Paynes Prairie

My husband and I went to a state park Paynes Prairie. There are wild horses there, bison, deer, and everything else under the sun. My only hope was to see a bald eagle. I used to bring my daughter here when I could drive the distance and we would hike the trails and look at the horses and bison.

Right as we got there I saw a family of deer. My husband pulled over so I could go and talk with them. I wondered if only the deer on the prairie near our house had deer that let me walk up to them. Appears the deer here let me get close too. I will attach a video.

I knew most of the area would not be wheelchair accessible. Thankfully there was a path to the observatory that looks over the prairie. There are many stairs that go up.

They are very steep. I took one look. Then he said, come on. And hoisted me up and hauled me up those stairs. Going up was not an issue. He just powered up them with me in his arms. Coming down the stairs was another story. I closed my eyes!

Look at the reward…

There were no bison or horses but the view was magnificent and the little lady bug that joined us was very welcomed!!!

We went back to the car and decided to go down to the lake on the prairie where some campers camp. The lake was beautiful. On the way a man showed me an eagles nest! He said they can weigh up to 500 lbs. He said he had been coming back to see the eagle but she was never there.

The nest was wayyy at the top.

Along the path was a lot of marshy areas and beautiful trees. I stopped about a million times. I love my husband’s patience with everything I stop to look at.

Then came the sunset. We patiently waited the 45 minutes. I watched on a boardwalk/dock over the water at a duck and some other birds that were flying by.

My husband snuck in a picture of my profile looking at the sunset.

And…While I was watching this bird…I almost missed another…

I almost missed the bald eagle.

At the tip top of a tree there he was. I asked a few people that passed us, ” Is that a bald eagle?” They said it was and they had been watching it for awhile. My camera could not zooom in enough but my husband took one with his phone and zoomed in and sure enough it was a bald eagle. I have seen one in my life. What a blessing is this!!!!!!

It was getting dark so that’s the best I could do for photographs. He was beautiful.

We stayed until he flew away.

On our way out a deer stopped in front of our car.

A little info from Wikipedia

“The prairie became the stronghold of the Alachua band of the Seminole tribe under chief Ahaya the Cowkeeper by the mid-1700s.[4] The Seminole town of Cuscowilla was located near modern Micanopy, Florida. In 1776 the area, then known as Alachua Savannah, was visited by William Bartram who noted in his book, “Bartram’s Travels“, that it was used as grazing ground by the local Seminole.[5]

By the 1790s, Cuscowilla had been relocated to a site east of Lake Wauburg and become known as Paynes Town. The town and the surrounding prairie was named for the Cowkeeper’s eldest surviving son, Payne. Paynes Town was destroyed by Tennessee Volunteers in 1813. Fort Tarver and Ford Crane were both located in Paynes Prairie during the Second Seminole War.[6]”

27 thoughts on “Paynes Prairie

      • Oh, I think they are great! I love painting swamps and trees, lol… I think they have become my artistic obsession. Especially swamp settings. For some reason they make me feel comfortable, as silly as that sounds. lol…

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      • Oh hey me too! I squat right next to it and my husband said he really hoped that an alligator didn’t get me. I was like honey hello i am unkillable!!!!
        I love the way the shadows and sun shines on trees, water, skies, yeah. Love nature. I sat talking to that deer while my husband ate his lunch! He knew I’d be a while.
        He is a champ carrying me up those steps! He has a torn bicep tendon due to a head on collision while at work too. But he had to get me up there!
        I really would love to see your paintings. You’ve gotta post some

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will post them someday! I haven’t painted in over five years. My wife had a goal for Christmas to get the stuff I needed to start again. It will happen soon I am sure. I promise some will make their way up some day. They are very Bob Ross’ish LOL…

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  1. Most of these pics could easily be postcards. You’ve really gotten it across how beautiful the place is. I want to go. I am guessing you didn’t see any of the wild horses (?) . Although there are a few broken pics that I can’t see. 😦 Maybe the file is too big for my dino laptop. lol.

    When you mentioned all the animals there, I thought, “My mother has been there.” Of course I don’t know this for certain but since she lives in Ocala now, and there is a place close that has wild horses, she has probably visited at least once.

    She had a horse for some years. Bought/adopted one after she took some lessons and loved it. She used to ride (up here) with the friend she moved down there with. She stopped riding after she got thrown and broke her collar bone. She kept the horse for awhile though until she found a good home for her. When I think about her compassion for animals, I miss her. Ugh…sorry.

    I still love these photos. The pic of you in silhouette is gorgeous. When I read that your husband took it it made me tear up. That in combo with him carrying you up those steps to the tower, really touched me.

    And the eagle! Wow, I had no idea they could weigh so much.

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    • Really? Some of the pics didn’t come through. Darn it!!!
      Nope. No horses or bison but many deer and a lady bug and a bald eagle and birds. The area was really beautiful.
      I am SURE she has been here. Many go to see the wild horses. We used to see them years ago but the lady that gave us a pass to get in said that the hurricane flooded the prairie so now they are not just out roaming where they normally are. They must be hiding somwhere. There are so many acres they could be anywhere, and there is only that one spot where you can look out over that one part of the prairie. The other place was flooded and we couldn’t even get to the entrance to go out to the site.
      It is endearing when you think of someone who has compassion for animals. I’m sure it does make you miss her. I have to say you have to have a lot more than one good trait though!!!!!! I mean what if I loved animals and was a total asshole the rest of the time!!!!
      It was really sweet he wanted to take a picture of me. And it teared me up too thinking he was going to carry me up the stairs. Coming down though…not something I want to do again BUT I WILL when I get my camera to go take a sunset at that spot!!!

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      • Yeah, it’s necessary to have more than one good trait to endear yourself to someone. My mother has many good traits though, which is where so much of my confusion about her comes from. There’s that betrayal thing I can’t seem to get over.

        Thanks for being on my side. It means a lot to me.

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      • I KNOW. Damn it. My mother loved flowers. She loved animals. She loved helping others. She was very giving to me when I needed rides to appointments or having my daughter picked up from school. She switched to all unscented things so that no smells bothered me. She was very vigilant with smells for me. So i loved her for all of that. Then she had to FUCK IT UP with the betrayal and abanadonment.
        So I get the struggle. It is hard. So hard. But fuck them for that big whopper of the ruin-er of all relationships…betrayal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it’s a deal breaker.

        It’s fixable though. But that would first take awareness on her part…and that would only be the beginning of a long road to healing a very damaged relationship.

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  2. What a beautiful place! Photos amazing. I’m so glad you got to see the bald eagle. The first one I saw here was 20 years ago as I drove home from university. I couldn’t believe my eyes! We have seen more of them as the years passed by. Saw a lot of them in Alaska and west coast.

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