Unexpectedly Wild Largo Central Park Nature Preserve

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Rainy days should never stop you from doing anything.  Especially in a case like this particular day.  Our visit to Largo Central Park’s Nature Preserve was on a lazy and drizzly weekend day.  Little did we know the wildlife was just as restless as we were.

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This little almost secluded park was very surprising.  The trail and 1boardwalks are easy to navigate and offer a separation for walkers and bikers.  I sadly missed two amazing occasions to photographs otters while playing during this trip but it’s ok because there will be more in the future.  from what we’ve seen they love this park and are visible from a few locations at select times.  Just remember while the otters may look cuddly and cute they are aggressive by nature so observe from a distance and never interfere.

2As we moved onward and upward (the tower) it began to rain a bit harder than before but being under the canopy of trees it felt almost magical watching and listening to the rain around us.

3The preserve is surrounded by a golf course and homes so you will never feel completely “away from it all” here but the wildlife isn’t deterred by this close proximity.

Awhile into our walk and the rain had stopped.  The only remnants of it were the dark clouds quickly 5moving out of sight behind us.  The sun was quickly warming things up as it often happens here in South West Florida.  We arrived at what I can only describe as the boardwalk circle and began our slow journey around the lake trying not to miss a thing.  There was so much to see here including my second missed opportunity to capture the otters.  I loved the variety of birds we found as we walked counter clockwise around the lake.

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18Our favorites will have to be the amazing group of Night Herons nestled into a tree right along the boardwalks edge.  Each uniquely had it’s own look and reaction to us.  Some ignored our existence, others tried to doze off, and some stretched to watch our every move.   I could’ve stood there all day!

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As with most parks and trails in Florida the locals happily announce 13wildlife they spot to oncomers.  We’ve grown accustom to this and always share what we’ve seen when passing someone going the opposite direction.  This type of interaction is what lead to our excitement about another great find up ahead.

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21Lying not more than a few feet from the boardwalk at the edge of the grass was an enormous alligator.  He (or she) wasn’t very active at this particular moment (good thing) but didn’t like my camera too much and showed annoyance whenever the lens extended over the railing.  While gators may be less active this time of the year caution always needs to be exercised when spotting them in the wild.  Read our post on alligator safety HERE.

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All in one walk we were showered on, hit with chilly autumn winds, and toasted by hot afternoon sun.  This is the beauty and heart of Florida.  You really can have it all sometimes.

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Thank you for reading and if you get a chance to visit be sure to look up, down, and all around to never miss a thing!

 

Mandy- Wild-Red

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35 thoughts on “Unexpectedly Wild Largo Central Park Nature Preserve

  1. Another fantastic post Mandy. Really loved all your photos. The pictures of the birds are wonderful. Rain or no rain, that trip looked very enjoyable. I am not very keen on alligators, scary looking creatures. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the sweet comment😊. It was great and we can’t wait to check it out again! The gator did give me a bit of a chill when I saw he didn’t like my camera but I was so thrilled to see one so close and fully exposed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely lovely pictures Mandy! When I first read this I had just come back home from my travels and didn’t have the time to comment. So I came back today. We should do a joint hike somewhere, like on Honeymoon Island, and take lots of pics of birds 😀 I will also need to go to Largo Central Park one of these days, it seems to be unexpectedly wild…just drove past it this afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would really enjoy that!! Please let me know when😊. There is Largo Central the large park at the corner of East Bay and Missouri then there is Largo Central Nature Preserve just east on East Bay. Sometimes people confuse the two because one is hidden and the other very centrally located. Thank you so much for your sweet compliments😊. That made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I always get so happy when someone discovers a place they want to visit based on my photos and posts 🙂 There’s so much to be seen and enjoyed out there why not share it! Thank you for stopping by and I really enjoyed your blog as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What wonderful photos! I particularly like the bird you feature at the beginning of the post.

    I picked up a bit of a photography hobby in spring of last year, and have really enjoyed it. It’s especially relaxing to me when walking around outside, as you did for your photos in this post. I’m eager for the flowers to reemerge this spring, so I can try some more techniques and camera settings. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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