Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Collier-Seminole State Park - Part 2

Here's the continuation of some of our adventures at Collier-Seminole State Park but, first, check out this awesome shot of the eyeball of Otis in which Wendy has managed to also capture the reflection of the front of the Eurovan. 

So this guy Barron Collier donated the land for the park. At one time he was the largest land owner in Florida and he was very instrumental in the development of south-west Florida. Men of such stature always get at least one memorial and Barron was no exception. Here's me pontificating in front of the Doric colonnade erected in his honor. I forget what I was saying but I it was probably something ridiculous about two panthers in every pot. There's nothing like a podium for true inspiration.

 The park has a boat launch into this channel, but it's still a couple of miles before you can get to the bays that front the gulf coast.

Here's Wendy standing at the edge of a salt water marsh. One of the hiking trails here features some swamp access but when we read the trail description, which included the phrases "waist-deep water" and "ankle-to-knee deep mud", we decided against trying it. I certainly don't want to be in waist deep water anywhere where alligators are common. Plus, I've seen 'The African Queen'. Hello Mr. Allnut, indeed. Leeches. I hates leeches.

 So we took the milder alternative, walking this nature trail which had boardwalks over the wet spots. Wimpy? Perhaps. Leech and gator free? Absolutely!
 Beautiful, but I wouldn't want to walk through it.

 I was on the constant lookout for snakes and gators, but we actually didn't see a lot of wildlife, other than turtles and birds. There's a lot of great and unusual plant life here too.

 Here's the walking dredge that I mentioned yesterday. This shot is from the operator's stand inside the contraption. The dark blob in the center of the photo is the bucket. It's only a cubic yard and I was trying to make sense of the productivity factor of moving this lumbering beast through the swamp just so the bucket could dredge a yard of earth at a time. I don't know. The link above has more technical information.

 Here's the jungle eye view of our campsite. I like to think
that this is what a panther would see as he was trying to 
figure out how tasty I might be.

 We did some hiking along the drier trail, which featured some swampy areas, but none that you had to walk through. The trail head was almost a mile from our campsite and we had to walk along route 41 like a couple of losers in order to reach it. It was a really cool trail, though, and we saw some panther tracks in the soft sand.

 We stopped about halfway and had a picnic lunch on one of the wider sections of the trail.

 Walking this trail made me feel like I was Stewart Granger in 
'The Last Safari'. I was going to ask Wendy to just call me 'Bwana'
but I kept that idea to myself. Despite the low odds of a panther attack,
the idea is never far from your mind. For a suburban chump like me, this is
high adventure. Ha!

 Part of the forest that had suffered a burn-off. These palm
limbs looked like black dragon talons clawing their way out
of the white sand.

What's for lunch?

-The usual suspects.


  1. Your trek through Florida is making me so homesick.

  2. @Mama Holly: Sorry about that. At least try to enjoy it vicariously. Or c'mon down and join us!

  3. Gerry,
    A feel of Out of Africa, in parts!

    However, I liked the pulpit scene and your obvious 'fire and brimstone speech'!!

    Wonderful photographs and good to see Otis participating.
    Gerry and Wendy,
    All good wishes to you for the Christmas holidays,
    Best wishes, Eileen

  4. @Eileen: Thanks hon. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  5. I wouldn't walk through those swamps either...creepy!