Saturday, September 5, 2015

Brooker Creek Preserve

I went to a new place today for a change of pace. It was Brooker Creek Preserve, a wildlife refuge in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I was under the impression that it would be approximately 3-4 loops of boardwalk and dirt trail. Well, I got the loops and the milage correct, but the boardwalk was minimal, and so were the dirt trail. Instead, I found mile after mile of standing water.

I was able to run in the beginning, however, I was mostly hiking, perhaps wading is the more appropriate term, through this otherwise gorgeous forestry. I happened across another hiker who advised me that there were most likely some dry trails to traverse, however, he was new to the trail as well, and he turned out mistaken. I didn't really mind getting my feet wet or muddy, but it was a bit discouraging to wade through water up to my knees. At first, I was a bit anxious about moving through these waters, however, as the trails moved along I became more and more confident. I remember feeling frustrated more than anything, as I would look ahead and imagine that just around the bend it would be dry, but often that was not the case. I was more afraid of snakes, and "unseen things" under the water than anything, and soon began to wonder what bacteria and amoeba might be lurking as well. Florida is known to be quite the biome you know.

In the end, I saw a park ranger leading a tour group and asked him when he thought the standing water might dissipate, to which he replied, "Late October, early November, if we don't get a hurricane". So, though I discovered a gorgeous new playground with deer, squirrel, rabbit, and all manner of creature, I will not return until the late fall months to explore. Thanx for letting me share!