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[ft-l] Trip Report - Lake Kissimmee State Park Trail

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The following is a quick little "trip report" to describe a rather short an=
mostly unplanned (but very enjoyable) weekend hike within an hour's drive
from Orlando.=A0

So, here it is.=A0 My first (and probably not my last) trip report to the f=

(1)=A0 We (Solar Bear and I) began our hike at Lake Kissimmee State Park ra=
late in the afternoon this past Sunday, just in time to see some pretty nea=

(2)=A0 Along the trail, we observed a tree canopy predominated by pond pine=
think it was pond pine) and an underbrush of mostly saw palmetto, in areas
without evidence of recent fire activity.=A0 For those areas evidently affe=
by recent fire (within the past year, it appeared) the same kind of pond pi=
(?) canopy was present, but the underbrush was mostly blueberry (?), instea=
of saw palmetto.=A0 Wet conditions underfoot created just enough of a "stay=
challenge" to make it fun.=A0 (It appeared that the shallow ponding of wate=
was probably very temporary on and around this part of the trail, due to th=
above average rainfall we have experienced in Central Florida recently.)

(3)=A0 In addition to 12 deer (we think that only one was male and the rest
were does), a few squirrels, a woodstork, a barred owl, a flicker and a
pileated woodpecker, we were especially delighted to witness something that
neither one of us had seen in any of our previous nature outings.=A0 For at
least 10 minutes, we were lucky enough to be able to watch (and listen) as =
rather determined armadillo moved slowly backwards, somehow holding onto an=
dragging a large "bundle" of dry sticks or grass underneath its belly.=A0 I=
this fashion, the armadillo slowly transported the bundled material at leas=
20 feet from it's point of origin (over some very uneven terrain).=A0=A0 Th=
armadillo eventually disappeared from our sight as it moved underneath the
dry branches and leaves, toward the trunk of a fairly large fallen tree.=A0
(The trunk was positioned horizontally over the ground, at a slight angle.)=
A short time later,=A0 the sounds of movement ceased, as the armadillo
apparently deposited the bundle of material and settled into its comfy tree
home for the evening.=A0

(4)=A0 After the armadillo and its sounds disappeared, we then checked our
watches and realized that the time of sunset (and the state park's closing
for day visitors) was quickly approaching and so we had to turn around and
quickly head back to our car.

(5)=A0 But the best was still to come.=A0 On the drive back to Orlando, we
observed a truly dramatic setting of the sun, which seemed to be first
"framed overhead" and then later colorfully reflected against a "low ceilin=
of clouds.=A0 At the "peak of sunset color", the straight distinct boundary=
the fiery hued orange and red clouds (which were apparently part of the
trailing edge of a cold front) contrasted magnificently against the much
smaller area of clear blue sky and the fiery red ball sinking into the

*Author has been indoors way too much these past few years and needs to
"brush up" on her Florida tree and bush identification in order to eliminat=
most of the guess work you see in this report.