Brooker Creek Preserve - Tarpon Springs - 10-5-2019
October 5, 2019
By: Andy Firk

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REPORT FROM THE ROAD - BROOKER CREEK PRESERVE: Jungle Jay showed me around Brooker Creek Preserve this afternoon during this park's annual wildflower festival. How the heck have I not been to this large, lush preserve before? Jay had worked and taught at this most incredible preserve over the years so he knows the land intimately. I got to say hi to Craig Huegel, native plant expert, author, and former director of this preserve. He kindly agreed to read and comment on my upcoming book on coastal wild edibles. There were so many children at this event and they were taken care of well with interactive displays and plant hunting checklists. They seemed so happy and active! Valerie Pollard joined us for a wander along the main hiking trail. We met this shy little boy, Thomas, and his mother, along the trail. This was his very first day with his digital camera in hand. I pointed out a native terrestrial Mignonette Orchid in full bloom and some other plants out to him and he showed an authentic interest. I'll bet that he continues to grow into a lover and protector of the wild things.
PHOTO: A view of the cypress wetland with a large (legally protected) Giant Airplant, Tillandisa utriculata, in the foreground growing on a maple tree.