Saturday, July 9, 2016
Nature, with Near-Death Experience
There's a wilderness park a few miles from my dad's house called the Violet Cury Preserve. I'd driven past it a few times but never visited, so yesterday afternoon, right after lunch, I went to check it out.
Turns out, it's a really nice park -- 160 acres of Florida woodlands with a big lake in the middle. Despite temperatures of roughly 900 degrees, I walked around for about half an hour.
There were some interesting wildflowers, like this rose gentian...
...and butterflies, like this colorful buckeye.
I also saw three gopher tortoises, shuffling around and eyeing me suspiciously.
Suddenly I began hearing thunder and seeing flashes of lightning. Despite the fact that I was born in Florida and know that weather on summer afternoons can turn on a dime, I was still caught unprepared -- out in the middle of a wilderness, on poorly marked trails, with no idea how to quickly get back to my car. I thought sure I was going to become a lightning casualty. I was mentally preparing to lie down in a ditch.
Instead, I walked-ran along the paths until I came to the park's perimeter fence, and then walked the fence line back to the park entrance. By then, the lightning had subsided, but I'd seen enough nature. I headed home. I'd love to revisit the park sometime, maybe on a day when I'm less likely to be electrocuted!