Of Pines and Predators: Chuluota Wilderness Area

Nestled in a neighboring county, the Chuluota Wilderness Area is a 625 acre preserve which adjoins the much larger Bronson State Forest. From Wikipedia:

“Chuluota is pronounced “Choo-lee-oh-tah”, meaning “Isle of Pines”, “Pine Island”, or “Land of Lakes and Pines” or “beautiful place”, depending upon whom you ask. The pronunciation is a derivative of the Creek Indian word “Chuluoto”.

I started this hike early one summer morning and can confirm that yes, there are pines.

Or at least one anyway.

Notice the white trail? That’s good old Florida “sugar sand.” Here it was nicely compacted, but when it’s soft, hiking becomes a bit of a slog. You know those dreams where Gordon Ramsay is chasing you with a cleaver and you can’t get away no matter how hard you try? Sort of like that.


I like the shape of the crow in this picture, and the tiny little hint of color as the sunlight hits its beak. Do you know how to tell the difference between a crow and a raven? It’s easy once you know. Crow is spelled c-r-o-w, while raven is slightly longer and spelled r-a-v-e-n. Keep this little trick in mind to amaze your friends!

Speaking of friends:

We’re all just deer in the headlights of life, really

Look at these three rascals, out for a good time in the woods. The fellow on the left has just started growing little antlers. I bet his mom told him he was very handsome at breakfast that morning.


There’s a spider pic coming up, so be warned, arachnophobes.







I think this is an arboreal orb weaver, wrapping up a cicada for lunch. Or maybe it just got tired of all the noise. Do you know why cicadas are so loud? Here’s a hint: only the males can make noise. So what does that tell you?


You guessed it.

They’re tryin’ to get busy with the ladies. From this site :

“The sound of cicadas is distinctive, and species can be differentiated by their calls. Only males can make sounds, most of which are calling songs to attract mates.”

So next time you hear someone complaining about the cicada noise, just remind them that nobody wants to hear Air Supply power ballads either, but it’s the only way some people got any action in the 80s.

This one goes out to Tim Burton

This is the second in my ongoing series “Artsy Black & White Trees.” That stuff that looks like your grandmother’s mascara after watching The Notebook is Spanish moss. The big glow-y thing is either the sun or an alien spacecraft. This was a few years ago, so it’s hard to recollect exactly.

Hey – just in case the dead cicada up there made you sad, here’s an insect who’s alive and well.

This is a buckeye butterfly, which I see quite a few of out on the trail. If you mix up the name a bit, you get Butteye Buckerfly, which sounds kind of like a Harry Potter character. These beautiful butterflies probably uses those eye-spots to fool potential predators.

Ha ha, sucker!

Photo Credit

That’s all until next time. Thanks for visiting Professor Gator’s!

2 thoughts on “Of Pines and Predators: Chuluota Wilderness Area

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