August 28, 2013

Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility - Great Florida Birding Trail

Welcome to story time with Audrey.  This post has nothing to do with hair, make up or intentional snark.  Just writing about a day I spent with my kids.  I got some amazing pictures of them prior to them heading off for their first day of school, but once they got to school this is what I got....

Endangering small children everywhere taking drive-by iPhone pictures.

I decided I wanted to go back up to the school on the weekend and get better pictures of them at their school.  This may seem unimportant to some, but this is the third school my oldest has attended since she was in kindergarten.  Pictures at the school may be some of the only visual memories they have to hold on to for that particular life experience for them.  I also am starting to get deeper into my core courses for my degree program and needed to practice with my camera and play a little more with photoshop.  I can make excuses for anything.

The universe had other plans.  The school was sealed off tighter than my dogs teeth on her rawhide bone when my husband tries to steal it with "the hand", her arch nemesis.  Pad locked gates, no dice.  I turned the car around and we toyed around with the idea of going to the beach to take pictures, but they had on good shoes and didn't want to get them sandy.  We then thought about Fort Barrancas.  I quickly changed my mind.  I've been told about a wetland birding area that was a good place for the kids to run around.  It has an elevated boardwalk, so hopefully no danger of the creepy crawlies that tend to co-habitate in the swampy areas.

We quickly found the Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility Great Florida Birding Trail (what a freaking mouthful).  Another family was getting out of their car to go for a jog right in front of us, so we had to get creative with the shots at the beginning to keep them out of the background until they got far enough ahead of us.

For it being a birding trail, we saw absolutely zero birds.  We saw ten zillion dragonflies, a few giant fuzzy bees (yes, that's the technical term), and a couple lizards that moved too fast to get a picture. 

The boardwalk was built over the Bayou Marcus Wetlands where the Water Reclamation Facility provides an abundance of clean, fresh water for the many different species living within the habitat.  Evidently there are many animals that call the wetlands home, although we saw none of them.  Obviously there is a large and diverse bird population with it being a birding trail, but there is also testament of there being deer, turkeys, gray foxes, raccoons, rabbits, beavers, bobcats, otters, snakes and alligators in the area.  I'm personally happy we didn't encounter the latter two of that list.  I probably would have flipped my shiz. 

It provided a nice background for pictures of the kids too.

Overall, we all had a blast.  One kid complained of the heat and another came  home with several bug bites.  We are planning on revisiting this area for sure in the future.  The girls want to take their dad when he comes home, and I think my dad would love it too.  It would be nice to actually see some wildlife other than bugs.  And next time I promise we won't be dressed for a fashion show.  Well,  Addison most likely will.  That kid marches to the beat of a different drum.

If you would like more information on this or other local birding trails you can visit