Between Gainesville and sleepy little Micanopy, a one by two mile lowland alternates between swamp and shallow lake and is called a hammock. Known as Barr Hammock Preserve, it is mostly swamp with a few ponds this time of year. Along its margins leafless cypress and maples sport beards of Spanish moss thought grass and some shrubbery retain their greenery. A trail on a levee around the area provides good hiking and bird watching.
Cranes called and flew to and from the preserve as I walked along the levee trail yesterday. Bluebirds, cedar waxwings, egrets, hawks, and multitudes of other birds peeped, squawked, and sang from the brush and the marsh. A few gator slides and trails into the interior were visible, but in the cold morning air, none chose to appear, though I kept a wary eye.
There was much to see and enjoy there, but there was even much more to see than met the eye. More on that tomorrow.