Saturday, April 26, 2008

Further Park Hopping

This has to be the longest break in my blogging, the last one being on April 12. Well, such is the life in the private practice, the work load kind of peaking seasonally. And this week and the past happened to be the high-demand phase, several deadlines came into congruence. Nevertheless, it's still no excuse. I just have to manage my time better. As they say, you will do it if it's important to you. And blogging is important to me: creating a space where I can unwind, and unload my impressions of life in general. Human beings need to share thoughts. And that's how we have progressed so far, not by keeping things to ourselves.

Having released the philosophical bent in me, let's get back to my park-hopping itinerary. The existence of the next park was alluded to us when we met Mark at the Lettuce Lake Park on one fine Sunday: the Flatwoods Park.

Flatwoods Park is one of the five parks making up the so called wilderness park complex that spans between Bruce B. Down Blvd and Morris Bridge Road, the eastward extension of Fletcher beyond I-75. With the help of Mapquest, we decided to drive in through the Morris Bridge entrance where the main facility is located.

Cruising along on the crisp morning of April 12, we passed by Morris Bridge Memorial Park, one of the five parks in the wilderness park complex, on our left on our way there. And we made a mental note to visit it on our way back.

Arriving at Flatwoods Park, first thing we noticed was its quiet, and that only a few cars parked at the main facility. Driving along the tree-lined paved road that runs through it, we got as far as vehicular transport is permitted, ending at some picnic places. Along the way, several trails lead away into the park areas on both sides. We were hesitant to walk along the trails, prompted perhaps by the absence of human forms doing so. There were sporadic sightings of cyclists here and there, including a pair who seemed to have just completed their arduous ride along the paved loop track.

This view is almost uniform along the drive, staight up tree trunks greeting us on both sides, the sunlight carving out numerous swaths of light bands through the trees.

We concluded that Flatwoods Park is more for cycling enthusiasts and does not seem to be a popular spot for families out for a leisurely walk in the park.

Morris Bridge Memorial Park, our destination on the return leg, is a compact park tucked between the road and the Hillsborough River. Like Lettuce Lake Park, it features boardwalks, one of which goes under the road bridge. But we did not advance far along this route, simply because it traverses across a shallow depression which was submerged then. But we did complete the other loop, walking briskly through swamp forest without seeing another soul along the route lest we encounter something unexpected along the way, until toward the end where a family walked by from the opposite direction, much to our relief [I guess we are really not the outdoor type]. Other than that, we did enjoy the natural scenery, albeit a rather “woody” one as revealed pictorially below.

The park entrance, the signs beckoning at the rowing and bird watching enthusiasts.

A pontoon-supported jetty next to the boat ramp (not seen) so that it can rise and fall with the water stage.

A mushroom "infested" tree branch. It seems these would be the edible kind due to their lack of bright colors.

The remnant of a tree trunk, its roots having been swallowed by the widening river, cutting an image of destitution accompanied only by its ghostly reflection.

Ha! Something I can relate to in my professional capacity: a river stage automatic recorder, usually affixed to the side of a bridge, its owner's name, USGS, vaguely seen.

Wify leaning against a wooden railing on one of the several crossings in the park, the bare branches behind her in imminent blooming, flower that is.

The green carpet-like surface plant meadow, but its constituents are larger than the one seen here.

A surprisingly thriving tree in the middle of the channel, resisting the embrace of the watery grave.


Lee Wei Joo said...

Thanks for the wonderful and educational account of your trips to the greens and photos dad!

Say Lee said...

You're most welcome, son.