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A Nature Walk in Tropical Wauchula, FL

Updated on December 14, 2017
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life and shares his experiences with valuable tips.

OSPREY (Bird of Prey)

OSPREY (Bird of Prey)
OSPREY (Bird of Prey) | Source

Where to be on Thanksgiving Day?

For some reason, even though this was our third RV, we had always been at home or at one of our kid's home, or somewhere else near family of friends on Thanksgiving Day.

We had actually spent a lot of time over the past several months trying to decide whether we should be for Thanksgiving. Should we be in Virginia, or North Carolina with family, or maybe in Myrtle Beach with friends, or should we just be on the road in our RV when the holiday occurred.

We had finally decided on being in the South, in mild weather, in a nice campground, with a heated pool and Jacuzzi. We figured this option was great for both of our Backs, and our Health overall.

A young Alligator sunning itself.

Gators are everywhere in Florida and they are a common sight as they leave the water to sun themselves.
Gators are everywhere in Florida and they are a common sight as they leave the water to sun themselves. | Source

A Walk on Thanksgiving Day

So with our decision made; we there we were, camping in our motorhome in Florida for the winter.

We had been casually hopping around the state, from campground to campground and thoroughly enjoying the local weather along with the local sights.

We had pulled into yet another campground for a few weeks and after a few days, I decided that I really needed to get off of my butt and get a little exercise by taking regular walks on the campground's nature paths.

Oh, to be specific, we were actually staying at the Thousand Trails - Peace River Campground, just south of the little town of Wauchula, FL.

The day started out just like our previous two at the campground.

It was a typical November in South Florida; a little rainy, and windy for a day or two, followed by four or five days of great tropical weather.

But, the great thing about winter weather in Florida is that usually it was always mild.

By around 10AM, the clouds had started to break up, the Sun was shining, and every thing looked beautiful.

Thanksgiving day meal in an RV

So as we had planned; we were in a nice Florida campground on Thanksgiving day.

The day before, my wife and I had made the normal last minute run to the local supermarket in Wauchula to pick up some food items for our special meal.

I had found some; frozen Mashed Potatoes, canned green beans, and a boneless Turkey Breast in the supermarket. We had also purchased a small fresh Carrot Cake, and the makings for some Turkey stuffing to round out our campground Thanksgiving meal.

And, as I had volunteered to do most of the cooking, all of these foods are pretty easy to prepare, even by my standards.

We were up early in the morning, while the weather was still bad and my wife and after a couple of hours of cooking my wife and I had made our first simplified camper's version of a Thanksgiving Dinner, in our motorhome kitchen.

A Great Book on the Peace River

Florida's Peace River Frontier
Florida's Peace River Frontier

When I travel in my RV, I often purchase books on the local area. I found this one in the local drugstore and it has provided me with some great sightseeing ideas whenever we have camped near Wauchula Florida.

 

Finally taking my Nature walk.

By around 1:00PM, we had finished eating our Thanksgiving meal, cleaned up the kitchen and I had even taken a short nap. My wife woke me up and to clear my head I stepped outside of my RV and realized that everything was just right for a walk.

With a full belly, I was now wearing my walking shoes and I had my Nikon camera strapped around my neck. My wife and I were ready to take a walk on one of the wonderful Nature trails, here at the campground.

Being a Senior, you should realize this wasn't going to be a "hike"; but rather we would be taking a nice slow trail walk through the local; tropical shrubbery, strange plants, wildflowers flowers and such.

I really needed to pack all of the food I had eaten down, and hopefully avoid going into some kind of a Sugar coma or something anyway, so we ambled over to the longest nature trail in the campground.

We monitored the campground map to get our bearings and off we went. We actually spent several hours on that first walk, with my wife and I swapping the camera back and forth and taking dozens of interesting pictures of the local winter flora.

We eventually got back to our RV and spent some time going over the pictures we had taken as I stored them on the hard drive of my computer.

Attached here you will find a few of the pictures we captured on our little nature walk on that Thanksgiving day. I check them out every now and then, and remember that special Thanksgiving Day fondly.

