Sunday, May 13, 2018

Smyrna Dunes Park

Sabal Palmettos watch the clouds
Smyrna Dunes Park is 73 acres of wild Florida, overlooked by towering condos, a last refuge for the natural world. The park is surrounded by water on three sides, and consists of five ecosystems, ocean, river (Indian River), scrub zone and salt-water marsh. I was there a year ago February. This was my last vacation with my husband, who succumbed to Alzheimer's three months later. It is only now that I have the peace of mind to write this blog.

View of park from condo, scrub zone and ocean visible

On a walkway. The lighthouse is across the Ponce Inlet,
where the Indian River reaches the sea. Saw Palmettos.

Saw Palmettos, Serenoa repens.

Walking along the board walk, the treasures were down below. Not quite spring yet, but several flowers were blooming.

Coastal Plain Golden Aster,  Chryopsis scarbella.

Common Blanket Flower,  Gaillardia pulchella.

Queen butterfly, Danaus glippus, enjoying the Gaillardia

Going to seed. Hard to tell what season it is here..

The Prickly Pear knows it's still flowers.
 (Opuntia Humifosa)

Partridge Pea, Chamaecrista Fasciculata.

Charming massed foliage!

Sea Oats, Uniola paniculata.

Some plants are not wanted

Schinus terebinthifolia is from South America.

Besides butterflies, other creatures make their living on the dunes.

Gopher Tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus.
The only tortoise found in Florida

A marked Gopher Tortoise burrow,
 edged with Cat Briar, Smilex genus.

The Mockingbird knows it's nest building time.
(Mimus polyglotus)

A stand of cedars, Juniperus genus.

Yellow Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata.
In the cedar

I have no ID who this is.

The park is not just dunes. The beach is where the shorebirds are.

Royal Tern, Thalasseus maximus. Bad hair day.

The Laughing Gull, thinks it's funny.
(Leucophaeus atricilla, Juvenile)

Ruddy Turnstone, Arenaria interpres.

Non-breeding plumage.

Fish Crows arguing.  Corvus ossifragus.

Snowy Egret, fishing. (Egretta thula)

Willet (or wont it?) . Tringa semipalmata.

The moon rises.' The days dwindle down to a precious few'.w.'.

The sun sets, on what is left of the dune wilderness.
These are the last sunsets I will see with my husband. RIP

I'm glad I will not be young, in a future without wilderness,~Aldo Leopold

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