Paynes Prairie – Bolen Bluff

We hiked the Bolen Bluff trail for the first time in at least four years. Last November we came for a week, without a tow car which limited our visit to those places in the park itself within walking or hiking distance, and remembered why we used to visit so often. Due to Hurricane Irma, which passed by in September of that year, the prairie and even the road U.S. 441 remained at least partially flooded. Exactly a year later, we came again.

Bolen Bluff Trail

The wet summer this year kept a lot of the prairie flooded. Our hike at Bolen Bluff came to an abrupt stop within a hundred feet of entering the prairie. The trail ahead looked flooded, and we did not see a way around. In spite of that, the beautiful day encouraged all kind of bird and insect life. Unfortunately, one of the insects, the mosquito, proved the most bountiful and for a change they swarmed Karl rather than me.

We stood and watched as a Great Crested Flycatcher, several Blue Jays, Sparrows, Palm warblers, and a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker (with the brownish/black head) flew back and forth between the trees on either side of the trail. We did not see the wild horses or bison, though we did see signs on the trail that the horses went through recently.

DragonflyThe mosquitoes limited our time standing still to observe. We walked back to the car, and decided to go on to the La Chua trail on the north end of the Preserve.

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