Wauchula Nature Trail

The Nature Trail at the thousand Trails campground in Wauchula Florida
The Nature Trail at the thousand Trails campground in Wauchula Florida | Source

Warning Signs

We found these Warning Signs along the trail near the Peace River's banks.
We found these Warning Signs along the trail near the Peace River's banks. | Source

Great Hiking shoes

Salomon Men's Eskape Aero Hiking Shoe
Salomon Men's Eskape Aero Hiking Shoe

I had on my walking shoes as we traveled the nature trail. I have a wide foot and these particular shoes are really comfortable for me an they breath good.

 

Warning Signs

Of, course what is a Nature Trail without the appropriate warnings, of the hidden dangers that might be present?

And, we are used to looking out for such signs when we travel to an area of the country that we have visited before.

This is a big country and there are a wide variety of dangers wherever you might go, that the natives might take for granted.

These two signs might take that concept a little too far though ....... maybe?

A view of the Peace River

The Peace River actually borders the campground on two sides and provides the campers wit decent fishing and great legal fossil hunting.
The Peace River actually borders the campground on two sides and provides the campers wit decent fishing and great legal fossil hunting. | Source

A View of the Peace River

The Peace River winds around two sides of the TT Campground, and provides a beautiful backdrop for a lot of pictures.

It seems that the Peace River is also a great source of Fossils and is very popular for the great and free finds that seem to be everywhere in and along the river.

Supposedly, if you stick a shovel into a bank or sandbar, and sift the residue, you will almost certainly find at least a Shark's Tooth, or a piece of Bone, or other fossilized items.

Native palm trees abound

Being in Florida we found Native Palms, all along the nature path.
Being in Florida we found Native Palms, all along the nature path. | Source

Nature surrounds you

I guess one of the things that we do enjoy when we travel is "sticking our toes" into the natural habitat of an area.

Here, in Wauchula, we were really excited by the nature trails that were already there. There were several of these trails and we took advantage of all of them multiple times.

What we really loved was the fact that each time we walked these trails we saw different samplings of the native wildlife living in and on the local plants.

Typical Tropical Shrubbery

Being in Florida this is a good example of the local Tropical Shrubbery
Being in Florida this is a good example of the local Tropical Shrubbery | Source

Butterfly

White Peacock Butterfly, native to Hardee County, Florida
White Peacock Butterfly, native to Hardee County, Florida | Source

White Peacock Butterfly

There were hundreds of Butterflys fluttering all over the place. This specific one was the most abundant on that day, and is known as the White Peacock Butterfly.

What a Beautiful and active entertainer!

Native Wildflowers

False Foxglove WildFlower
False Foxglove WildFlower | Source

Wildflowers

And Wildflowers!

I do love to come across Wildflowers when I take a walk in the woods, or near a River, as is the case here.

Butterflys, Bees, and Wildflowers

Biden's Spanish Needle
Biden's Spanish Needle | Source

Butterflys, Bees, and Wildflowers

nature in Action!

I caught this shot with both Bees and Butterflys feeding themselves on the Wildflower blossoms.

A Wildflower and a LadyBug

Wildflowers abound along the trail
Wildflowers abound along the trail | Source
Ladybug?
Ladybug? | Source

Wildflower and LadyBug

The Wildflower.

It was just hanging there in the blazing Sun.

Standing out from the surrounding vegetation, and begging for it's picture to be taken.

While, right nest to the Wildflower, a LadyBug was doing it's best to eat every piece of vegetation it could.

I show both pictures here, just for the color contrast.

More WildFlowers

More Wild Flowers
More Wild Flowers | Source

Peace River Picture looking upstream

The Peace River looking upstream from the campground.
The Peace River looking upstream from the campground. | Source

We stayed for three weeks

We stayed for the Thanksgiving holiday and a total of three weeks.

There isn't a lot to do in Wuachula itself, but we had a great time alternating between swimming in the pool looking for fossils in the river and exploring the local area.

We have been back to this quiet campground in the middle of Florida several times and we will be back. It is a great place to just relax and unwind.

OSPREY - Bird of PREY - Identification

Thousand Trails campground on the Peace River

© 2009 Don Bobbitt

Comments

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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jack (Fortunexreator), thanks for the correction. I am at this moment changing the Hub to reflect your observation that the bird is indeed an Osprey (bird of prey).

