Friday, October 27, 2017

Allapattah Flats WMA

In the name of true adventure and exploration, we decided that it was time to load up the bikes for their first official ride on the back of Annie.  After a few attempts at securing them to our satisfaction, we headed out to take a ride at Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area.

Scene (2)
It was a lot of WIDE OPEN.  You can also see in the above photo just how 50/50 the weather was.  We went through about four cycles of Rain then Sun during our excursion.  Still, it was a great test of the bikes and of ourselves riding them on something other than pavement.  All four of us made it out freshly bathed and unscathed.

Cattle Egret Bird (3)
It was a pleasant albeit bumpy ride made a bit more interesting with the added necessity to avoid 'landmines' left by the resident cattle.

American Kestrel Bird (3)
                                                           We saw many familiar birds.

Green Heron Bird (2)
This Green Heron was at the waters edge until we rode up.  It then took refuge in a pine.

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Insect Bug (1)
We spotted this Eastern Lubber Grasshopper who by the way cannot fly and is not the best of leapers either.  Instead they walk or crawl in what has been described as a not too graceful way.  Hence the name Lubber.  What they lack in typical grasshopper abilities though they more than make up for in beauty, size and their ability to spread their wings, hiss, and secrete foul-smelling froth from their spiracles when alarmed.  Ah, nature - the great equalizer.

Queen Butterfly Insect Bug (1)
                           We spotted a Queen Butterfly sitting on her throne and also

Eastern Black Swallotail Butterfly Insect Bug (4)
                                             the beautiful Eastern Black Swallowtail.

The road is only about 1.5 miles long but we made plenty of stops along the way to take in sights big and small.

                   Like this Showy Rattlebox Flower

Loggerhead Shrike Bird (1)
                                                          and this Loggerhead Shrike.

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                                               At the end of the road is a campground

Log Crossing (4)
                             where Nicole tried her hand at a log crossing with the bike.

We sat on a picnic table and ate lunch and had a visit from what we've decided to call a Cinnamon Raccoon.  (S)he took us by surprise so we did not get any photos which is a shame because Nicole swears it was actually a Coatimundi.

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                       View from the campground area overlooking the wetland area.

Cattle Egret Bird (1)
                                       Hundreds of Cattle Egrets tending to their namesakes.

Eastern Meadowlark Bird (6)
         On the way out we stopped to listen to an Eastern Meadowlark singing in the brush

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                            and took one last look at the scenery of Allapattah Flats WMA.