Best Way to Enjoy New Year’s Day: Kayak The Loxahatchee

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On New Year’s Day last year, we planned a group adventure to kayak the Loxahatchee River. The Loxahatchee is one of the most scenic of south Florida waterways.

Kayak the Loxahatchee at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Jonathan Dickinson State Park, located in Hobe Sound, Florida on the Loxahatchee River, offers a variety of outdoor activities. Our group rented kayaks and canoes, while other park visitors filled the seats of a sunset river cruise. 

The winter months are the best time to kayak in south Florida. It was cool and comfy out on the river; I think these creatures would agree.

One of the reason’s we like to kayak the Loxahatchee is to get up close to the wildlife. You never know what you’re going to see.

Our group chose two person or tandem kayaks, but honestly, I think a single kayak is easier to handle. If only one person is doing the heavy work, then a tandem is great.

The general store handles all rentals and boat tickets as well as hosts a concession stand and umbrella tables to eat riverside. A pavilion with picnic tables stands nearby with extra seating and also convenient restrooms. 

Can’t think of a better way to spend a day than with family and friends.

Mapping your trip down the river

You might be wondering how to navigate your kayak on the Loxahatchee if you’re a visitor to the area. It was pretty easy.

The waterways are wide and easy to paddle. We received a map with the kayak rentals and made sure to agree to an easy path. I then stuck the map in a ziploc bag to keep dry along the way.

There were other people on the water, as well as a regularly traveling tour boat. Seeing other boaters gave us confidence we would be able to contact help if needed. We had no problems.

Happy New Year! Day 1 – A Day Well Spent.

Savannas Preserve State Park

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We decided to step out a few times a week and go on some day hikes instead of just around the block on our daily walks.

This past sunny Saturday morning, Penny and I took a look around the trails at the Savannas Preserve State Park on Walton Road in Port Saint Lucie.

You can pick up a map at the entrance and get an overview of the trails at the park. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the markings for the trails you choose to follow.

Savannas are an endangered natural system of freshwater marshes. This preserve is the largest and most intact remnant of Florida east coast savannas. The park stretches 10 miles from Fort Pierce to Jensen and hosts 8 miles of trails and is open from 8 a.m. to sundown.

Guided walks as well as canoe and kayak tours are available on weekends with reservations required. The park also hosts an environmental center, but I didn’t think I could bring Penny inside for a tour. ; )

You can find more detailed information about navigating the Savannas Preserve online at Florida Hikes.  Happy hiking!

 

 

 

 

Driving Through Rocky Mountain National Park

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Breathtaking vistas, wildlife roaming the frontier, stunning sights to behold at every twist and turn. Rocky Mountain National Park is truly one of Americas unsung treasures.Situated about 2 hours north of Denver, these hills provide travelers an experience found in few places that are easily accessible to the public. Add this park to the top of your bucket list.

The Little Blue Heron

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Continuing to get to know my Florida wildlife a little better today with my friend here. When I was first told he was a little blue Heron, I thought they meant a baby Heron. Alas, that was the proper name.  You will find Little Blue Herons in the shallows of marine and freshwater marshes. I found this friend above wading in the everglades. Notice the slate blue plumage and the long neck and legs.
This little guy was on the banks of the Saint Lucie River in Stuart, Florida. He looked like a Heron, but where was his long neck? He was simply just sitting with his neck tucked in. I didn’t realize they could do that. I clearly have not been paying that much attention to my featured friends. At first I thought this was a different species of bird. I’m learning! I didn’t realize Herons could change their appearance so drastically. Now that I do know, I think that’s pretty impressive, giraffes certainly can’t do that.

Herons are an unusual looking bird, yet a common sight around Florida waterways. However, there were twice as many of these beautiful birds 40 years ago. Their population is in decline due to loss of feeding habitat.

This is another bird that I wasn’t exactly sure what he was. As I noted in the purple gallinule post, I decided to get to know the subjects of some of my photos better and to keep track of new birds I encounter.

The Little Blue Heron gets marked off my Checklist of Florida Birds.

Snorkeling Cruise Excursion in Cozumel

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Cozumel is a favorite retreat for our family. A relaxing, friendly, and captivating escape.We prefer the more quiet Playa San Juan (San Juan Beach) on the west side of the island. Here you receive the royal treatment.Cozumel beaches are a combination of limestone and sand. The dining is open air, with the atlantic framed purposefully beyond limestone archways.

Umbrella tables greet you poolside.Beach chairs await you oceanside and down beneath the rocky shore, the waters teem with treasure.

Our days spent in Cozumel are always days well spent.

Where I Ride

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I am a Florida leisure cyclist. I love my blue Sun Beach Cruiser and long lazy rides through Tradition, Fl. When I reach this lake on my regular route, I can feel my soul settle down and unwind a bit.


Out here I ride with the cranes.

I ride with the cows.I ride with a helmet and a smile.

Where do you ride? 

Oxbow Eco Center

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What’s it like inside the Oxbow Eco Center?

There’s so much to explore and get your hands on and your eyes around at a nature center. We are blessed to locally have “The Oxbow.” I love to watch the wonder in a child’s eye when they experience something for the first time, like standing eye to eye with an otter.

Ever lay your hand across the back of a bobcat? Curious about a crane’s beak?

Then head to the Oxbow. Your experience can be different every time. On our last visit, the staff had just received a nest of baby birds that had fallen out of a neighboring tree – we were mesmerized as their little beaks chirped up at us.

Peek through the glass at the snakes and turtles, run your fingers through the sand at the sensory table, take a hike on the trails…all part of a day well spent.

Chalk Drawing

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Do you remember that TV show Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings? Where Simon would draw on his bedroom chalk board and when done, he would climb his special ladder, look over the fence into The Land of Chalk Drawings, and see what impact his drawing had on their world?

When I look at chalk drawings, I wonder beyond my world into imaginary lands too. I was drawn into the driveway designs created just outside my front door this Easter evening by my daughter, niece,and nephew.

It’s a blue sky, tire-swinging kind of day in driveway world. Apples hang on the boughs of a giant tree that this little cosmos is centered upon. It’s a world where beehives buzz and butterflies brighten the day. That’s a blue dinosaur under the beehive by the way. Of course.

Roots grow deep and strong into the grassy green hillside. A lone flower in full bloom stands at the foot of the hill. What animals might be scurrying just inside the tree trunk door?

Twilight falls, and all that is left of the chunky green chalk lays in dust upon her hands.