Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hard to Beat!

Only 22 days into 2017 and already Tim and I believe we've found our favorite campground and bike trails for the year.

John Prince County Park Campground is going to be hard to beat.  

That's where the Habitat for Humanity affiliate of Delray Beach, FL negotiated a deal for us to stay while we volunteered at their build.

Our spacious campsite was right on the banks of Lake Osborne.

As we left for the build site at the crack of dawn every morning, we were treated to the sun's gathering light as it rose over the lake.  

Each day's light show seemed even more spectacular than the last.

A gift for getting up so early!

Yet another up side to our punctual arrival at work was the early quitting time.

We generally left the worksite around 3 p.m., giving us plenty of time to walk or ride John Prince County Park's five miles of trails to the far side of the lake and back again.

This trail provide ample opportunities to birdwatch.

Also along the trail was this--a Little Free Library, part of a nonprofit initiative to spur neighbors to read more.  One may take a book from the box in return for leaving a book for the next passerby.  Think of it as a little human bird feeder.

My favorite fowl was the cormorant who perched on a branch just beyond our picnic table.  

These aquatic birds dive below the surface of the water to feed on the fish they find.  After fishing, they go ashore and seem to worship the sun as they spread their wings to dry.  Why they do this is a subject for debate.  Some experts say that this behavior is due to the lack of oil on their feathers which requires them to dry their wings before submerging again.  Others believe this is instrumental in regulating their internal temperature.  Regardless, this bird was sunbathing every afternoon when we returned from work.

On Monday, our day off, we drove to a nearby portion of the Everglades National Park, our first visit to a National Park in this new year.  The area we biked is called the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.  Loxahatchee is a Seminole Indian name which means "River of Turtles."  We missed the turtles, but we did log our first sight of an alligator in 2017, undocumented digitally because who wants to stay in close proximity to those teeth.

So, all in all we are off to a great beginning in 2017!  One that will be difficult to surpass in the coming twelve months.

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