It’s funny how a huge international city can feel like a small town sometimes. I met a fellow birder at Fairchild Gardens who gave me a local tip when I lamented that I had not seen any hummingbirds in the wild. He said go to Castellow Hammock Park [22301 SW 162nd Ave, Miami, FL 33170] and you will find them there. Low and behold, I found the hummingbirds and the same birder at the park! Even stranger yet, this is no ordinary Florida hummingbird. It’s a Buff-bellied, not local to the area (normally in the Florida Panhandle, Texas, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala), but keeps returning year after year. The bird was a bit camera shy, but I managed to get a shot of the cutie hidden among the branches in the garden by the nature center.
Beyond the front yard is a really cool short hiking trail, the ground is jagged limestone – wear good shoes. The forest is filled with tropical Gumbo Limbo trees, which have shiny almost metallic hue.
One particular patch of them was so colorful, I was in complete awe.
On other trees be sure to keep an eye peel for the adorable tree snails – let me know how many you can find.
In the serene woods I finally got a picture of the always frantic green dragonflies, this one stayed calm just long enough for the paparazzi!
Right off the trail is a huge sinkhole that looks like something out of Indiana Jones.
Most of Florida is on the same elevation, it was extra cool to see a dip! So much to see in such a little space – this was one of my favorite hikes in South Florida.