April 22, 2012
A World of Greens, Grays and Browns.........
Views from the Edward Ball Nature Trail
The University of West Florida has something that most universities do not have ---- a wealth of green space. The university property adjacent to the main campus includes 600 acres of undeveloped land and an additional 146 acre wildlife sanctuary. (However, the Baars-Firestone Wildlife Sanctuary is currently threatened with being turned into a golf course and parking lots. See the Student Environmental Action Society Save Our Sanctuary Page.)
Click here for maps of the UWF trails
Image courtesy of Google Earth
The 600 acres west of campus contain over 20 miles of multi-use trails open to walkers, horses and bicycles. Whenever I get an urge to go for a walk in the woods, I head here as it's only a few minutes from my house. (Much closer than my preferred outdoor walking site, the Rocky Mountains, on the other side of the continent.)
One entrée to the 600 acres is the Edward Ball Nature Trail a half-mile boardwalk named for Florida businessman Edward Ball whose Wildlife Foundation donated the funds to build the boardwalk that loops through the wetlands of Thompson's Bayou.
My favorite festival, UWF's Festival on the Green, was the last weekend in March. Leaving the music and the activity of the festival behind, we decided to take a stroll along the boardwalk and entered a world of deep greens, grays and browns, a world of small sounds, a world filled with the damp, rich scent of the wetlands.
Here are some of the photos from that walk --- with my usual caveat that I'm not a photographer and only have a cheap point-and-shoot compact.
(These are views from the boardwalk. If you want to see views of the boardwalk, click here.)
Nestled among the green..............
.......we found this golden treasure.
New life from old. A sapling grows from a broken trunk.
The bayou is bursting with life --- there are even gators here. But on this day, all we saw were turtles.
To read more about UWF check-out "Pensacola Highlights --- UWF's Festival on the Green: Lots of Dogs and Just One Cat." For more about Pensacola wildlife, there's "The Suburban Wilds."
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