Grassy Waters Preserve (Apoxee Park)


Grassy Waters Preserve, a habitat of marsh, cypress swamp and wet prairie, accounts for nearly half of the landmass of the City of West Palm Beach. The 20 square mile preserve was historically the headwaters of the Everglades system. It is the City of West Palm Beach’s Water Catchment Area. My daughters, son-in-law and I visited today, and I (naturally) took a few pictures.  (I’ve been taking pictures for fifty-odd years, but I haven’t learned to “capture images” yet.  Probably won’t.)

Fragrant Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)

FrButtonbush (Cephalanthus accidentalis)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus accidentalis)

Custard Apple (Annona reticulata)

Custard Apple (Annona reticulata)

Mystery Flower (I need a better flower guide.)

Mystery flower (I need a better flower guide)

Wild Pine ( genus Tillandsia)

Wild Pine (genus Tillandsia)

Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata)

Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata)

Carolina Anole, or Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Carolina, or Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in upper left center, Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) in lower right.

Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in upper left center, Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) in lower right. Hey, you try to do any better with a hand-held 300 mm lens in a gusty wind when the bird is 200 yards away.

The white structure is a snail farm. The Snail Kites’ sole prey is the Pomacea (Apple) snail, a large freshwater mollusk.  In order to keep a sufficient supply of food for the kites regardless of water level, the Sanctuary staff raise the snails and insure that there is always a good supply in water of the proper depth.

I’m likin’ this photo a lot. You’ll have to look this one up yourself. I’m no bryologist, and there are more than 350 species of lichens in the Everglades.

I’m likin’ this photo a lot. You’ll have to look this one up yourself. I’m no bryologist, and there are more than 350 species of lichens in the Everglades.

Tree fern

Tree Fern

Lichely you won’t know what these are, either.

There you have it.  Next time you’re out in the woods or at the park, spend a little time looking at the smaller things around you.  Give your own back yard a closer look.  There are more rewards to be had there than you can imagine.

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