(photo from the Florida Payne's Prairie website)
I headed out to the Payne's Prairie the other day for my first adventure hike with Lars Anderson, Adventure Outpost owner and Zoobird member. That photo you see above is from the Payne's Prairie website
Well, it was a great day yesterday at Payne's Prairie with Lars and the group. There were about 10 of us.
That's us in the photo above. We spotted about 10-15 different species of birds. Thanks to Lars, all were identified.
We came into Payne's Prairie right by this building. I think it's a horse barn. Lars said there were horses there used by some gov't employees. Then, Lars told us there were wild horses and buffalo out on the prairie. Some horses were Spanish, left by the original Spaniards.
I talked with Laura, a geologist with the group. She told me they had just read Lars' book and that's why they'd driven down from Atlanta, GA. I got an autographed copy, by the way.
There were a ton of alligators. I always say the gators won't bug you unless you bug them first. These critters were so abundant and close, you had to look out or else you'd step on one. No kidding. Big ones, too!
I use an iPhone to take these photos. Sometimes, if a binocular is handy, I'll put it in front of the lens and take a telephoto shot. One of the gals on our walk spotted the herd of buffalo out on the prairie. I meant to take a photo, but the sun was so bright, it was hard to focus. Instead, I got this photo and I think it's of one of the two whooping cranes that live in the area.
You can see a bunch of gators across the shore sunning themselves in this shot. These are huge gators. Many more than 10 feet long.
Lars filled us in on a lot of the history of Payne's Prairie. He talked about the Spanish explorers, the indians, the French, and I can't wait to read more of his book.
This is a fairly typical view of the prairie. I thought for a long time it was featureless. Like a lot of things in life, you discover more and more as you look more closely and get to know it.
There are such an abundance of animals in the area. Just yesterday, the Gainesville Sun published a map of coyote sightings in Alachua County. Reminds me of Texas...ahhh! Check the map out by clicking here.
There's a lookout tower at the end of the trail overlooking Payne's Prairie.
So, a good time was had by all. I plan to go on as many adventures with Lars Outdoor Adventures company as possible in the future. Nothing like having a knowledgeable guide. Click on the photo below to see the set I took yesterday.
If you'd like to go on one of these adventures and meet Lars, please
give Patsy a call at Adventure Outpost in High Springs, FL. His contact
info is here: http://www.zoobird.com/profile/LarsAndersen