It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Secret Woods.

Our Location today is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

As I’ve often mentioned when Kathy researches a place for us to spend time at she has generally also found things to keep us busy. Armed with her list the other day when we were heading to the Walmart we had no sooner pull out of the driveway of Yacht Haven Marine and RV Park where we are staying when she says “That’s where it is”. When asked she said it was a place that she had found online for us to visit. 

This morning shortly after reading our E-mails it didn’t take us long to head out the door during the cooler morning hours. Almost like the other day we’d just pulled out of the one driveway and within a quarter mile we were turning down a nearly invisible lane leading to Secret Woods. Amid all the chaos of the fast paced life of Fort Lauderdale this is a diamond in the rough as far as unspoiled, unchanged land that holds countless numbers of vegetation and wildlife that nobody would suspect existed this close to the developed world. 
Not the way to dress for a nature trail.
Nice place for a family outing.
After following the lane and parking along the loop we were walking towards the entrance when we saw young couples dressed a little oddly for walking a nature trail. We’d later find out from one of the rangers that there was a wedding reception taking place in the Julia reception hall. The rent paid for the use of the hall helps to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the nature center. When renting the hall you must have it all cleaned up and be out of the park by 5 pm when the park closes. The couple were married this morning and were having an afternoon reception there. 

Before we made it to the modern offices and buildings we took the first loop to see the Butterflies in their natural environments. We’ve been to atriums that housed butterflies but this was outside. Photographing butterflies indoors you basically point the camera and shoot the picture but it doesn’t mean that your photo was of the butterfly you were aiming at. Outdoor butterflies are not as abundant and you miss more shots than you get but it was still beautiful seeing them in a natural environment. 

When we finally made it to the buildings a ranger explained the importance of this Ecosystem to the area and what more there was to see not only inside the buildings but along the next two nature trails. We checked out the buildings before following the boardwalk onto the trails. They didn’t even have a gift shop. 
Mud Crab.
The first trail we took was the New River Trail that zig-zagged its way through growths of Mangrove trees similar only to those we’d seen down in the Keys. This created the perfect environment for Burrowing Wasps that made their nest underground and would retreat there as they sensed you getting close. It was almost comical. The grey squirrels also were like an early warning system chattering as you approached as if to warn the other residents of the area. 
Burrowing Wasps scattering for cover.
Grey Squirrel.
The trail had benches that you could take a break on along the way. The far end of this trail loop actually came out at the New River. (Good Name?) We had been warned by the ranger that they had to clear the Spider Webs from the paths daily so not to be too surprised if there were new webs across the paths. We were too busy trying to photograph spiders than to worry about their webs. Unfortunately having to stay on the board walk it was impossible to focus on them with the foliage for a background. 
New River from the trail.
At noon we sat on a bench and had a drink of water before taking on the shorter Laurel Oak Trail. This trail was a combination of Mulch covered paths with the odd section of board walks in the damp areas of the trail. Besides benches to sit there was an area set up as a presentation area possibly used for school outings or guided tours. This trail contained more vegetation than wildlife. They even had a Wild Coffee Shrub.

It was after 1:00 when we left and the only way back to our park was a ten mile drive. (1/4 mile going, 10 mile return. Don’t you just love the road systems here?) We stopped at McDonalds to have Chicken nuggets for lunch with extra pop to drink.
Some areas the Mangrove growth was thick.
Other areas the vegetation was sparse.
Back at the trailer we got caught up on our morning reading before grilling a pizza on the Weber for supper. Not quite sure what we’ll be doing tomorrow but we’ll let you know then. 
The End.
To all our Family, Friends and Readers we’d like to wish you all a Happy Easter. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

You Might Be a Redneck If

You bum a dip from your mother.

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