Back to Planning Next Winter

Wednesday January 18th 2023

The weather pattern has really changed from the weekend. Instead of being cold and dry it is now hot and humid. It wasn’t oppressively hot or humid, but the day began with a little fog and reached a high temperature in the upper seventies. It was an above average temperature day.

This solitary blossom on the ground gives some hope to the return to warmer growing weather.

My day began with one of my least favorite things about this life style; making reservations. This morning was my first attempt at booking a two week stay for next winter. The eleven month reservation window for Florida State Parks is now open for mid December. At 8AM I tried to book a reservation starting December 18th. I wasn’t successful. The online software interface has been recently updated. This new program has a different behavior when the window opens at 8AM. By the time I got it to accept input, the few available sites were already booked. It is not clear to me if the problem is how I’m trying to use the system or a real bug in the system. I fear a few more days of failed attempts as I learn how to use the interface. There is only one site available tomorrow, so I’ll consider it a learning attempt.

On a more positive note, this year’s reservation I feared would be canceled at the end of February is now safe. The campsites at Collier-Seminole State Park are now open. Whatever damage from hurricane Ian that was preventing the campsites from reopening have been resolved.

Here at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park the controlled fire guys are back. State Park staff were setting little fires in areas near the campground today. They were close enough that the smell of smoke was in the air. I think they are burning some invasive plant species. Most of the fires they set are very small and they put them out rather quickly. If they were doing it for fire control or thinning purposes, I think the fires would be bigger and last longer.

The fire workers had some of my access to Lake Wauberg blocked off today. This cut the length of my walks in half and my opportunities to take bird pictures was similarly reduced. There were still plenty of Anhingas to photograph near the boat launch.

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