Wakodahatchee Wetlands: A Photographer’s Haven
With weather always at its best and famous beaches that blow refreshing cool air, Florida is a famous state to kick back and relax. Lying on the beach, feeling your toes tickle from the soft sand, and the smell of salt water fill your lungs; nothing could beat a day like that. Yet, going to the beach every day for your relaxing vacation? The repetition will get boring soon enough. Entertain the kids with something new! Going to the beach is not only location that will not empty your pockets. How about a mini version of the everglades? The Wakodahatchee Wetlands, which is located in Delray Beach, Florida, welcomes visitors of any age to enjoy the wildlife of the area by walking along the boardwalk to explore.
The Wakodahatchee Wetlands is like an animal photographer's haven. Thus, carrying around a camera is a must! As soon as you enter, the gorgeous sight of blue skies contrasting with the kelly green vegetation pops out. It's difficult to not take a moment and awe at the sight. When the scenery sets in, the wildlife appears. There are over 100 different types of birds, ranging from herons to cranes to hawks and everything in between. A large portion of the birds are easy to photograph since most are use to humans strolling along the boardwalk. The most commonly seen birds include anhinga, which has black feathers with white stripes, and great blue herons, a gray-blue headed bird with a small black plume. Both are fairly large and are seen in clusters. Some of the smaller birds that can be spotted are bluejays, swamp sparrows, and red-winged blackbirds. The boardwalk is like an elongated bridge because it stretches all over the water. When you gaze at the wetlands the flying creatures are fun to point out through all the sprouting waters. Listen the sound of the birds to decipher where some
may be hiding. Not all birds have the same song. This could be a great entertaining game to play with children.
Birds may be the first animals you see, but sure enough, other wildlife will spring into sight. Alligators, turtles, lizards and more will peak out of the bushes or water to take a look around. Turtles are the second most seen animal in the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. If you watch them skim just under the water's surface, soon enough they will reveal their tiny heads to catch a breath of air. The boardwalk breaks off to dry land and land animals, including geckos and marsh rabbits, can be given the chance to enter your camera’s SD card. Visit around late spring, the end of mating season, to catch a glimpse of baby alligators or other critters.
It is inevitable to look at the greenery that Wakodahatchee Wetlands presents and not be stunned with beauty. The spatterdock is a plant that is similar to lily pads. It's a splatter of green circles floating on the water’s surface and some have a complement of a yellow flower growing along its side. Another flora that fills the area is called fire flag. These plants bloom to be about a foot or so tall and it is similar to a flag, since the stem grows straight up and at the end is a long leaf. Spatterdock and fire flag are among of the five main plants that stand out and keep a balance of nutrients in the water levels. There are little signs along the boardwalk that indicate which plant is which and also include fun facts
about the flora. The greenery surrounding the area gives a sweet smell when the flowers are in bloom. It’s a great calming aroma that will ease any stress and calm your muscles.
No matter the age, if nature is your forte, or if you want to relax in the warm weather while enjoying the lovely scenery, Wakodahatchee Wetlands will satisfy that desire. Before leaving, make sure your camera is without memory! Every visit to the this freshwater wetlands, unlike the beach, will always be different.
13026 Jog Road, Delray Beach, Florida
Brianna Nema is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.
All photos courtesy and copyright Brianna Nema