I completely missed snowpocalypse two weeks ago. I was in Florida instead, visiting family and enjoying warm temperatures and sunny skies.
One of my favorite places to visit when I’m there is Robinson Preserve, an almost 500 acre nature preserve in Manatee County (near where my dad lives). This area has been restored, from disturbed farmland, back to its natural coastal and wetland habitat, and now serves as a resource for recreation and research.
Our typical exploration is a 3 mile loop, on a crushed shell pathway, that leads to an observation tower, out to the confluence of Tampa Bay and the Manatee River, and back.
|Bridges and pathways lead from interior wetlands to Tampa Bay (with the Skyway Bridge in the background)|
|Wood and crushed shell paths wind through the preserve|
|A bit of natural selection? A Banyan tree engulfing a Palm tree|
|Beautiful restored wetlands feature native plants|
|Seagrape (Coccolobo uvifera) is an evergreen tree/shrub native to coastal beaches in Florida|
|Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is a beautiful and drought tolerant Florida native|
|A pretty view over the interior salt water ponds|
Robinson Preserve is a great place to explore (by foot, bike or kayak), and to appreciate the natural state of Florida’s wetland and coastal habitats. A fun (and warm) excursion that was a welcome break from the snowy landscape of New England!