Friday, December 24, 2010

Stump Pass Beach State Park

 Located at the south end of Manasota Key, this Florida State Park has an unspoiled beach on the Gulf of Mexico, a pass into Lemon Bay and a long mangrove lined channel perfect for kayaking.  A three mile hike throught the barrier island habitat reveals much interesting flora and fauna.  These photos were taken in December after a hard frost, so much of the plant life was dormant.

 The channel into Lemon Bay...."Ski Alley" to the locals....lots of small mangrove islands for kayakers.
 Sea Grapes (Coccoloba uvifera).  In season you can eat the grapes or make some jam.

 Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) and stump of Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia).  These trees were eradicated by the park service as invasive species...originally planted to provide shade for are popular roosts for ospreys, owls and nesting spots for other birds.
 Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata).
 Great Blue Heron (Adrea herodias).

 Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres).
 Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus).
 Brown Pelican (Pelicanus occidentalis).
 Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae).
Currently they are dredging Stump Pass at the south end of the things are a bit of a mess.  Try a trip here in the spring!

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