It was dark and cloudy on my walk at Philippe Park in upper Tampa Bay in early December. The clouds made it feel a little like it was winter even though it was mild. To the right of of the sidewalk in the first two pictures is an Indian mound so it feels like there’s a large hill here. There are steps up to the top on one side and many people like to jog or walk up the stairs. It was built by the Tocobaga Indians. There is an urban legend that the ancient Indian burial grounds and sites keep the hurricanes from hitting the Tampa area but Odet Philippe’s home was destroyed by a hurricane on this spot in the 1800’s.
I love the old trees here. It feels like old Florida.
Beautyberries are all over the park. I’ve seen catbirds, blue jays and mockingbirds eat the berries.
Odet Philippe is buried here. He was one of the first settlers in the area and was know as the first person to grow grapefruit in the Tampa Bay area. He built his plantation on this site in the early 1800’s. You can read more about his life here (from the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame).
Since I was close to the Safety Harbor pier I stopped for a quick walk before heading home. I was hoping to see manatees but the water was too dark to find them and they didn’t seem to be close to the pier.