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Secret Woods Nature Center
2701 W. State Road 84
Davie, Florida
May 5, 2018

Karen Duquette went to Secret Woods with her friend Jeanne Trembly. While there, Jeanne saw a wooden box and she decided to take a rest in the box that she thought looked like a coffin. Jeanne is always a happy, smiling person with a very unique sense of humor.

Jeanne Trembly Jeanne Trembly

Broward County's first nature center, which opened in September 1978, comprises three vegetative communities found along and influenced by the New River: an inland freshwater cypress/maple wetland, a pond apple/mangrove community along the river, and, farther inland, a laurel oak hammock. The 57-acre site is now designated as an Urban Wilderness Area.

USA map showing location of Florida

Florida map showing location of Davie

entrance to Secret Woods entry sign

Buildings here include Julia Hall, a rental facility with Wi-Fi access, plus the Monarch Interpretive center, and the Swallowtail Classroom. No pets are allowed within the nature center's Boundaries. The nature center is home to various forms of wildlife. Alligators, snakes or manatees might be in the area.

buidings at Secret Woods Nature Center

New River Trail: This 3,200-foot boardwalk trail, constructed almost entirely from recycled plastic lumber, goes through three different ecosystems. The journey begins in a hardwood hammock surrounded by native Florida vegetation such as laurel oak trees, Sabal palms, white stopper, wild coffee, strangler figs, and cocoplum. Closer to the river, there is to a tidal marsh area that is completely under water during high tide. Leather ferns, red and white mangroves, pond apple trees, and cypress are located in the tidal marsh area.

New River Trail sign

Sometimes Manatees can be seen swimming here, but none were seen on this date. Of course, the two RV Gypsies have seen lots of Manatees in Florida through the years.

view from the boardwalk trail view from the boardwalk trail
sign about woodpeckers
sign about birds Yellow Crested Night Heron
sign about wildlife Ladybug crossing sign
sign about Digger Wasps a Digger Wasp hole
a tiny lizard
sign about the Laurel Oak Trail

Laurel Oak Trail
A 1,200-foot mulched nature trail that takes you from a hardwood hammock through a tidal marsh area and back. When you begin your walk along the Laurel Oak Trail, you are surrounded by laurel oaks, live oaks, Sabal palms, wild coffee, green- and red-tipped cocoplum, beauty berry, and white stopper. As you continue down the trail, you will come to a series of four bridges that will carry you through a tidal marsh. There you will see leather ferns, pond apple trees, white mangroves, and a variety of palms. You are also likely to see many birds, squirrels, crabs, and lizards. There are several seating areas along the way.

sign about the Strangler Fig tree roots of a Strangler Fig tree
wild coffee plant sign about the wild coffee plant
sign about dead trees

Butterfly Island:
A 3,800-square-foot walk-through butterfly garden where you'll find more than 20 different species of plants that attract butterflies. A 250-foot mulched path winds through the garden and has three benches along the way where you can sit and relax. Among the butterflies commonly seen in the area are the monarch, zebra longwing, cloudless sulphur, queen, gulf fritillary, giant swallowtail, and atala hairstreak. There were not a lot of flowers blooming on this date. All of the butterflies on this date were the same black and white ones, the Zebra Longwing, and they seldom landed on any of the flowers.

Zebra Longwing butterfly
flower flower

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