Kissimmee Prairie State Park, Okeechobee, Florida
Rain is predicted the next few days, as yet another front moves into Florida. Okay…I know we’re having a drought, but come on….
On one of our walks yesterday we noticed a terrible thing! Yes, there are other campers in “our” park. How dare they? Fortunately, they are in the other campground, which is about a mile from us. So far, there are not others in our loop.
We spent a few hours reading yesterday afternoon. Our “back yard” gave us a beautiful view, plenty of shade and a very nice breeze.
I started reading The Art of Racing in the Rain.” Judy sent it to me after she read it. I will pass it along to someone else when I’m finished. It’s a book written through the eyes of a Golden Retriever. I’m enjoying it.
We decided to take a drive along the park roads. The park roads run forever, so we decided to take the easy way and use the truck.
We came across a few interesting birds along the road.
This little guy kept laying right in the middle of the road. We got out and chased him off the road several times. We didn’t want him to get hit. We had no idea what it was but after checking our bird books, we think it is a Nighthawk. He looks very similar to a Whip-poor-will though.
He looked pretty small in the road, but when he flew off he had a pretty wide wingspan with white bars on the underside of the wings. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this type of bird before.
Further up along the road, on a small fence post we came across this tiny owl. It appeared to be smaller than a Burrowing Owl.
I know there are Burrowing Owls in the park, but this one didn’t look quite like one.
The next picture is a Burrowing Owl we saw a few months ago. You can see how different it looks.
We can’t find the owl in our bird book. The Ranger mentioned a few species of owls. We’re going to ask her today.
Another interesting bird we saw along the trail was a Loggerhead Shrike. I didn’t get the best picture of him, because by this time it was starting to get dark.
I read an interesting story about this prairie.
here is the link to a short post about this park.
The author, John Davis, said this about the prairie.
“ In a phrase, Kissimmee Prairie is the Southeast’s greatest grassland, and Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is Florida’s flagship grassland state park. Imagine western Nebraska with small palms rather than large cows, and you might get a good image of Kissimmee.”
Yes, Florida does have prairies, and that is a great description.
It’s hard to get pictures of the prairie that capture the beauty of it, but here are a few. Notice the palm trees.
Sunsets are very nice here.
Baxter got to go for a ride in his stroller. Boy was he excited about all the smells of the prairie.
We saw quite a few more deer and turkeys and saw a small critter that we at first thought was a raccoon. A few minutes later, we realized it was a skunk….after we got a whiff!