal on the trail.
I walked along the canal and observed the shoots of the mangrove trees reaching upward as they once again gradually take over the land that was cleared for the planned residential development.
Walking along the trail in the mangrove trees,
I saw another blue-gray gnatcatcher and.
this beautiful prairie warbler.
It was much warmer and more humid this morning and I enjoyed the sub-tropical cloud formations that formed in the warm, moist air.
Once again I walked through the wetland area of the trail,
and startled a great egret that quickly flew away,
The trail again entered the hardwood hammock area of the park.
Here I again saw some of the pretty ocean blue morning glories in bloom.
There was also this large snail attached securely to a tree. Some years I had seen dozens of this snail but this was the first one this year.
As I continued my walk I did notice some unwelcome inhabitants of the park, mosquitos . A small swarm buzzed my head and I received a few bites but not as many as previous years. But it looked like the park rangers anticipated this and the mosquito trap were out along the trail.
I also saw the State butterfly of Florida, the zebra long-wing butterfly perched on a leaf.
There were a couple more prairie warblers in the trees on the trail as I finished my hike.
There must have been a flock of them migrating through the hardwood hammock heading back north and, possibly to my home state of Pennsylvania.
There were also a few cardinals singing in the tree tops.
Their song is just a beautiful here in Florida as it is back home in Pennsylvania.
I walked out to the mangrove groves one more time before I finished my five mile hike. There was a lot of bird activity on this beautiful morning but, unfortunately, I had a zoom conference meeting so I had to head back to my lodgings. Here is a link to a gallery of photographs from my hike in the sub-tropical hammock forest. Florida Day Eight Key Largo Dagny Johnson morning hike February 24 2021.
All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child. Marie Curie