Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Visit To Kissimmee State Park

On a visit to Kissimmee State Park in Lake Wales, Florida, August 14, 2010, I took the following pictures.

We started our walk along a canal leading to Lake Kissimmee; the lake gives the park its name. My daughter and I spotted 3 whitetail does across the canal. There are two bridges crossing the canal, a footbridge and a wider "driving" bridge. On the footbridge, was a Little Blue Heron. At the base of the bridge was a Great Blue Heron. However, our presence drove him to walk further off.

Little Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

This next photograph shows the canal itself as it faces away from the lake. The lake is, in fact, a great distance off and not accessible at this point.

Canal to Lake Kissimmee

We actually crossed over the footbridge and then back over the "driving" bridge returning to the same side of the canal. We walked a short segment of unpaved roadway. To its right are large live oak trees and picnic tables. To its left are acres of marsh leading to open prairie and then a slash pine forest. My husband spotted a raccoon (rather wet) coming out from the marsh.

Prairie, Kissimmee State Park

Slash Pine Trees

Slash Pines, Kissimmee State Park

We had started down a trail into the pine forest when my husband heard a wild turkey gobble. Following the sound took us out of the pines and across the entrance road into a section of oak woods. We spotted the turkey, one lone bird, but I did not get a photograph.

Walking further into the oak woods, we came upon a section of slash pine trees. Underneath the pines were the ever prevalent saw palmettos.

Saw Palmetto

Slash Pines and Saw Palmettoes, Kissimmee State Park

There were Goldenrod wildflower blossoms. These are extremely early this year. Ordinarily, they do not blossom until the fall.



Goldenrod and Saw Palmettoes

We did a circuit of the trail here, about 1/2 mile, and then returned to the parking lot. We then drove to the far end of the parking lot to head to an observation tower there. But before we could get started, we heard a barred owl calling nearby. My husband quickly found it in a section of trees just opposite the parking lot.

Barred Owl

In this video, taken by my husband, you can see the owl and a whitetail deer he spotted earlier.

We observed the owl for a time and then returned to our walk to the observation tower. The tower allows you to see Lake Kissimmee. However, it was closed for repairs, and so we turned back.

Florida Scrub, Kissimmee State Park

On our way out of the park, we came upon a doe and her fawn.

Whitetail Doe and Fawn

Suddenly, a family of Sandhill Cranes came walking down the road towards us. They paused and stared in our window, I think hoping for a treat. We did not have one. The mother deer was upset by their presence and kept stomping her front feet on the ground in warning.

Sandhill Cranes

You can see the doe and her fawn and the sandhill cranes in this video.

All together, we saw 9 deer, a raccoon, the 2 herons, a turkey, 3 sandhill cranes, and a barred owl, as well as countless birds.

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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