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.
Lots and lots of turkeys:
And then some more turkeys:
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.
As pine flatwoods age, the pine trees are crowded out by oak trees and palmettos, forming oak hammocks like the one below:
In addition to its pinelands and oak hammocks, Brooker Creek Preserve is also home to Brooker Creek (of course) and associated wetlands.
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.