Hiking Burnt Ground

Sunday April 4th 2021

The daily five degree increase in temperature continued today. It was a beautiful sunny seventy five degree day. The temperature increase is forecast to slow over the next few days, but it still may make it back to ninety by the end of the week.

Cactus blossom in the brush.

All last week the Florida Forest Service was conducting a prescribed burn in the area of the state park along the back side of Hammond Lake. The practice is intended to maintain an ecological balance particularly in sand hill areas. They were using a fire hydrant in the campground to refill their tanks. They aren’t working on the weekend, so I took a hike out into the area to check it out. Things look a lot different from my last visit to the area in December. The two foot tall grass and brush areas are now either black from a recent fire or all new bright green grass sprouts from a burn a few weeks ago. They burn small areas at a time working in from the various fire roads so they can keep it under control. It looks like they have more acreage to burn.

The campground emptied out quickly this morning. Just before the 1PM checkout time I’d estimate two thirds of the sites were empty. By 1:15PM new RVs were arriving. The mix is different. There are fewer kids and more travelers in the park tonight. The mix of dogs also changed. The weekenders often have big howling dogs. The travelers seem to have smaller yapping dogs.

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