Today’s activity was exploring the boardwalk at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. You can read all about the park here. Someday we’ll go back and do some of the other trails, but this short one was a beautiful walk on a gorgeous day. It was nice to get out in the wild, without having to get our feet wet.

Start of the trail. There were plenty of signs to read all along the way.

 

You can tell they’re prepared for school field trips.
It was an absolutely gorgeous summer day, nice and sunny, but not too hot, especially in the shade. We expected to be bothered by bugs, and were prepared with insect repellent and mosquito netting, but except for some grasshoppers that left us alone, the bugs were all in hiding. That was nice, too!

 

We learned what a strand swamp is – a water-filled linear channel in which trees grow, a unique geological feature of southwest Florida – and read about different trees, ferns, plants and animals.

The cypress trees in this particular area have never been logged (as they have in other parts of the state) so they were quite large, maybe not redwood or sequoia large, but still majestically impressive.

There were some incredible examples of what strangler figs can do to other trees.

It was interesting to see royal palm trees in the wild; they look quite different when they’re not all uniform in size and lining a subdivision entrance.

The boardwalk ended at a small lake which provided a peaceful, serene spot to rest and enjoy nature.

 

 

 

 

One last side trip before leaving for home – a little detour to check out the nearby lake. It definitely wasn’t an overlook, it was too overgrown for that, but it was a beautiful body of water. Hopefully the Friends of the Park will raise enough money to reach their goal of increasing the trail access, then everyone can more easily see how beautiful this little lake is.

Back at the parking area, which was next to a closed gift shop, we found several clumps of tropical plants – the same kind found near Wyatt’s temporary apartment. He thinks they’re pretty cool; so do I.

I had to research them just a bit. These plants are called Ravenala madagascariensis, otherwise known as Travelers Palm, although they really aren’t a palm. Isn’t it fun to learn new things?