Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bobcock/Webb Wildlife Mgmt Area & Lovers Key

Today, I started out at the Bobcock/Web Wildlife Management Area. It sounded like a great place to hike and I've passed it a hundred times on I-75. Well, I soon found out that "Wildlife Managment" actually means public hunting grounds. And today was the first day of small game season. Hiking was allowed, but getting shot was at the risk of the hiker. Since it was small game and the size of my butt alone would disqualify me, I decided to give it a shot anyway. Turns out, even though they list hiking as an activity for this area - they don't actually have trail heads. Just a whole lot of "natural Florida" and a bunch of guys in pick up trucks with bright orange vests and gun racks. I drove around a bit, but decided it would be best if I didn't actually leave the car. You could hear guns going off everywhere. I didn't see any wildlife (although, can you really blame them). But I did learn that today you can legally hunt skunks (who would want to do that?!?!). So after driving around for about 40 minutes, I left for better hiking areas.

I ended up at the Lovers Key State Park. This is a great little place. It's actually a bunch of small islands all strung together with a couple of bridges. There is a bunch of places to fish or launch a boat. There are places to rent canoes or kayaks. They had butterfly gardens and picnic areas. Plenty of park benches along the canal. And on one of the islands "Black Island" they have a 2.3 mile trail that you can hike or bike. Lovers Key got its name because it used to be only accessible by boat, and it was said that only lovers made the effort to get to this cute little romantic spot. Black Island got its name because it is rumored that the pirate Angus Black fled here after escaping authorities and lived here for the remainder of his life.

I didn't see tons of wildlife here either, but some. Lots of butterflys, a couple of gray squirrels, and the fish were jumping out of the water. Apparently there are green iguanas here also, although I didn't know those were indiginous to Florida, and I didn't actually see any. I got some great pictures of flowers and folage. They had a lot of a blue flower that looked like a morning glory, but its called the Passionflower vine. They had a lot of sea grapes - and this is the first time I've ever seen them seed. Now I know why they are called sea grapes - I used to think it was because of the shape of the leaf, but they really do produce bundles of what looks like grapes. This park gets two thumbs up for me. It's pretty and natural and has plenty to do.


Christina Baldwin said...

But did you see any Lovers? I would have liked to see a picture of that! Skunk hunting is legalized, huh? Really? Has anyone ever hit one with thier car? Why would you hunt them??? Although they are damn cute - ever seen Bambi? :)

Redd Family History said...

As long as they don't hunt the mythical Skunk Ape!