I noticed there's a new sign at the entrance featuring one of the park's main attractions. If you've never seen an American alligator in the wild, this is the place to come. They are abundant here.
We began our nature walk at Elm Lake. We didn't have very far to go before we came across our first gator sighting. John pointed him out to me.
The alligator was in the water at the edge of the trail, partially covered with plant debris. He was huge! He never moved the whole time we were there. We kept a safe distance while taking our pictures. I was glad to move along. Alligators fascinate me and scare me at the same time.
There were so many things to see and photograph. I tried to snap a few pictures of birds, but soon gave up on that. I may have said out loud more than once, that the shot was well beyond the range of my lens. I wasn't hinting around or anything like that. Truly.
This is a pretty spot where the trail bends along the lake. There are several of these decks along the trail. They extend over the water for better views and for fishing. The white tube mounted on the side is for discarding used fishing line.
For the most part, we had the trail all to ourselves, but it wasn't quiet. The music of nature--constant calls of birds and bullfrogs--played in the background as we continued down the tree-lined path under a drape of Spanish moss.
To be continued...