Hathaway Park – West entrance, Punta Gorda FL

This little park is a few miles out of town with the main access at 35461 Washington Loop Rd. It’s an access point for Shell Creek which is also our local water supply. It has a boat ramp with handicap access and public toilets. Parking is large enough for boat and horse trailers. There are several miles of bridle path for our local equestrians. If you go just a little further along Washington Loop (about 50 yards) you will find the entrance which provides a picnic area and more paths for riding or walking. That eastern entrance is also the location of the canoe and kayak launch point which is hull kindly earth vs. the concrete of the boat ramp.

As you walk from the parking lot into the trees toward the creek, you come to a sign offering you a choice of the Shell Creek Lookout or the River Edge Trail. The primary habitat is pine flatwoods with heavy undergrowth along the path to the Lookout but there are nice wetlands along the creek and the River Edge Trail. The banner photo on this page is the blind at the end of the River Edge Trail as seen from the Shell Creek Lookout.

The first picture here shows the paved path that leads from the parking lot toward the creek. At the end of it is a spacious deck overlooking the creek with benches at each end. The second picture shows a portion of the deck and the view of Shell Creek.

I dithered about a bit on my way there this morning. Distracted by the local Eagles and Ibis I got there a bit late for the birds wakeup call. So, I took a couple of shots of the locale and found a few insects up and about.

The first here is a Skipper Butterfly. They are a little different with their sugarscoop antenna ends adn the way they carry their wings at rest with one pair parallel to the ground and the other straight up. The second is a bee on some of the local marsh wildflowers.

Then, as I was leaving, I noticed something in the bushes on the side of the path. It was a Venusta Orchard Spider repairing it’s web. I took one shot with available backlighting to capture the web and discovered that it was a rainbow of color with the spider looking like a jewel in the center. The slight breeze and rapid movements of the spider as it repaired it’s nest didn’t make for a great picture of a spider but, it showed a real natural beauty. The first picture is the Rainbow Weaver and the second a more mundane shot of a similar spider.

About birds n' bugs

Retired, living in SW Florida and spending my time at nature photography in my local area. I volunteer with a couple of local organizations to help my adopted home town. Travelling is now by airplane and car instead of a sailboat but happy anyway.
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