I visited Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida in October 2013. It isn’t that big, but there is a lot packed into it. First, I took the boardwalks through the swamp. I was surprised how few biting insects and how few birds (biting or not) there were. I did see a few wading birds, picking through the submerged vegetation for snacks. There were also quite a few surface skimming insects. The cypress trees I found contorted (or eroded) into some of the craziest shapes ever, but I couldn’t decide which to take pictures of. You’ll have to take my word for it. Anyways, I did not see any lettuce and the “lake” itself is really more of a forest. False advertising?
I am a bit disappointed. I saw zero snakes, zero fish, and zero gators. However, I did see about seven turtles.
Following the boardwalks to more open water near the river, I passed by the observation tower. It was closed. I saw what I think was an otter repeatedly stick its head out of the water and swim right underneath where I was standing. I was able to follow it by the subtle disturbance in the surface vegetation. I tried to take a picture, but it wouldn’t hold still.
After this, I followed the paved and unpaved trails that circle the dry parts of the park. I passed a grassy field, a playground, a swing set (separate from playground), a sandbox, picnic shelters, restrooms, and very strange-looking structures described on the map as “exercise stations.” The area is dominated by palmettos and beauty berry. I also saw squirrels, various flowers, mushrooms, and a green dragonfly. It’s a nice place.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.