Florida Day Six: Key Largo: Nice To Hike In Dagny Johnson Park Again
I left Florida City and the Everglades on Sunday afternoon and drove the scenic 30 miles south on U.S. Route 1 to Key Largo. After settling in my room at the beautiful Bar Harbor & Coconut Bay Resort I edited some photographs relaxed in their lovely gardens and visited some friends. I was up early the next morning and was anxious to hike in the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock State Park.
Dagny Johnson Park was once the site of a planned real estate development, “the Mediterranean Minutes from Miami” that, thankfully, failed in 1982. I had posted a few blogs on the history of the park and they can be found in the archives in my blog website.
The park contains the largest tropical hammock remaining in the United States. I am still trying to learn the many sub-tropical hardwood trees that grow along the trails of the park, and can now recognize two very easily the reddish gumbo limbo tree and , one to be avoided, the poisonwood tree. I walked along the trail for about a half mile and came to a split in the trail.
There were also some green herons and little blue herons in the canal but they flew off before I could get a photograph. I was able to get a photo of this white wading bird, I believe it is a cattle egret and not the larger great egret.
and other coastal vegetation, that is reclaiming the remains of the construction of the land development that was begun. Utility poles and abandoned sewer and water lines can still be found in the park.
The trail now entered some wetlands where I am think there may be some crocodiles which can be found in this part of the Florida Keys. Needless to say I walked fast and quietly through this section although crocodiles are not usually active early in the day.
Last year I encountered swarms of mosquitoes here but not a one on this hike. I did see some insects, a couple of butterflies. This one I had seen in the Everglades. It is, I believe a Julia heliconian butterfly.
I also saw a few of these butterflies which I believe are mangrove skippers.
The trail now passed a large made made lake or canal which, again I think would have been part of the development. On my two previous visits to the park I always saw a few herons on these waters but there were none on this hike.
I came to the park entrance and re-traced by steps to explore a nature trail in the park. Again, on my visits the last two years I always saw some song birds on this path. Not this year. I had walked close to five miles so I decided to finish my hike in the Dagny Johnson Park. I was hoping to see more birds on this hike but I was happy seeing, and being able to share, the ones I did. It was another great hike in the sub-tropical paradise of the South Florida and the Florida Keys. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website to some more photos from my morning hike in Dagny Johnson Park . Florida Day Six: Key Largo morning hike February 22 2021.
Like no other place on earth. Raw natural beauty, relentless freedom, unorthodox natives. A friend told me something else about the Keys I never forgot: Down here, nobody is who they seem to be. When people in other parts of the country want to reinvent themselves, they come to Florida. But when people in Florida want to reinvent themselves, they come to the Keys. — Tim Dorsey