Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day Away

I took a day off today.  I headed to another state park which is just north of Orlando.  Its called Wekiwa Springs State Park.  I first got to know Wekiwa four years ago because this park hosted Ranger Academy when I attended.  I really enjoyed the park because of its enormous spring, lengthy trail system, and gorgeous natural vistas thanks to a healthy prescribed fire regime.  The park is home to many of Florida's species of special concern and threatened species.  There are black bears (one followed me to the restroom at Ranger Academy and I was completely unaware until the person behind the bear told me), Fox Squirrels, Scrub Jays, Florida Mice, Gopher Tortoises, and even Gopher Frogs!!!  The park is 40,000+ acres of real, natural Florida.
I spent several hours enjoying this park and taking photos.  I also spent an hour in an interview for an Assistant Manager Position.  I don't think that the interview went as well as it could have, but it was another learning experience and a beautiful day at the park.  Here are a few things that I saw.
 This is about half of the view of the beautiful Wekiwa Spring.

An Anhinga (AKA Snake-bird) was drying its feathers in the warm sun.  Anhingas dive underwater to spear fish and will swim completely submerged with only their head and neck above water.  Their method of swimming earned them the name Snake-bird because just the head and neck look like a snake.
I watched this Tricolored Heron for a long time.  I was standing on a boardwalk that was near enough to it that it saw my movements.  It was also near a boat launch and two canoes full of people floated right past.  The Heron stayed focused on its mission.  It appeared to eat well.  I saw it catch quite a few small fish.

Further down the park drive, I parked and then walked to Sand Lake.  There was a nice, well shaded trail around the lake with several very secluded seating areas along the way.  Each one was very peaceful.  It was a nice contrast to the busy and active spring area.

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