11 December 2007

Wekiwa Springs State Park

This past weekend my Florida friends met me at Wekiwa Springs State Park for a camping adventure. Wekiwa is found in Central Florida at the headwaters of the Wekiva River. It has a 72 degree year around spring and over 13 miles of hiking trails. Plus it boasts a bird count list of over 200 species. You can also find the longest continually running bird banding station in Florida, Wekiva Basin Banding Station.

Here we are staring out at the Wekiwa Springs. Wekiwa comes from a Creek Indian word meaning "bubbling water" or "spring of water" and is used to speak of the spring itself. Wekiva means "flowing water," and is used as the name of the river which is fed by Wekiwa Springs, seen in the picture below.

We took the main trail (white blaze) to our campsite, aptly named Camp Cozy. It was a short 3.5 mile hike in but the hot and humid weather of Florida was enough for us to be slightly uncomfortable. While most people in the country have snow and cold weather we are still counting the days that hit into the 90's.

Once at our site we immediately set up camp. We unrolled the tents, gathered the firewood, and explored the surrounding area.

We only took trees that were already felled. Here is Andy hard at work chopping our trees into smaller logs. Our campsite provided some warmth once the sun went down. Mostly, we just enjoyed fanning the flames and watching the wood blaze.

We had only a few visitors to the campfire. A loud armadillo rummaged about for most of the evening. There may have been some raccoons lurking after we went to bed and of course, we had a visit or two with a scorpion. This one was caught and de-tailed so we could handle it. Later in the night I wasn't so lucky and had one sting my thumb as I was raking wood chips to throw into the fire.

All in all, the trip was another sucess for the camping books. We saw 28 species of bird, a few mammals, and lots of arthopods. The best part was spending time with friends and enjoying a local natural area.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a great trip. Wekiwa is a beautiful spot. I know what you mean about the scorps. Had one in my tent when I was there...

life on the road said...

I didn't know they were so prevalent in that area. It was my first encounter with one in the wild.

Anonymous said...

Neither did I. They'll get right in close to you though, and sting you before you even know they're there. Sorry got stung too.

Anonymous said...

... or I should say, sorry you got stung too.

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