walton county

Tag

The swallow-tailed kite: Graceful raptors of our wetlands

Florida’s birding trail symbol is often spotted gliding around Walton County The swallow-tailed kite is a snack-food junkie if ever there was one. It spends most of the day aloft, eating on the run – catching bugs and eating them in one swoop, then circling and diving to devour another. Elanoides forficatus is also an energy miser. The kite uses thermal uplifts and winds to spend the day gliding, merely flipping one side of its forked tail to change direction....

Beautiful railroad vines help protect South Walton beaches

Beautiful plant strengthens sand dunes Always a pleasant sight along South Walton’s beaches, the beautiful blooming railroad vine is also an important protector of our sand dunes. As with the sea oats, the plant helps to stabilize the dunes by rooting at nodes all along its length, and is often planted for that purpose. Each flower opens only once, in the morning, but keep blooming almost all year long, peaking from May through November. The railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) is...

Freeport resident restoring historic home

A historic home in Freeport will soon be brought back to life after many years of neglect. Local resident, and new owner of the home, Kevin Bloom has big plans for the Queen Anne style home built in the late 1800s. Bloom drove by the deteriorating home located on North Street many times over the years, never giving it a second look. That is, until one day he spotted it up for auction online. He called his realtor and was...

Remember our fallen service men and women this Memorial Day

Take a moment to remember the brave soldiers who gave their lives for the United States of America As many of us enjoy an extended Memorial Day weekend by firing up the grill, heading to the beach, watching the Indy 500, or simply enjoying an extra day off with family and friends; please take a moment to remember our brave soldiers who gave their lives for our country. Since 1868, we have set aside this special day of remembrance. Nearly...

Thomas Pilcher Park along Clyde B. Wells Bridge now open

The Thomas Pilcher Park along the Clyde B. Wells Bridge (U.S. Hwy. 331) is now open. Amenities of the park include: • 380 ft. fishing pier • Four boat ramps • Five 55 ft. docks along the boat ramps • Two 24’ x 24’ picnic shelters • Restrooms • Fishing platforms • Scenic overlooks • Western scenic walkway/bike path • Parking for 21 boat trailers and 69 spaces for other vehicles • ADA access The park is named after Thomas...

Portuguese man-of-war can pack a powerful punch

Don’t touch or come in contact with the blue “bubbles” that wash on shore Many interesting things wash ashore along the beaches of South Walton. Often we find interesting creatures within the beach wrack and the tide often washes in beautiful seashells. However, there is one creature, the Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis), also known as man-of-war, or bluebottle that is not a fun critter to come in contact with. Although spectacular to behold with its blue “bubble,” it...

U.S. Hwy. 331 from Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge to State Road 20 slated to open July 6

The U.S. 331 widening project between the Choctawhatchee Relief Bay Bridge and State Road 20 in Walton County will reach a milestone on Wednesday, July 6 when all four lanes of traffic will be open to drivers. Work to widen 4.6 miles of the roadway from two to four lanes began fall 2012 and is scheduled to be complete late summer 2016. Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures as crews complete punch list items. Construction activities are weather dependent and...

Remnants of the Captain Fritz steamboat remain in the Choctawhatchee riverbed

Low water levels expose remnants of Walton history Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s much of Walton County’s commerce was transported via water. Sown lumber, turpentine and vegetables were shipped to the mills and markets of Pensacola via steamboat and schooner. One of the major steamboats that made a regular run between Freeport, Point Washington and Pensacola was the Capt. Fritz. A stern wheel steamboat built in 1892 the Capt. Fritz started operations in the Choctawhatchee Bay. She...

Keep your eyes to the sky for white pelicans migrating through Northwest Florida

By Stan Kirkland, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission One of the many benefits of living in the Florida panhandle and particularly near the coast is the vast variety of wildlife we often see. Daily, you’re apt to see bald eagles, ospreys, fox squirrels, black bears, wild turkeys, deer and numerous other species. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. One species you may miss that’s migrating through our area now are white pelicans. Just...