Saturday, July 15, 2017

Castaway Island


When we were getting Mom's car fixed the other day, we drove past a park called Castaway Island, on the Intracoastal Waterway. It looked pretty interesting, and I loved the name -- very "Gilligan's Island" -- so Mom and I returned there yesterday morning.

The park's main feature is a nature trail and boardwalk that leads through the woods above and over the marshy waterway. We started along the trail, where we saw...


...a white peacock butterfly.

And then the trail abruptly ended at a "caution" ribbon, blocking any further progress. A very tan workman wandered up carrying two bottles of water, and I asked what was going on. Turns out there were tree crews taking down about 30 dead trees along the path, so the nature trail and boardwalk were closed for the day!

I couldn't believe our bad luck.


We went back to the parking lot, and walked out on a little dock over the water. We watched the fiddler crabs zipping in and out of their muddy holes, and around some obvious Fourth of July detritus.

I had heard that roseate spoonbills frequented the park, so I'd been hoping to see some. With the boardwalk closed that possibility seemed remote. And then...


...one flew right overhead, as if on cue! He made a wide circle around the parking area, and -- unlike the last time I saw flying spoonbills -- I had my camera ready and was able to get a few shots.

So at least the day wasn't a total loss! I'd still like to go back when the boardwalk isn't closed, but we left feeling like we'd seen some interesting sights.

14 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

How beautiful! I'm not sure I've ever seen a spoonbill in the wild even after all my years here.
So glad you had your camera at the ready!

ellen abbott said...

a white peacock butterfly, how pretty! back when we had the beach house we would see a group of roseate spoonbills fly over every morning and then back every evening.

Jennifer said...

I'm impressed with that photo of the spoonbill in flight! Great shot!

robin andrea said...

Love that butterfly and Roseate spoonbill. Wow in every way!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful shots, nevertheless!

jenny_o said...

You were quick on the draw with the shot of the spoonbill - lovely to see an in-flight picture. Too bad about the park, though - I hope you get back when it's open.

e said...

Gorgeous photos. I hope you'll get a chance to return to that park.

Catalyst said...

Wow! That spoonbill is a majestic and beautiful bird. Good shot, Steve.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

What a shame but it is nice to know that people are looking after Castaway Island. Another suggestion for downtime with your mother - why not take her skateboarding?

Sabine said...

Gorgeous pictures of the butterfly and the bird.

Unknown said...

Loved the picture of the Roseate Spoonbill.......made my day, and must have made

yours too.

Alphie Soup said...

Butterflies are a popular in both Yorkshire and Florida in posts today. The Yorkshire butterfly just pips the white peacock in my book but there is nothing in Yorkshire to match the beautiful roseate spoonbill in flight with that wonderful wingspan and the wing detail.

Lovely photo Steve. Your Mom will need a rest when you leave - all this walking about!

Alphie

Amanda said...

If you've got the time while you're in Jax, head up Arlington way and hike the Theodore Roosevelt section of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, the trail head is off Mt. Pleasant Rd. It's not too far from the Ft. Caroline section; you can actually hike from one to the other. It's easily one of the best places to hike and bird in Jax.

Steve Reed said...

Amanda: Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately I'm flying home today, but I'll keep this in mind for a future visit. I was just in Arlington yesterday at the Arboretum!