Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs is a beautiful State Park. The admission is $2 a person and well worth it. This time of year, the Dogwoods, Azaleas and Wisteria are in full bloom and just gorgeous.

The springs form the headwaters for the crystal clear Rainbow River.

I love the Azaleas.

There are seven water falls along the garden paths.

The park was once a privately-owned tourist attraction - before the state took it over.

Our favorite area was the butterfly garden.

A "Butterfly Volunteer" told us to be sure and stop back in a couple of weeks because the garden will be thick with all different kinds butterflies.

The gardens were originally part of the old attraction but the state is doing a good job of restoring them to their former beauty.

And, of course, there were birds enjoying the gardens with us.

There is a large picnic area and a place to swim - if you dare! The water is a constant 72 degrees.

The Florida State bird - a Mockingbird.

We detoured beyond the boundaries for a short 3-mile hike. The trail was well marked.

This is the very rare, endangered Pine Palm. (not)

This is how clear the water is. The round spots on the sandy bottom are where water is bubbling up.

As we were walking, I looked up into the fork in a tree. See that little white spot in the hole?

I turned on my flash and manually adjusted the focus to capture this snake looking out of the hole at me.

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