6Twenty people enjoyed perfect weather for our first Lukens Tract nature walk. Donna Thalacker and many others on the walk had Special Use Authorization (SUA) from the Suwannee River Water Management District so we could introduce our beautiful Lukens Tract peninsula to visitors to Cedar Key and long time residents as well. We spent a delightful hour or more walking along the SRWMD right of way admiring hundreds of butterflies, including the smallest Florida butterfly, the Eastern Pygmy Blue and our state butterfly, the Zebra Longwing. The butterflies were in abundance, probably numbering in the thousands, nectaring on nearby blooming wildflowers.
Though we heard more birds than we saw, there were Northern Parula Warblers, Blue-grey Gnatcatchers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Cardinals, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis, Clapper Rails, White Pelicans flying overhead, and Great Crested Flycatchers sharing the property with us this morning. Sometimes it was difficult knowing where to look because there was so much beauty to see.
We walked out to the end to see the kayak launch pad and a terrific overlook into the extensive salt marsh. While we were on our way back, a group of kayakers were driving out to the launch pad to begin their kayak trip into the Waccasassa Bay.
Please use the Lukens Tract property to kayak from and explore the salt marsh and bay, and to bird and butterfly watch. This is a beautiful and ecologically rich property that is close to Cedar Key. Most of this is public property and should be utilized by the public. One needs a Special Use Authorization (SUA) form to properly access the Lukens Tract. The form is simply a sheet of paper that you may obtain by telephoning the SRWMD at 386-362-1001 and asking for Mr McCook. Leave a message with your name and mailing address and Mr McCook will mail you an SUA in the US mail.