In between road trips and extended travels, we love Treasure Hunting where we live. There is an abundance of natural beauty and nature to be enjoyed within minutes of our home in South Florida. We love to get up close by riding our bikes or paddling our kayak, but the best way we have found to view nature is on foot, through the lens of a camera.
There are any number of state parks and botanical gardens in our area, but one of my favorites is Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach. The park covers over fifty acres of wetlands that are maintained by the Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility in Palm Beach County. The half-mile boardwalk which incorporates a couple of covered rest stops, has an elevated walkway for viewing the inhabitants of this man-made wetlands. On any given day, you will find photographers, and bird watchers striving to peacefully co-exist with throngs of daily walkers and casual on-lookers. Ultimately, everyone is here for the same reason – nature.
November to May is bird season at Wakodahatchee and you will see hundreds of nesting egrets, anhinga, and herons throughout the park. My favorite time to visit is at sunrise, when the park opens. The backdrop of the rising sun creates an incredible spectacle with snowy white egrets and wood storks protectively guarding their nests within the trees.
Iguanas, snakes, frogs and a myriad of other creatures are natural predators to the nesting birds. You understand very quickly the natural order of things – this is not a zoo.
This guy was searching for a snack about thirty feet away from where I was standing on the elevated walkway. He looked to be about 12 feet in length and while I really wanted to see his powerful jaws open, all I got was a smile.
The little guy below was lazying in the sun, watching my every move. That’s me, reflecting in his eye, while kneeling on the boardwalk to get a better vantage point through the blades of grass. We were both content to keep our distance.
This cute gal was happily munching on a root, seemingly oblivious to my intrusion.
This pair of ducks posed on the railing for all who passed, completely undisturbed.
But, the treasure this day was the sighting of a snowy white egret grooming in the shallow water just below my perch. Following her closely through the camera lens, I waited for a glance, the lift of a wing, a slight movement of water or grass; anything that would make the photo interesting. And then this happened…
This is the kind of moment that makes my day and keeps me coming back for more.
Florida has an abundance of natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. We are doing our best to see this amazing state, one coast at a time. Follow our journey both here and on Instagram.
Wakodahatchee Wetlands 13026 Jog Road Delray Beach, Florida
Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily