Thursday, July 18, 2019

Jack Watson Trail

Here's another place I haven't visited in a while, the nature trail on Big Pine Key, off Key Deer Boulevard.
 It's a large expanse of not too much, scrubby pines and rustling palm fronds, home to a gravel trail and a lot of informative signs:

 It's named for the first warden of Key Deer, the man responsible for saving them from hunting and extinction:

 Rusty could smella  few things going on away from the trail.

 It is a pleasant walk lacking only shade on a  July afternoon.

He is very patient o leash and doesn't tug or struggle with me. He could easily chew through it in seconds if he felt like it.
 A few years ago a controlled burn got out of control and burned more than a hundred acres, which is a lot around here and you can still see evidence of it:
 From the Monroe County website this reminder:
Image result for big pine key uncontrolled burn
For the most part the vegetation has recovered even though there many dead pine trees as a reminder of that bizarre week of burning:

 The  old mosquito control, a fish trench populated with fish that eat mosquito larvae: 

 Known as gambusia trenches after the fish that were put in them:
 You are here, a thirty minute walk through the woods:

 The Mannillo trail was designed and built for people in wheelchairs. I last walked it in 2011 LINK.

 And we have  a nice paved parking lot:

 Key Deer Boulevard. A couple of miles down there is Big Pine's supermarket and traffic light.