Friday, May 10, 2013

A nature hike with 'Tribe Tenderfoot'

Duane, Linda and I had been wanting to commune with nature before it gets too hot here.  It's already in the '80's everyday so we knew we'd better hurry even though most of the area we wanted to hike through is in the woods -- meaning lots of shade.  There are several parks in the community where I live.  The largest is called River Park which abuts the Hillsborough River and features nature trails, picnic areas, boat launch docks, etc.  The best part is that it's literally just down the street from my house.  We had been meaning to 'experience' it for ages.  We packed a lunch, took our cameras and bug spray and started out. None of us are 'outdoorsy' or camping people.  Duane had enough when her sons were boy scouts and Linda and I were probably two of the most unhappy girl scouts ever to have camped out.

The woods.

After we entered the park and parked the car we started walking towards the main dock for lookers, boaters, etc.  A guy in a canoe paddled up after a morning of fishing.

Down to the dock.

Man returning from fishing.

None of us would get into that water if our lives depended on it.  It's known for alligators and snakes.  (There are areas of the river that are great for swimming but not this particular section.)  But I did climb off the dock to snag each of us a clam shell.  The insides are so pretty -- they're iridescent.
Clam shells washed ashore.

Linda snapped an egret.

Lots of water hyacinth.
We headed down one of the trails.
Info on native trees.  In other words, welcome to the swamp.
Wonder if anything lives in the base of this tree?
Cypress knees.  Lots and lots of them.
Linda:  "Some things never change."
Pretty dragon fly.

Looks suspiciously like hair.

'Arty' shot by Linda.

Spanish moss everywhere you looked.

After our hike, we stopped and ate our lunch at one of the picnic tables in the shade.  It was so quiet other than a rustle here and there.  We were hoping to get a pic of a gator but only if it meant using our zoom lenses from the dock while the gator stayed in the water.  Several times we saw dark looking critters swimming just under the water.  Once it was a water turtle (he came up for air for a second) and continued to swim against the current which was pretty mild although you could see it.

We definitely felt like we had a real 'break' with our adventure.  And, yes, to us, this was an adventure.

My clam shell after being washed.

So pretty.


  1. The photos turned out great. It's hard to believe that civilization was just around the corner.

  2. Yes, you really feel like you're in the middle of the wilderness.