Walking on the Wild Side

Trip Start Dec 31, 2012
Trip End May 04, 2013

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What I did
Lena, at last!

Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yesterday, Wednesday, we got an early start on a hike aka walk on the longest trail here at Faver-Dykes Campground.  The trail leads to a salt marsh and is actually a hammock, cool and quiet.  The plant life here is abundant and amazing.  From the stately palms to the ever-present live oaks and the understory filled with saw palmetto, it's a living paradise.

The quiet is what impressed me the most.  We heard a few birds, but, as usual, the sound of a woodpecker nearby was impressive.  We haven't heard or seen any for quite some time.  Later on I was able to get a couple of decent shots of the red-headed wonder.

But the most exciting sighting was yet to come.  We heard some "thrashing" in the palmettos and looked to find several small, dark animals scurrying off of the trail.  I looked ahead and thought that they were small raccoons, at first.  Then, of all things, an adult Javelina appeared!  As you who have followed us for awhile know, this is what we have been waiting for.  Lena Lives!

I got two shots of her on the trail before she disappeared into the underbrush.  What fun!  The notorious aroma for the animals wasn't present, but the view, albeit a quick one, was a treat.

As we neared the end of the trail at the Salt Marsh, we heard some very noisy humans approaching us.  I guess everyone has their own hiking technique.  We prefer the quiet side. These folks and their patient dog, approached us as we looked out over the marsh and quietly took in the beauty of the area.  They didn't stay long, however, and took off back down the trail to share their sounds with the retreating wildlife.

The javelina isn't native to Florida, I've learned.  There are a lot of wild hogs here, imported originally from Europe eons ago.  The javelina, as you know by now, is a peccary.  It resembles the hog, but looks much sleeker and "dignified."  They can be dangerous when cornered or such, but are usually shy and retreating.

The remainder of the hike passed quietly.  We did about three miles in the morning and later in the day hiked another two miles or so.  Signs of a recent wildfire are near the ranger station as well as some attempts to control the large number of palmettos.  It had a very un-natural look to it and smacked of farming techniques.  

We spent the rest of the afternoon reading in the warmth of the Florida sun.  

For dinner, Lynn marinated some pork loin chops in a new marinate.  These I barbecued and were served with garlic mashed potatoes and a green salad.

We'll move again today to Rodman Campground, still in the vicinity of St. Augustine.  We hope to get into and explore the city soon.  It's the first successful colony in the US and holds lots to see.

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ferdie on

Sounds like a peacful and colorful place...glad you got a peek at the "wild hogs"! Any bacon on the menu? Ran into Suz Bristo at the Costco gas station yesterday...we shared a moment smiling about your adventure! She looks very well and said David is good. Glad you are getting some hiking miles in, good for youse guys! Hugs...

Dennis on

Looks like continued good weather and good hiking. I have seen several javalenas around Phoenix in the past. If you get surpiorsed by one, the look pretty scary. Keep hainv fun.

Mike on

Sounds like a great hike-you guys are lucky to get so much hiking in. The only hiking we did is through the streets and Casinos of Las Vegas....though at least it was warm. Isn't there a number of wildlife flora/fauna that aren't indigenous to Florida? Meanwhile, back at your home state, the legislature keeps working on their bills--like one that would force the US to withdraw from the UN....but heh, you know the routine. On the plus side, things are starting to warm up here. The Stockwells showed me their new pull behind camping unit yesterday...impressive ....hopefully Quinci will be interested in getting our own. Take care-

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