Riverbend Park, Feb 10, ’08

Sandhill Crane on nest

Riverbend Park is located in Palm Beach County, about 20 miles south of where I live. Our Wetlands course had its final field trip there yesterday, but I forgot my camera’s memory card! So I went back today to take pictures and try to do some painting. Too windy for painting, but not for photos. The photo above shows a Sandhill Crane on her nest. There are more photos of the Limpkins on my gallery.

The park is large and spacious, with many wide, level hiking and bicycling trails.

Riverbend Park

But it also has areas of serene beauty.

Riverbend Park

To keep inexperienced walkers from getting lost, there are map kiosks and road signs at most trail junctions.

Riverbend Park

Riverbend Park

I don’t mind the developed state of this park. Even on the weekend there weren’t many visitors, there is still plenty of nature to enjoy, and parks like this draw the novices away from wilder places I also like to visit.

The Loxahatchee River winds through the park.

Riverbend Park

The Loxahatchee was the first river nationally designated as “Wild and Scenic.”

Riverbend Park

Cypress trees have evolved thick bases to remain standing in marshy soil. Until heavy logging commenced in the Nineteenth Century, some cypresses had grown as long as 500 years.

Riverbend Park

The cypress trees have shed their needles for the winter dry season, but some wildflowers are blooming.

Riverbend Park

There’s plenty of food for water birds, like this Limpkin. More photos of this and another Limpkin here.

Riverbend Park

Unlike state parks, admission to Riverbend is free. There’s a canoe and kayak concession, and enough trails to keep walkers and bicyclists enjoying new scenery for several visits.

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