Florida Day Four: Key Largo: Trees, Birds And Flowers Under The Florida Sun.
I spent some time last Friday evening in Key Largo researching Google maps . I decided my best bet to see the sunrise Saturday morning would be at the John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park. It had a beach on the eastern side of the key. I was up early and at the park 15 minutes before sunrise only to find the park did not open until 8 a.m. No sunrise for me here . I drove about four miles further north to the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.
I was hoping I could get to the bay and still catch the rising sun. A woman walking her dog said the park trails did not lead to the ocean. So no sunrise for me here either. I decided to stay and began my walk through the largest tropical hardwood hammock in the United States.
I walked the wide paved trail, which was originally was a road in the planned development. There were many native species of trees in the park and I wish I had more time to learn to identify them all.
The trail was lined with thick trees until I came to a clearing which must have been associated with the housing development. It was here I finally saw the sun rising over the lower trees of the bayou near the bay.
I came to some flooded portions of the trail and had to cross them on this rocky bridge. I was a little concerned about an encounter with an alligator or crocodile. I crossed without meeting one. I soon met three people walking their dogs. I learned they built the stone bridge and that there were no alligators here and crocodiles were rare. They never had seen one, anyway.
I returned to my car after having walked about three miles on the trail. I wished I had seen more wildlife but it was still a nice hike in the sub-tropical forest. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk in the hammock. Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. April 14 2018.
After leaving the park I made a quick visit to the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. The center was closed but I had a pleasant chat with some volunteers tending the butterfly garden. They advised me of a back country trail a few miles north. A permit is required to hike in this area and they told me how to obtain one.
and these brown pelicans. It was now near noon and, once again, it was hot, I was getting tired and hungry so I decided to leave the park. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the park. Key Largo John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park. April 14 2018.
It was hot, even in the shaded gardens so I retreated to my air conditioned room for a rest and to edit some photographs. Here is a link to some more photos of the flowers in the resort. Key Largo Coconut Bay Resort flowers April 14 2018.
As it got closer it moved more rapidly and quickly disappeared, to the applause of the small crowd who witnessed the end of another beautiful day in this south Florida paradise. Here is a link to some more photos of the sunset. Key Largo Coconut Bay sunset April 14 2018
My love for you is like a Florida sunset. Orange, coral, pink, and lavender, it exists to warm your heart through the inevitable darkness. Jarod Kintz