After my stay at Talbot Island State Park, I headed into Jacksonville once again, this time paying a visit to the Intercoastal Salt Marsh. This is a neat little spot. There’s a bit of history, a dock, and a trail. What I loved about this trail was how it had prints painted on it for various creatures one may encounter there. You follow the wood stork prints, for example, and find a board with information about it, then follow another set of prints to the next and so on. I thought that was really fun and also a great way to learn them. I have seen many gator prints yet not fully realized that the line through the foot prints is from the tail! While this sounds familiar, I guess I’d often have thought it was from a snake or biker. Seeing it like this, I'm pretty sure I'll now remember it's all gator.
An egret was under one dock and we had some entertaining back and forth because it would fly out suddenly as I passed over it and then cautiously walk back. I was walking to different parts and so it kept repeating this each time I walked over, flying out one side or the other, then sneaking back. I found this very amusing. I saw a red fox while here, too. It was around sundown when I began walking the loop. As I walked to one dock, I saw the fox sitting up, as if newly awakened, looking at me. I noticed and kept walking. On my way back, it was still there and I stopped, knelt down, and looked at it again. That was apparently enough. It ran away.
I also discovered Jacksonville Beach. Prior to this, I had heard of Jax Beaches and not known that represents, let's call it, a collections of beach towns, and that Jacksonville Beach itself is a town. I thought it was simply the beach in Jacksonville. This was soon to be a trend as I later discovered the same with St. Augustine Beach. Let’s not get head of ourselves here though.
In Jacksonville Beach, I had some great satisfaction with beach walking. I saw a lot of surfers and, being that it was just after Christmas, I was still able to see the Deck the Chairs lights in the downtown. I didn't know about this, which makes it extra exciting. It was small, yet very fun and enjoyable. Check out my Instagram for a short video clip of the light show to music, if you like.
Next I visited the Beaches Museum and history Park which is quite close to the beach and lights. When I visited, it was free and included a short film, exhibits and a local artists' gallery inside, and a tour of some old historic buildings on the property. I enjoyed it. It was cool to learn more about the area but also to make connections with so many other places in Florida I have visited before. From a painting depicting the Mckee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach (where I’ve lived before) to “the beaches” area history to Tarpon Springs - oh my, did you know that I did not realize that town was named for a fish?! I visited in December 2015 (and spent Christmas there, actually!) and what a hoot as I stood in this museum looking up at a tarpon. :)
I didn't take many pictures during the tour at all so here are just the few. If you're in the area, it's worth the stop. All in all, a pleasant few days exploring a new place.