      At the time that I took the picture, i had searched the web for images of "Florida Birds" and nothing came up that resembled my pic other than a distant picture of an immature Red Tail Hawk. So, eventually, I gave up and knowing that I was in the area at the time that Red Tails were most abundant in Central Florida,I took a shot that I was right.

      It is good to be corrected and have the right data out there for others.

    • profile image

      Jack 

      6 years ago

      hi don, i was just searching google for pictures of an immature cooper's hawk to compare a shot that i had taken on january first this year. yours popped up. i hate to nit pick, or belittle your ID skills, but the bird in the photo is an osprey, judging by the patterning on the breast a possible female. a miss ID in the field is real bumber in the birding world, and if im not 100% positive of an id, i document the observation as an unidentified accipiter, dabbler, buteo, or whatever family the bird belongs to. i do like your photos, and knowing that you are a nikon shooter makes you alright in my book!!!! ill probly keep checking back, i love nature sites! check mine out at birdingpa.blogspot.com.

      best,

      Jack

    • fortunecreator profile image

      fortunecreator 

      7 years ago from Internet

      Great pics of Wauchula - definitely a nice place to visit in Florida.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks, John and a Camera! Yeah, I have a small library of OK shots, but I really need to step up my lens. I use a Nikon, and my "go everywhere" lens is a 28-200. I have a 300-zoom, but it is never on my camera when that great shot is staring at me. Oh Well! I love your shots though. Cudo's to you!

    • John and a camera profile image

      John and a camera 

      8 years ago from Co. Leitrim Southern Ireland

      Nice hub Don. Would love to see some more bird pictures on here. Keep up the good work.

    • nikki1 profile image

      nikki1 

      8 years ago

      great hub/pic.s

    • profile image

      shelbyK 

      8 years ago

      Just took a peak and see some good changes. I'm going to bed now. Broke my little toe on left foot Wed. during night - mad dash to the bathroom, what else at 4:30 in the morning?!. Tired of dragging that foot around. Tell you about it later. Sure do some stupid things when getting older! ss

    • profile image

      shelbyK 

      8 years ago

      Don - Do you know that travel writing is a good way to make extra dough - whether you really need it or not? Each year I buy the "Best Travel Writing of the Year." Good travel writing can take the rocking-chair reader back home in Maine,while you are luxuriating in sunny Florida, right there with you, BUT . . . you have got to be able to identify what you are talking about. Get yourself a book on the flora and fauna of whatever part of Florida you are in at the time of your writing (probably close to being the same all over Fla.) and don't just show a picture and say butterfly, wildflower, etc. You need to name the "thing". I can promise you your readership will jump when you start identifying what you are seeing, experiencing. For example: Instead of saying "Wildflowers"you can then say, "Wildflower - native of the Wauchula area of south Florida, called the Lady Slipper, first discovered in 1792 by the botanist, John Foster, himself a native of one of the coldest climates on earth, Siberia." Now, THAT IS INTERESTING! and will grab and hold your readers attention and make them want more of YOUR travel/nature writing. Remember - Ya' gotta' know it before you can talk about it with any authority and convince others.

      As for this hub? - good, like all your others. You got it working, and I'm not saying you need to make something enjoyable become an arduous task each time you put a piece out here, but I bet even you, the writer, would like to know more about that pretty little pink "wildflower" you wrote about this time. Now . . . moving right along in our workship this morning - the word is BLOSSOM not BLOSSUM.

      I promise you it makes a difference. Another thing: get yourself a good dictionary and a thesaurus. They are invaluable to any writer. I could not write one complete paragraph without both of these tools. As I have said before, you are on a roll - seeing good stuff and sharing it with pictures and words. The camera doesn't lie. Make your words ring with truth and knowledge also.

      Now - you may be wondering - "why did ole'cuz - the English major - have to get into the teacher mode this morning, and in my public place?" Well, because I want everyone else who reads you to know what I know - that you have tremendous ability to tell a story, the right heart for the job, but that with all new writers, myself included in yonder days - sometimes we need a tad of prodding to reach a bit further and make the difference between - "O.K. another Don Bobbitt hub" to HOLD ON A MINUTE, GOTTA' READ THIS NEW HUB BY BOBBITT!

      (you can thank me later, and you will (tee-hee)

      My love to you, dear one.

      shelby

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