Saturday, September 1, 2018

Wildlife at the Preserve!

“Halpata Tastanaki Preserve”

It’s one of the first trails we hiked here in Florida and still my favorite.

Because it’s WILD!


You walk some of it on an old limestone road, closed to traffic.

It’s well maintained and there are a lot of side trails to explore. When I hike by myself I ‘try’ to stay on the main trail though. After I got chased and bitten by horse flies earlier this summer, I think I’ve learned my lesson.

It’s a wonderful place to see birds.


These are young Florida Scrub-Jays.


They are not common so they are fun to see.


It’s a perfect habitat for them.

But remember! This is a preserve and wild animals live here!

And I saw one on this hike. I looked up ahead and saw an animal go across the trail in front of me. He was the color of a deer but he was moving slow. I was trying to talk myself into thinking it was a deer and not a bobcat. I didn’t get a photo of the first encounter.

But I didn’t have to wonder later on in my hike. I saw him ahead.

He crossed in front of me again.

It was a coyote and  this time he looked at me.


(this is the original pic and you can tell how far away I was)

I had turned around so now he was between me and my car. I had a hike of about 30 minutes to get back to my car. SO….I called my hubby to tell him about it, turned off my camera, walked over to the pine trees near the trail and picked up a big stick. And hiked out!


(I cropped the above photo)


(one more crop, he’s in the center)

I had seen a wild turkey cross in front of me, walking as fast as his long legs could carry him so I wonder if that’s what the coyote was after. It scared me….but not enough to give up hiking at HTP!


I wondered that afternoon why I was SO tired after a 1 hour hike but hubby said it was the adrenaline rush. I also walked quite a bit faster on that second half of the trail. I was scared, I have to admit it. But I still say there are a lot of every day things we do that are more dangerous than hiking in the woods.

Hike #49 is one I won’t forget!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.


Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

Beautiful territory to hike, and glad you were safe through it all. Love the birds.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the Florida Scrub Jay is a great bird to see. The coyote is a cool sighting, I am glad you were safe. The trail looks like a nice place for a hike. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thanks also for the comment on my blog.

Karen said...

We have coyotes in abundance here - sometimes they're just 50 feet away. I don't think you're in danger unless they are rabid. They don't tend to attack humans, they watch you and tend to steer clear, even though it appears they don't have much fear of you. That's been my experience.

Sandra said...

it is a beautiful place, glad it worked out safely for you... you could carry bear spray or something like that... he was probably as scared of you as you were of him. the bobcat is much more dangerous than the coyote

Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

Oh my goodness! I feel the adrenaline rush still in your writing here. We hear coyotes call here in the country at night and their howls can be quite intimidating. Do you have anything to protect or defend yourself? You are quite brave to walk so far out amongst the wild creatures and step into their territory.

Blessings! Net

Jeanie said...

Isn't cropping the best photo tool ever? I love that you showed the progression here. Looks like a great hike!

Susie said...

Diane, Once I heard the coyotes yipping as I was outside walking around the driveways....I flew in the house because my hair stood on end. :) Ted said, "I think they are more afraid of you than you are of them." So I was hoping their hair was on end also. LOL. You need a walking stick. One big enough to shoo things and hit things .By things I mean monsters, you know. Be safe dear friend. Blessings to you,xoxo, Susie

Linda said...

Wow! I hear the coyotes at night so they MUST be somewhere during the day. I have yet to see one at the ranch. You kept your head and acted just as you should. I agree that they don't want to interact with humans but it's best to not take a chance! Great photos today and always!

Out on the prairie said...

Love to listen to them bay at night, they shy away frompeople

Terri D said...

That would have been scary! Glad you found a way out without encountering the coyote again!

Ann Thompson said...

Looks like a really nice trail. I would have been a bit scared too. I've heard though, that coyote are more afraid of us than we are of them

Tom said...

...I must say, I've never hiked in the company of a coyote.

Gina said...

I've never heard of scrub jays, Diane. They are cute! That turkey better find a hiding place. Won't be long before Thanksgiving!

Jacqueline said...

What a beautiful trail! So glad you didn't have to use your stick, but great thinking! He just probably thought you were so interesting! I would have been freaked out a little too! Glad you enjoyed the hike and were safe. Makes for a fabulous story, after it is all over - haha!!

Vee said...

Oh how about a walking stick for future hikes? I have one I use on my back lawn with its ups and downs. I hope never to see a coyote in the wild. Scary. Might be good to borrow a dog for your hike, too. 🙂 You’re a brave one!

Nora said...

Looks like quite an adventure! Sometimes a hike turns out to be so exciting! cheers, Nora

happyone said...

Looks like a place I'd like to hike too. I think I'd rather deal with wild animals than mean dogs. Glad you weren't bothered by that horse fly again.

Angie said...

You are very blessed to have such a terrific preserve to visit so often! I don't think you have much to worry about with the coyote - he might be curious but will usually stay a safe (for him) distance from YOU!

Linda said...

Well, that's exciting! Be careful out there.

Debbie said...

what a beautiful place to hike, i can see why it is a favorite spot. i always prefer more natural areas for a "walk". i can't walk very far but we do have some bike paths in this area that are really nice, i can ride short distances!!

it is always exciting to see birds and creatures that we don't see often...just NOT maybe a bobcat or coyote!!

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely nature shots ~ you must be a birder ~

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores

Janey and Co. said...

Eek! I came across a coyote on a trail in AZ. Scared me to death...I turned and swiftly walked in the other direction...not running just a healthy stride...come to think of it I was tired when I got back to the hotel too!

Anni said...

I LOVE these 'wild' areas. I remember one time in Tucson where a coyote followed ne home one morning while out walking!

I'm late getting around to visiting today...birding early before the holiday traffic built up! Thanks for linking in with us this weekend!

Carla from The River said...

#49 is a memory maker for sure!
The photos are great.

Lowcarb team member said...

It does look a good place to hike.
Great to see the coyote … but I'm pleased to read your were safe.

Happy September Wishes

All the best Jan

Victoria said...

That looks like a great place to hike! There are lots of coyotes where I live, too, so I'm always cautious when hiking. Your photos are wonderful!

Jill said...

Beautiful hike! Coyotes are interesting creatures... when we lived in Ohio I pulled in my driveway to see a coyote eating the raspberries off our raspberry bushes, lol. He watched me get out of the car but never moved. We have them here too in NC where I live but so far no issues with them other then them being loud at night. :-) Hope you have a wonderful evening!


Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

When I'm in the mood for a longer drive, I might have to visit this one. Off to googlemap right now to look for it :)

Pamela Gordon said...

That would be scary. Maybe you should carry a walking pole and a whistle. We saw a coyote cross the road in front of us the other day just before our house. It disappeared in the neighbours field. I've never seen one so close to our house but we've heard them at night lot of times.

Red Rose Alley said...

A coyote on the trail, Yikes! The Florida Scrub-Jays are so cute. It's wonderful that you keep hiking despite all the critters and wildlife you come across. : )


NatureFootstep said...

lol. very similar to one of "my" places in Sweden :) Love it!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

What a glorious area you have for hiking. I am with you - faster is good when a coyote is around - hope he didn't eat the turkey. One time in N. California I saw a coyote stand up and dance on his hind legs - it was so special. I was safely in the house looking out the window so didn't have to worry about walking fast. Happy Days my dear.