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.
This little almost secluded park was very surprising. The trail and boardwalks 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.
As 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.
The 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 moving 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.
Our 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!
As with most parks and trails in Florida the locals happily announce wildlife 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.
Lying 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.
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.
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!