A couple of days ago, I went on a hike to the banks of Lake Kissimmee. The State Park, where the trail was located, was lovely. I look forward to taking my kayak there someday soon, but honestly I think I enjoyed seeing the lake from the shore as much as I will from the water. The vegetation was incredibly diverse and textured and magical to see when the late afternoon light softly illuminated it.
My favorite image that day was this one. I found a tiny path through the tall grass and walked out to where some birds had been perching. Except for the initial view of the lake (see the photograph below), which I saw from the observation tower, I still hadn't seen the water. There is a vast floodplain around Kissimmee Lake that is inhabited by lots of wildlife. The ground was wet and I had to be careful where I stepped, as the water from the lake made its way inland. The clouds swooped in and I felt hidden and protected, like the birds must feel here. The colors of the grasses were so varied and their angularity contrasted with the soft clouds above. I think it was the first time I truly imagined myself seeing the world as another creature might.
There are over 13 miles of trails from which white-tailed deer, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, turkeys, and bobcats are frequently seen. There are even living history demonstrations of early cow hunters in an 1876 era cow camp, although given the water rights issues in Florida today raising more cows is not something we should be encouraging as this industry is too water intensive. The park is a wonderful way to see "Old Florida" however, with expansive vistas of unspoiled landscapes.