Fresh air.  Not the conditioned stuff we breathe in every day within these concrete walls.  The real deal, mixed with the aroma of dried leaves, faint perfumes of wildflowers, smoke from someone clearing land, nature’s composting of soil, leaf mold, decaying plants and rain about to fall.  We only had a short time to spend but it was worth it.

We drove a bit south of Bartow, the Polk County (FL) seat.  Just off U.S. Highway 98 at Homeland, there is a nice park on either side of the road on the banks of the Peace River.  One of the areas has a nice, long boardwalk which takes you through hardwood swamp down to the edge of the river.  We didn’t have time to walk its length today and instead visited the area on the south side of the county road called Peace River Landing.

The Peace River has its beginnings in the springs within the Green Swamp, northeast of Lakeland.  It’s a “blackwater” river, so called because of its dark color from leaf and plant decay.  It flows from Lake Hancock, southeast of Lakeland all the way to Punta Gorda and the Gulf of Mexico.  It was named by a Spanish cartographer in the early 1500’s as he wrote on his map:  “Rio de la Paz”.  The Seminoles called it:  “Tallackchopo”, the river of long peas, due to the large number of wild peas along the banks.

We’ll be back to report more on this area in the future.  For now, we were happy to have a few moments of “peace” along the dark, slow moving stream where we enjoyed the company of a few feathered friends.

Peace River

Peace River


A juvenile Little Blue Heron hunts patiently at the base of a large Bald Cypress tree.


Little Blue Heron (Juvenile)


Little Blue Heron (Juvenile)


A Northern Mockingbird perched nearby on the lookout for an insect snack.


Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird


This Snowy Egret caught a nice bream!  In the background, how many young alligators can you count?

Snowy Egret, American Alligator

Snowy Egret, American Alligator


The egret decided he didn’t want to share his catch.


Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret


As we prepared to leave, a Bald Eagle assured us he would keep the “peace” over the river until we return.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle


A short trip but it sure felt good to have actual “fresh” air in our lungs!

Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!


Additional Resources:

Mosaic Peace River Park


Categories: Birds, Florida, History, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Tallackchopo

  1. I enjoyed learning the history (especially the wild peas part). I only counted two young gators, but I’m betting you’ll tell me there were more. . . That bald cypress is awesome.

    • There are at least five little gators in the photo with the Snowy Egret. We’ll be returning there soon to explore a long boardwalk through the hardwood swamp.

  2. I would love to visit the Peace River someday. Awesome captures of the peace keeping Eagle and all the other local birds, Wally.

  3. Close to us Wallace! We’ll have to check out that park….we are going on a guided boat trip on the Peace River later this season, but I’d like to go with just us (better photo ops).

  4. Very nice captures…

  5. Wow!! Beautiful shots, Wally!!

  6. Beautiful. I love the overhanging Spanish moss.

  7. Just magnificent! I’ve heard so many amazing things about Peace River, but I’ve only (very sadly) driven by the area. I MUST visit for an extended trip. Your images are really wonderful….

    • It’s a great river to canoe but you have to check water levels as it’s prone to very low water at times. We hope to return soon and give a little more complete report.

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