Tuesday, October 12, 2021

University of North Florida

I spent three hours meandering from Freedom VanGo to Publix on Monday, ambling as though I was walking Rusty but in fact all by myself. Except of course for the squads of groundskeepers and maintenance people who populate every square inch of this perfectly maintained campus.
The campus is spread down a hill with paths lawns and parking lots in every direction and of course tons of signs.
When last I was here they wanted you to wear a mask outdoors but I think that idea has got a re-think. Besides I was not exactly surrounded with people on the campus.
A lovely sunny and yet slightly cool morning around 75 degrees, much cooler than the Keys.
I found colors everywhere along the paths across the campus.
I was walking down to the parking office which marks the main entrance to the nature trails that separate the campus from the I-295 freeway.
Knowing where I was going, remembered from my last visit, made the going much faster but I still found myself stopping from time to time to enjoy the slanting morning light.
It was enormously relaxing taking my time and looking around. 
I hope some of that comes through in and among these many, many pictures!
I was shocked to see turtles and fish swim rapidly toward the observation deck when they saw me peering over the railing. I felt bad in that I was disappointing them by not having. hand out. 
It didn't actually say no feeding and I expect people who come by regularly have created the demand!

The north end of the nature trails has Lake Oneida to provide interest and I took advantage.
The turtles are very nervous creatures I found. As soon as they noticed me on the trail, even a long way away they abandoned their photogenic poses and plopped into the water. This slow poke had been forgotten by his three more fearful comrades:

No internal combustion motors on the lake, only catch and release fishing no swimming etc etc... Be an adult I guess is there short version.
Lovely trails all around and it was only toward the end of my walk that I met a few other walkers and runners. Mostly I was alone with the sounds of distant traffic.
Science has a purpose. Imagine that:
On my previous walk (Link Here) I found a boardwalk collapsing from lack of attention and here we had a similar, shorter section.
No big deal even for a man with a rebuilt pelvis!
I allowed myself to enjoy what I saw. 

I walked onto the island in the middle of the lake but there was no second exit so I came back the way I came...across the picturesque wooden bridge.

No Rusty. 

Walking to the top end of the preserve allowed me to look back to the bridge across to the island. This was my favorite picture of the set.

Back to civilization. I wonder if I will ever be back here? I made the most of it