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Capturing Nature at Brooker Creek Preserve – Tarpon Springs, FL

I woke up extra early to get to Brooker Creek Preserve for Karl and Kathleen Nichter’s photography talk, and I was rewarded with turkeys.

sandhill turkey 2 a 8x10

Lots and lots of turkeys:

sandhills with turkeys a

And then some more turkeys:

sandhill turkey 4 a

sandhill turkey 3 a 8x10

I saw so many turkeys off the side of the road while I was driving towards the education center, that I arrived at the talk late – too busy taking photos of wild turkeys.  The beautiful birds pictured above were all hanging out in a sandhill habitat at the entrance to the preserve.  Pine trees and tall wiregrass, as seen above, is typical of this particular habitat.

Sandhills are just one of many habitats at Brooker Creek Preserve, known for its ecological richness. Brooker Creek Preserve also has pine flatwoods (below), home to palmettos, pines, deer, bobcats, rattlesnakes, and many different birds.

pine flatwood a 8x10

As pine flatwoods age, the pine trees are crowded out by oak trees and palmettos, forming oak hammocks like the one below:

oak hammock 2 a bw

In addition to its pinelands and oak hammocks, Brooker Creek Preserve is also home to Brooker Creek (of course) and associated wetlands.

brooker creek 2 a

egret in brooker creek a

the swamp a

The really  amazing thing is that you can see all of these habitats without walking more than half a mile.  Some of the walking trails are even wheelchair accessible.  With the exception of the sandhill habitat, which I drove past, all the other habitats pictured above were encountered on the Education Trail, an even 0.7 mile loop through the center of the preserve.

If you are interested in visiting Brooker Creek Preserve and taking some photos of your own, you should check out their events calendar @ http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org/guided-tours.htm.  You will see that they host many guided hiking tours throughout the year, including a photography hike on the last Saturday of each month, from 8:30am – 10:30am.  Reservations required.

 

 

Jennifer Ring
Jennifer Ring is a photoblogger living in the Tampa Bay area, on Florida's west coast, home to some of the best beaches in the state.
http://flillustrated.com
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