A trip down south (south Florida)

Every year in the winter Brett and I head down to the Miami area for a long weekend to visit some relatives before it gets too hot. This past February we were looking for something to do with his aunt and uncle and were going to be close to Homestead one afternoon so we stopped at the Fruit and Spice Park.  We were way down south of Miami right before heading to the Keys. Lots of farmland down there. The park is a farm that grows different exotic spices and fruits that you can tour. We took a long tram ride with a guide who explained all of the different plants that are farmed there. We got to taste and smell some of them. It was a nice way to relax and spend the afternoon outdoors and I took a ton of pictures.

The above Rainbow Gum tree was very cool. As the bark peels off, it exposes different colors. It can only be grown in frost-free areas of the country.

There were lots of critters crawling around from the pretty green lizard to the big iguanas. The kids on the tram went crazy over them and we stopped and were allowed to get pretty close.

More to come on this trip down “south”.

SkyWatch Friday

The land of squirrels

Squirrels all over the park were eating the pink parts of this plant. Not sure what type plant this was.

I caught this couple flirting on the boardwalk right in front of me. Eventually they realized I was standing there and scampered off the boardwalk and headed up a tree.

Pops of color along the boardwalk.

Empty shells the limpkins leave behind after eating the snails inside.

Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa is full of squirrels. In early March the weather had warmed up and they were out eating and playing all morning.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

End of winter plants

It was a slow critter morning so I started taking pictures of the plants at Possum Branch Preserve near my house. It was a mix of end of winter and not quite yet spring things around the preserve.

I saw the above hanging on a tree. Some sort of cocoon?

The plants in the marsh were just starting to turn brown.

The usual gators in the pond.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

In the fog at Lettuce Lake Park

The view along the boardwalk and observation tower at Lettuce Lake back in late February. It was just foggy enough that you couldn’t see the other side of the small lake. I love mornings like these. Not many people out so it was very quiet. All above taken with my phone.

I could just make out the grebes swimming close to the tower.

Even in the fog, the bright colors of the azalea bushes were popping out. These were at the entrance to the park. The azalea flowers don’t bloom long here so I caught them at the right time.

SkyWatch Friday

Getting there early

I got to Circle B Bar Reserve just after the sun came up but it was hiding behind the fog. There were a few people already there but the crowds don’t usually come until closer to lunchtime. I love it when it’s so quiet. Only the birds and ducks were making noise.

The fog was really thick this particular morning in early January. It did not burn off until I was leaving.

Bald cypress trees in the middle of the lake. All of these were taken with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday