Yesterday I participated in the DeLand Indie Market, which was nestled between old buildings in the downtown, and offered good food and lovely arts and crafts. A great day! DeLand also happens to be near one of my favorite places, the Lyonia Preserve. I left in the dark to get there just after sunrise, allowing time for a walk before the market. Lyonia is home to rare scrub land and one of the few remaining homes of the Florida Scrub Jay. They're friendly birds who usually greet you there, as one did for me yesterday.
Here is a mishmash of moments from January!
I felt very special seeing the Otter in the photo above. It was working it's way through a ditch and I quickly snapped this photo before it popped out and into the thick palmettos. The rest of my walk that day, after a long bout of rain, I just saw mushroom after mushroom emerging from the ground. Not as exciting as an Otter, but still something I enjoy seeing.
Flowers are blooming and the trees have filled out. Things are looking lush and beautiful! Also, I almost stepped on a Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake. But it's all good! You never know what critters you will find out there- watch your step!
One of the most interesting spots for a hike is Lyonia Preserve. It is a sanctuary for the Florida Scrub Jay, a most beautiful and friendly bird. Just a few minutes down the trail, and the birds are already popping in to say hello. The scrub habitat is also pretty interesting. It is dry, sandy, and prone to wildfires. I love how different it is from most trails. Very sunny, but perfect on a cool Winter day.