FloridaNatureTrails.com

 

Exploring Tips


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General   

 

  • Walk Slowly and Quietly
             Most Wildlife Will be Scared Away With Load Noise. The
             Quieter You are, the More You Will See.
  • Stop Often
             You Would be Surprised How Much You Can Miss!
             Look To Both Sides, Look up, Look Down.
  • Look Closely
             There May be a Camouflaged Animal or an Interesting Plant.
             Small Insects May Be on the Trees or Under the Boardwalk.
  • Listen Carefully
             The Rustling of Leaves Means There is Wildlife Close By.
             A Distant Woodpecker Could be Heard Tapping.
             Listen to Wood Stretching as the Trees Sway With the Wind.
             The Sound of Water Means There is a Stream Nearby.
             Hear the Insects and Birds Calling to Each Other.
  • Take in the Scents
              Take Time to Enjoy the Natural Air.
             Experience the Woody Scent of a Swamp.
             Enjoy the Scent of a Nearby Flowering Plant.
  • Touch Your Surroundings.
             Feel the Different Leaf Textures.
             Explore the Trees and the Various Barks.
  • Sit on the Boardwalk and Relax.
             This is My Favorite Part ! You can Look All Around You
               and Listen, Hear, and Smell Everything.
             Escape From Everyday Stress and Anxiety.
             There is a Great Sense of Peace Out in the Middle
             of A Nature Trail !  

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   Mangroves



 

Babbling Brook

 

 

 

 
  Cypress Trees

 

Insects


  • Insects Are Very Interesting to Watch. The Variety in Shape
             and Color is Amazing ! From a Spiders' Web to a Scavenging
             Beetle, Insects are All Over Nature Trails.
  • To find Insects, Sometimes You Have to go Hunting
    • Dead Trees
             Beetles, Ants, and Other Burrowing Insects are Found in Dead
              Tree Trunks or Fallen Branches.
    • Under Leaves and Tree Branches
             Many Insects Prefer the Shade and Protection Under Leaves.
    • In and Around Air Plant Roots
             The Roots of Air Plants Provide Cover and Moisture for Insects.
    • Near Flowers
             Butterflies and Various Beetles Feed on the Nectar of Flowers.
    • On the Waters' Surface
             Several Aquatic Beetles and Spiders Can be Found Near or 
              On Water.
  • Many Beetles, Caterpillars, and Butterflies are Attracted to Specific
             Host Plants. Look For Their Favorite Food Plant and You'll
             Probably Find Them !
  • High Speed Film is Recommended When Photographing Insects Because
             of Their Fast Movements
  • Macro Lenses are Essential to Get Good Close Up Shots

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Spider

   Beetle

 

Dragonfly

Plants

 

  • A Variety of Plant Life Can Be Found in Nature Centers.
             Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Ferns, Aquatic and Air Plants, Wildflowers
             Moss, Orchids, Etc !
  • Each Different Habitat You Visit Will Have Different Groups of Plants.
             For Example:
             - Coastal Areas Will Have Salt Tolerant Dune Plants and Mongroves.
             - PineWood Forests Will Have Slash Pines and Shrubby Understory .
  • Different Plants Can Be Found in Different Places
    • Ferns
              There are Many Different Types of Ferns in Florida. They Vary
               in Frond Characteristics, Size, Shape, and Color.
    • Trees
              Depending On Where You are, Different Trees Predominate.
              Cypress Swamps Will Have Cypress Trees and Maples.
              Mangrove Forrests Will Have Mangrove and Pond Apples.
              Take Note of the Different Bark and Leaf Textures.
    • Vines and Shrubs
              These Type of Plants Usually Produce Brightly Colored Fruits
              and Berries. Many are Fragrant.
    • Aquatic Plants
               Some Aquatic Plants are Tiny and Stay on the Surface
               of the Water.
               Some are Large and Produce Flowers Like Water Lillies.
               Ferns Can also be Aquatic.
    • Airplants
               These Include Bromeliads, Spanish Moss, Orchids, and the Various
               other Quill Leaf Pines.
               Most Air Plants Have Beautifully Colored and Unusual Blooms .
    • Moss and Lichens
               These May Seem Plain and Boring at First but When Looked at
               Close up, They are Very Detailed and Amazing ! They Can be
               Very Colorful and  Have Many Different Shapes and Textures.
    • Wildflowers
               Wildlfowers Can Be Found Anywhere You Go.
               They Can be Very Colorful and the Variety is Almost Endless
               in Florida.
  • Macro Lenses are Recommended When Photographing Close Ups of
            Flowers or Leaf Structures
  • Wide Angle Lenses are Good for Large Trees

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   Fern

 Berries

   Moss

 

 

 

Animals

  • To Be Able To See Animals, the Main Thing To Remember is
            To Walk Slowely and Quietly
  • Animals Can Be Found in Many Places
    • Alligators
            May Be Found Anywhere in Nature Parks in South Florida !
            They Prefer to Stay Near Water or in Swamps But are Seen
            Frequently Basking in the Sun.
    • Snakes
            Seen Hiding Under Plants or Rocks. Some Stay Near Water Like
            the Brown Water Snake.
    • Turtles
            Usually Found In or Near Water. Some Land Turtles Like the
            Gopher Turtles Crawl Into Dugouts They Build.
    • Lizards
            Found in Trees, Under Foliage, or Even on the Boardwalk.
            They are Really Qick and Will Usually Take Off When Spotted.
    • Frogs
            Usually Seen Near Water or Hiding in Foliage but I Have Seen
            a Few Right on the Boardwalk.
    • Crabs
            In Mangrove Areas, Fiddler and Mangrove Crabs are Common Sight.
            They Can Be Seen in the Mud in Coastal Areas. Land Crabs
            Go Farther Inland and Make Holes in the Sand to Hide.
    • Birds
            Bird Watching is A Favorite in Nature Parks. With a Good Set of
            Binoculars or Zoom Lense, Birds are Seen in Trees, Swamps, and
            Open Marsh Areas.
    • Squirrels and Raccoons
            These Guys Can be Seen in Trees and Scavenging for Crabs on Land.
    • Bigger Mammals
            Use Caution if You Spot a Florida Panther, BobCat, or Wild Boar.
             Remember to Keep Your Distance and Respect These Wild Animals.
  • Most Parks Have "Sightings" Notebooks at the Nature Center Offices or
             Building. Check These Out to See Where Wildlife Has Been Sighted
             by Other Visitors and Park Employees. 

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Alligator

 

 

   Tortoise

 

 

 

Green Tree Frog

 

   Snowy Egret

 

 

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