A Hike Around One of the Park’s Lakes

Monday December 3rd 2018

The unseasonably warm weather continued for another day. The day began with a partly cloudy morning that allowed the temperatures to climb into the eighties. During the afternoon more clouds and threatening weather moved into the area. A few cloud bursts fell on this area, but other parts of the region had a severe thunderstorm warning. During the evening thunderstorms and heavier rain moved through this area.

Looking back across Lake Hammond at the campground. The clouds were moving in fast. A brief shower was only minutes away. Lucky for me it did last long.

Before the weather got too bad I took a hike around Lake Hammond. It is one of the smaller lakes in the Lake Louisa State Park. Fittingly, the state park is in Lakes county, so you know there are many lakes in the area. The trail I took leaves from one side of the campground and returns on the other after a few miles of exercise. There are many opportunities to extend the hike on connecting trails and spurs, but I didn’t want to chance getting stuck in the rain. The trails are wide and fairly flat. They are designed to accommodate people, bicycles and horses.

An uncultivated or wild citrus tree surrounded by Spanish Moss.

It was a nice walk, but other than one fleeting glimpse at a hawk as it moved back into the woods from the trails edge I didn’t see any wildlife. There is a lot of brush filled open land along the trail that would be good for observing deer at the right time of day. I understand they are often seen near the campground in the early morning hours. I think some of the park lands had a forest fire a number of years ago. Other areas of the park may have been abandoned or cleared citrus groves. In one area along the trail there were a number of wild or left to be wild citrus trees. I didn’t check to see if they were edible.

Blossoms on some kind of a berry bush.

After the hike I left the campground to run a few errands and check out other parts of the area. As usual for this area the traffic was heavy. A good portion of the cars have out of state plates. The number will increase as the snowbird season moves forward. Builders are busy creating more houses, town homes and apartments to accommodate even more. Vacant land is either under construction or advertised for sale to a future developer.

The blossom of the day.

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