My family’s most recent nature park exploration was Durant Nature Park. We went early morning to avoid the intense afternoon sun. We took a hike around the perimeter of one of the lakes. There are two lakes and fishing is allowed as well as canoeing during the warm months. The park is located in North Raleigh just north of I540. The park is enjoyable for young children. They have a playground and offer summer camps for ages 6 – 12.
The Bird and Butterfly Garden is near the north parking lot trail head. I was able to capture some nice pictures in the garden. There were not many butterflies except a Tiger Swallowtail. As for the birds, “There are at least 160 bird species have been recorded in the park, including scarlet tanagers, summer tanagers, blue grosbeak, brown creeper, red-headed woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatch, various owls, yellow-billed cuckoo, belted kingfisher, hummingbirds, acadian flycatcher, blue-gray gnatcatcher, and wood thrush.” (Source for bird list http://www.trailsofnc.com/durant_park/)
Honey Suckle is on the left and the beloved Common Milkweed is on the right. I refer to it as such because it is the host plant of the Monarch butterfly. You can never have too much of this plant. It is a native North America. If you have extra space, please plant milkweed for the Monarchs. Tropical Milkweed is available for warmer climates.. It is a perennial in Florida and can be planted as an annual in cooler climates.
Bridge along trail we went on.
Funny moment; I was taking pictures of a Blue bird and one of the kids from the summer camp said “Why are their photographers in the park?” The way he said it was quite comical.” I’ll take that as a compliment.