Last weekend, we took a walk through UCF’s Arboretum after doing some work in the garden. We’re still in spring (or we were until the last few high-80’s days), so it’s been pretty dry.
The arboretum is on the northeastern side of campus- when UCF was built, the surrounding land was basically farms, so the campus is quite large. There’s a network of walking trails through this undeveloped part of campus. There were some flowers blooming- like most subtropical areas, Florida doesn’t really have an overwhelming amount of giant blossoms. Flowers are generally small and seasonal.
Part of the Arboretum is open oak woodlands, but most is a variety of pine flatwoods. There are also some boggy areas. Again, Florida is so flat that even a few inches of elevation change can make a dry pine flatwoods into a boggy little marsh.
A little marshy area held some pipewort and pink sundews, as well as long-leaf violets.
We didn’t see too many birds- the buzzing calls of Blue-gray gnatcatchers and alarm chirps of Northern cardinals were pretty ubiquitous, though. There were a variety of warblers, vultures, and a few raptors, though.
It’s a bit odd to be able to look through the trees and see the new stadium- while this part of campus is undeveloped, the surrounding area is rapidly being built on. There’s actually an abandoned dump in one part of what’s now a semi-protected area. But it’s a nice place to take a short walk near campus.