Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Kissimmee Days

Saturday January 5, 2013
Site 30 Kissimmee Prairie Preserve
Okeechobee, Florida



Another foggy morning on the prairie.


This morning begins again with fog and running.  As usual, about 11:00 everything clears up.  We’ve had breakfast and done a few things around the rig.  We pack lunches and at 1:45 we head over to try to get onto the afternoon Swamp Buggy ride in case anyone of the 8 people with reservations doesn’t show.  No luck, they all do.  So we sign up for tomorrow morning.


Outside the preserve office is a sad reminder.


Kissimmee Day 3 002A

This beautiful sculpture is rather hidden off to the side and under some trees at the preserve office but I am glad it is there and hope others will see it and think deeply about our responsibility to all of the creatures on the Earth.   Neither I, nor David, nor you, nor Carrie nor anyone ever again will get to see this beautiful bird.  And he will never get to live his life as a part of this interconnected web of being on such an amazing planet.  The last wild specimen was killed here in Okeechobee County in 1904 and the last zoo captive died in 1918.



The plaque on the statue reads:Kissimmee Day 3 003

Audubon’s sketch

Audubon's Carolina Parakeet



Looks like we have a free afternoon.

With our afternoon free, we decide to hike the Prairie Loop Trail which interestingly begins in a hammock before coming out into the prairie


Kissimmee Day 3 005


Kissimmee Day 3 008



Just can’t resist these Live Oaks.

This one is so tall I can’t get even half of it in the picture and it is so big the two of us can’t get our arms around it.


Kissimmee Day 3 010


Kissimmee Day 3 011


They are clearly determined trees as well.  When we came upon this huge root mass, we thought the tree had been blown over.  And apparently it had.  However the roots now have bark on them and appear to be alive with roots of their own.   David is 5’10” that’s how tall the root mass was.


Kissimmee Day 3 015


The tree had blown over but two branches had just turned themselves to the sky and become trees in their own right.  Nature is amazing!  I wonder if any of us is as tenacious as this Live Oak. Never give up, no matter what, seems to be the rule.

Kissimmee Day 3 017



We leave the hammock and enter the prairie. 

Kissimmee Day 3 028


The prairie reminds me to look at the BIG picture

Kissimmee Day 3 032


And at the details.

Kissimmee Day 3 021

Kissimmee Day 3 019



including the tracks.

Kissimmee Day 3 033

Kissimmee Day 3 034

Kissimmee Day 3 036



With the rain, the mist and the fog, we’re no longer sure what is wet and what is dry prairie.  


Kissimmee Day 3 037




The meadowlark apparently is happy with prairies wet or dry.


Kissimmee Day 3 043


Kissimmee Day 3 053




What an interesting place this is.

Kissimmee Prairie is a very environmentally interesting place with  seven different habitats in its 53, 000 acres. (click the chart to enlarge it if you need to)

Kissimmee Day 3 069 


I guess skies don’t count as a habitat but they are amazing here.  360 degrees around.  Looks like we’ll have to return to see a sunrise without fog or a sunset without thick clouds covering it up.  But the huge blue dome with puffy white clouds during the day is a constant attraction.  I definitely don’t have the camera equipment to give you an honest account of how HUGE both it and the prairie are.   But how about these rays!!


Kissimmee Day 3 068


  1. Replies
    1. Good point Loree. Those white rays look cool not hot like yellow ones.

  2. Great Post...Love the photo of the meadowlark!!

    Hope the skies clear and you get to see the night sky.

    1. Cool white rays rather than hot yellow ones is just how they look Loree. Thanks for that thought.

  3. Yep, it's like the sky cracked open and sunlight appeared. I love the wide open feel of the prairie. It feels like freedom to me with the ability to open my lungs and breathe in the wholeness of the sky.

    1. It does feel just like freedom Karen. Makes me want to just throw my arms open and go running across it. Except this prairie has low growing palmettos which would hack you to pieces.

  4. Looks like a great place to camp and hike. I like wide open spaces.

    1. I love wide open spaces too Teri and I'm thinking this is one of the biggest on the eastern seaboard.

  5. the Prairie has those trees... I never. gorgeous! When the sun filters like that under a cloud? it is magic...

    I've almost had wrecks trying to pull over and take pictures of that whenever or wherever I was ...

    and jeeeez ... so sad about our wildlife ... I tell ya! biggest predator on earth ... man. 1918 .... how did it become extinct ... I'm googling...

  6. Just as I thought... there's more but this is the primary reason... total bummer

    The Carolina Parakeet is believed to have died out because of a number of different threats. To make space for more agricultural land, large areas of forest were cut down, taking away its habitat. The bird's colorful feathers (green body, yellow head, and red around the bill) were in demand as decorations in ladies' hats.

    1. You are exactly right Carolyn. I didn't want to get too detailed but mostly we took over their space and shot them for profit. Not too pretty.

  7. I was sitting here thinking how fun it would be close enough to go on a hike with you, then I remembered, my girlfriend says I dont walk, I saunter. ) Your pictures are beautiful especially the sun rays breaking through the clouds.

    1. I'd welcome you any time BJ. I'm queen of the saunterers. That's the only way you see things. Too go slowly and stop often. Sit and wait for nature to come to you is actually best.

  8. It's heartbreaking to see a beautiful bird like the Carolina Parakeet driven to extinction. No matter how resilient nature is, uncaring people do terrible damage.

    I think it is great that the park put that statue out to remind and educate people to treasure natures beauty and creatures. And hugging a few trees to make them feel appreciated has to help, too. ;c)

    1. We do a lot of our damage because we aren't really thinking about the possible consequences of our actions. Tree hugging makes me feel better. Try it!

  9. I so enjoy the way you find the beauty around you and really am glad you share it with us. Those forests are amazing!

  10. It's sad that creatures big and small are going extinct ... some say it's just a cycle ... I say we need to take responsibility for the disappearance of at least some of them.

  11. I can only imagine what the stars would like in the night sky out in the middle of that prairie..

  12. I certainly learn a lot from your posts. Thank you

  13. I hope you get to go back to the prairie when the weather is better. It's truly a wonderful place.

    I could never capture how vast the prairie is on my photos either....but now that I know it can be done, I'm going to try again.

    We'll be there in about two weeks...can't wait!

  14. So sad how humans never seem to learn anything about nature and the results of their greed. Love the pictures and I feel as though I am sauntering along with you.

  15. Great picture of the meadowlark and the gorgeous sun rays! How interesting the prairie looks - flowers, birds, tracks. But, the story of the Carolina Paraquet is so sad :( If only people would stop to think about the consequences - small or large - of their actions.

  16. What a magical place you are discovering. Even with the stormy weather, it is beautiful there.

  17. Great post. Love the shot of the rays and reminder about the Carolina Parakeet.


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!