Categories
General

Longleaf Pines in the Breeze: On Hiking In Florida

From my last trip to Brooker Creek Preserve many years back, I knew that there would be standing water on the trails. I should have known better. I did know better.

And yet I still wore cotton socks.

Brooker Creek regularly floods during the rainy season in Florida, which is any month you don’t need to wear a sweater. Portions of the trails close depending on how bad the flooding is. Last Saturday, when decided to visit, most of the trails were closed, except for a short ~2 mile loop.

But while I was drenching my trail runners and ill-chosen socks, I noticed some white petals on the ground. The magnolia trees nearby were blooming.

Categories
General

Outdoors

My alarm woke me at 3:30 AM on a Saturday morning, which hadn’t been a regular occurrence for over ten years — not since I worked logistics at a big retail chain. I chugged some coffee/energy drink mix from a can, pulled on my hiking clothes, fed the cat, grabbed my gear, and drove to meet my friends.

My friend Trude had invited me to join her and Diane on a bird safari around Lake Apopka. Trude won it at a church auction; I had to back out when the bids rose above $200. Diane would drive and point out interesting specimens; Trude would take pictures; I, with a tremor that makes it difficult to handle a camera, would observe through binoculars.

Nature is way more interesting with knowledgeable friends and a deliberate pace.