Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weedon Island Preserve Observation Tower

(Click on the photos for larger images.)

We walked across boardwalks over a mangrove marsh to get to the Observation Tower at Weedon Island Preserve.

Here's a view of the boardwalk from the top of the Observation Tower. You can see the roof of the Natural History Center and the Progress Energy Plant at the horizon.

The fishing pier seen from the Observation Tower.

Take the time to stop, look, and listen as you walk along the boardwalks. You're bound to discover some wildlife, like this crab.

Ibises in the salt water marsh. They are funny looking birds with long, curved beaks.

These fruits are actually miniature mangrove plants in the making called propagules. They will continue to grow longer to look like giant string beans. Eventually the propagules fall into the water and are carried away by the tide. Those that land in a place to take hold and root become trees. The roots capture more silt and debris to form islands.

Fortunately for me, there are signs along the trails to explain such details. Now I know what those big string beans are that we find at the beach in the summer.

There is always something new to discover here.

More photos of Weeden Island Preserve.


Directions from Tampa
Drive across the Gandy Bridge and turn left at San Martin Blvd. Keep a close eye out for it as soon as you're on the St. Petersburg side of the bridge.

Preserve Hours: Daily, 7am - Sunset
Natural History Center Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 10am-4pm (closed Monday, Tuesday, and holidays)

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