Sunrise Through the Live Oaks

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This is the last day sunrise at Lake Kissimmee State Park just South of Orlando.  The sun was coming up through the massive Oak trees and showing off the Spanish Moss in the light. There was a field of grass in the foreground and the sun lit up the dew in the chilly early morning air. 

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Animals at Lake Kissimmee State Park

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When you wander around on the many trails or go out onto the large prairie you encounter many animals at Lake Kissimmee State Park. Many of them were rare like the Bald Eagle, and especially the Sandhill Crane. The cranes were sighted here in the parking lot of all places. The armadillos and cranes were photographed with just a phone camera. At the top of the tower at the prairie the Turkey Vultures were roosting and watching over the prairie.

Eagle at Lake Kissimmee State Park

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While hiking around Lake Kissimmee State Park South of Orlando, Florida, I saw this nice Bald Eagle flying by on the prairie and wondered where he roosts during the day. I didn’t have my long heavy lens with me so this is the best I could do. While later hiking a long 5-7 mile trail through the scrub lands I came across a burned out area that was starting to regrown and there at the top of a pine tree was my Bald Eagle resting. I waited nearly an hour for him to fly but he stayed right there. I didn’t have my long lens or good camera so this is just from my cell phone at about 100 yards. 

Deer in the Early Morning Light

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As I crossed back over the bridge from the 1876 Camp Camp at Lake Kissimmee State Park, I paused at the top and could see a few deer right on the side. They didn’t notice me so I watched them carefully and as the sun rose it started to catch the top side of their heads. They were feeding on leaves and small branches of the bushes on the side of the road and the canal. 

Canal at Lake Kissimmee State Park

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As you leave the 1876 Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee State Park you cross a bridge that spans a wide canal. This canal leads from Lake Kissimmee out into the countryside and finally to Lake Rosalie nearby. Most of the canal appears to be overgrown and not open near the bridge. There were beautiful reflections of trees in the area. 

Inside the Hut at the Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee

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Walking around the abandoned (not open yet) 1876 Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee State Park South of Orlando, Florida was spooky.  It was chilly out and the sun had just risen. The cows were just across the wood rail fences and we are investigating the hut there at the Cow Camp. Stepping inside you could see all the palm leaf fronds they had used to make the roof.  There was even a skull in there to ward off evil spirits? All around the camp are spooky Live Oak trees thick with hanging Spanish Moss. 

Hut at the Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee

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It is early in the morning near sunrise at the 1876 Cow Camp in Lake Kissimmee State Park just South of Orlando, Florida. The recreated Cow Camp has wood rail fences and real cows out in the pasture surrounded by shady Live Oak Trees, Sable Palms and palmetto scrubs. Here there is a recreated hut complete with palmetto frond layered roof to house the equipment there for the camp.

Water Pump at the Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee

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At Lake Kissimmee State Park SouthEast of Orlando, Florida they have the wonderful 1876 Cow Camp. Here they recreated the traditional Cow Camp where cowboy wranglers would round up cows and coral them into wooden fenced areas for branding and processing. Here they have a hand powered water pump that works and drains the water down two hollowed out palm tree logs to a trough for the cows to drink.  The second view shows the pump working. It is great they have real cows wandering around this fenced area.

Coral at the Cow Camp of 1876 at Lake Kissimmee

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There were some remarkable things at Lake Kissimmee State Park South East of Orlando. The Cow Camp was recreated from a 1876 cow wrangler camp at this location. Here they run an educational camp with a cowboy interpreter and a functioning old cow camp with actual cows. It was early morning when I went into the camp and no one was there at all. It was a very chilly Winter morning at near 40 degrees. The camp was heavily shaded by Spanish Moss covered Live Oak trees. The fences keeping the cows out grazing were all wood rail. I really like the natural Florida Palm Trees coming up amongst the Live Oaks.

Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee State Park

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One of the nice attractions at Lake Kissimmee State Park besides the Lake and prairie, was the “Cow Camp”.  There is an 1876 era Cow Camp in the park where this region was very remote from all towns and railroads. The cowboys of the day would round up the thin rangey wild acting cows and coral them up. This was the entrance in the sunrise and below was the sign that greets you on the trail.