Friday, October 13: Corkscrew
Corkscrew was a welcome break from cutting and dragging yard debris from Hurricane Irma to the road for pickup. But there is a lot of work remaining to make Corkscrew passable again.
The short loop of the boardwalk was open to the public, but sections along the long loop still have a long way to go. The scene at the top left is just past the Dodson spur, which was annihilated by fallen trees.
The lower photo is of the Guy Bradley tree by the Carol Ann May bench. It is the twisted and shredded tree to the left. Poor Guy died a second time.
The section of the short loop between the north lake and the Nancy Otto bench was also closed where trees took out sections of the boardwalk. The by-pass trail was cleared and repaired, so people were routed that way. The CLASS boardwalk also suffered some severe damage, but it's not in as bad a shape as parts of the long loop.
The scenery has changed considerably; there's a lot more sunlight coming through and many more open spaces along the open sections of the boardwalk. Some are actually very pretty. The bee tree between the lakes is completely gone, so it's very bright and open there.
There were a fair number of birds on the limited areas open. We finished the morning with 30 species including several Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts, Ovenbirds, and both waterthrush species. Sandhill Cranes flew over, Limpkins were deeper in the vegetation but visible, and Barred Owls called.
Not much was in the water. One baby gator and one Red-bellied Turtle were spotted, and a Banded Water Snake was in the water along the exit trail between the wet prairie and the pine flatwood. One Belted Kingfisher was very active around the north lake, and although Anhingas were perched in trees, we didn't see any go into the water.
While the south lake is mostly clear, the north lake had quite a few tussocks that had floated to the top. The Little Blue Heron at the left spent the day at the north lake walking on top of the tussocks looking for prey. The only other wading bird was one Great Egret in the wet prairie between the entrance and exit trails.