Last weekend I went to check out the South County Regional Park looking for running trails, but found - even better - a nature center with a boardwalk and natural preserve area.
So this weekend I went back with my camera. The sign marking the start of the boardwalk warns of the many wildlife you might encounter, including alligators. So I'm glad the path is mostly 8 ft above ground...but I didn't see anything scary (lots of scurrying noises as most critters heard me coming no doubt).
I saw a lot of butterflies along the walk, but most of them did not stop still long enough for a picture, except this one. I thought perhaps he was damaged by the look of his wings, but then with a little research I found this is a Ruddy Daggerwing Butterfly, and his wing design is the normal pattern, and actually the one the trail is named for:
The boardwalk extends along two paths, keeping you safely above ground with some nice views:
At one end is an observatory tower, about 3 stories high, great for a real feel of the space - totally quiet up here except for the birds and trees rustling...
I love the look of these simple bird houses - while it's a bit of a contrast to see these manmade objects amongst the wildlife, at least it's only to extend a helping hand:
During normal weather, this should be a good wetlands area, but we've been having a drought the past few months. I plan to go and check out what it looks like at the end of the summer when the rain has had a good chance to come back.