Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Paynes Prairie hike with Alligators and Bison

As I promised, here is my post with pics of  of the bison we came across on the prairie! (If you like wildlife....if you don't, move on, move on...)

 On Saturday we were blessed with sunny 70 degree weather. So rather than running like a rats on the treadmill at the gym, Ty and I decided to drive to Hawthorne trail (about 20 minutes from town) with our bikes in the back of his 4X4. (Tip- if you want to keep your work out motivation up, try scheduling workouts outdoors whenever the weather permits. The outdoors has a possibility for adventure- the gym- not so much :)

Hawthorne is a beautiful area to bike, as its paved road (which means you arent constantly looking out for tree roots and rocks in your way like you would have to on a dirt trail) but it runs through  pine cone forest and hills. Midway on Hawthorne trail, a footpath called La Chua Trail branches off.

La Chua Trail
 La Chua is basically a raised board walkway that ends by a large lake infested with alligators, and continues as a dirt path across the prairie.  When we got to the dirt path a lady walking back to the Hawthorne entrance told us a BISON was out in a ditch!

I was pretty excited, because this is one of the last opportunities to actually see one out in the wild here in Florida. Council authorities have passed plans to cull the herd. When we eventually found the bison, munching on some weeds in the water, I was also excited to realize it was a male! There are going to be NO males left when they cull the herd (and I hope they don't all end up on peoples plates- I've seen bison in the local restaurants before I saw one in real life!)

He has a weird green tongue

We also saw a little alligator in the grass, he wasnt scared of us until I got really close

And a BIG alligator, which I was scared of!
Uh Oh, is he looking at me! Time to go LOL
I wish I could do this everyday instead of the gym! But I'd have to be a lady of leisure without the need for a job - I doubt my boss would appreciate me taking off for several hours to get to the prairie in the daylight (and you really wouldn't want to be on this trail after dark!!!)

( All images copyrighted to this blog)


  1. woah that is so awesome that you saw bison AND alligator! looks like fun :)

  2. I cant wait for Spring, the view will green and there will be way more animals around!