Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A State Park Visit

When Don and Gracia came to visit they told us about their time exploring the Oscar Scherer State Park, which isn't very far from us.

The park is located about an hour North of us, which made it a good day trip and the entrance fee was only $5.  The park covers 1,381 acres and is home to the imperiled Florida scrub-jay.  According to the pamphlet we picked up, "Oscar Scherer now has the only protected population in SW Florida with a long-term chance of survival".
(Google photo)
To be honest, we didn't see any of these pretty birds although they were probably all around us.  

There was a campground, creek and lake for swimming
Lake Osprey
from the other side
but there was also a warning
Swimming?  I.Don't.Think.So!
There were 15 miles of trails so we checked out the map and decided on the yellow one because it gave us several options.
It was 84* and being the dedicated unprepared day trippers that we are, we had no water with us.  duh! We chose the lesser of two evils and turned right.  

While most of the trail looked like this
very flat and sandy, we did run into the creek a couple of times.
cool, clear water
and there were several places to sit in the shade and rest.
Where's the water vending machine?
We also came across another lake, aptly called Big Lake.  Really???  Big Lake???  I guess it was big compared to the little lake.  
Look at that beautiful blue!

I'm not sure how long we walked but it seemed like a really long, hot time and my throat was parched.  I must admit, I was somewhat disappointed in the park.  I guess I was comparing it to the state parks in Maine and frankly, I enjoy the ones in Maine a.lot.better.  I like seeing a beautiful view appear in front of me, or hearing the crash of waves along the shore.  However, it was a beautiful day and we were getting exercise, so it was good and we can check it off our list, if we really had a list.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish is the Color of the Day

Everyone's Irish on St. Patty's Day! 

After a long walk to the gas station beyond the hospital and back, we dropped Titan at home and went to the art show at Laishley Park.  There is always a lot of jewelry and some very nice artwork.  Last year I bought a Christmas ornament but I didn't spend any money this year.  

From there, we walked to the Celtic Ray to partake in their St. Patrick's Day celebration.  Bill bought us each a t-shirt (mine is way too big because I got a L, thinking it would be too small otherwise...wrong).  I bought a beer (I can't remember the name) and we listened to a duo called Flurgin.  We really liked them!  One of them is a cook and one of them is a bartender for The Celtic Ray.  We headed home, took care of Titan, then returned to hear their next set, with the complete band.  They didn't start until after 9:00, more than an hour late, and we didn't care for the band that was playing when we arrived.  They were terrible, as were some of the dancers with a little too much alcohol on board.  
Flurgin, the duo

We stayed until around 10:00, then headed home.  The earlier beer gave me a raging headache ;o(

We had a great time overall and can't wait to go next year.

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Farewell NM...Until Next Time

After a trip to the farmer's market where Don and Gracia stocked up on some fresh fruits and veggies, they finished packing and started their return to NM.  It was such a nice visit and although we enjoyed their company very much, we were happy to be just the two of us again.  
Fresh Florida oranges are the best!

Bill and I spent three glorious hours at Charlotte Harbor Beach Park and had Chinese take-out for dinner.  

Life is good!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

NM Joins ME at Corkscrew Swamp

Hooray, it was another spectacular day in SW Florida with clear skies and a temp. topping off around 77*.  We were up early and after a quick walk with Titan along 41, we headed to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  I have blogged about this wonderful place before, here and here.

It never fails to impress us and Don and Gracia seemed to totally enjoy themselves as well.  We walked the 2.5 mile boardwalk and saw tons of animals...

Turtle yoga
A pod of baby alligators enjoying the sun
Gold crowned heron
Red winged hawks
It was so nice of them to pose so we could see the front and back at the same time.
We can still see you!

*Great Blue Heron
*Snowy Egret
*I can't find my FL nature book so I'm not positive if these two are identified correctly ;o(

Our best find of the day was the painted bunting, which we didn't see until we were ready to leave and one of the employees told us there was one at the feeder right outside the door.
(photo by Gracia Coffin)
Bill, Kathy, Gracia Coffin, Don Gettemy
This is such a great place; I can't wait to go again.  You never know what you will see.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NM Meets ME in FL

The last time we saw my cousin, Donald and his wife, Gracia was in 2007 when we exchanged houses for two weeks.  They came East a little early so we had some time to visit before we headed West.
Visiting Quincy Market
They arrived in FL with their camper/van late Tuesday afternoon and we explored for the next several days.  The next morning we walked the dog, much like we did when Wendy was here.  Bill and Titan took the sidewalk, while Don, Gracia and I took the Harborwalk, meeting at the hospital.
Birds enjoying a snack at low tide on the Peace River

Three Amigos
After lunch and the announcement of Pope Francis, we took a walk over the Peace River bridge to Fisherman's Village.  We got an ice cream at the coffee shop, walked around the shops and watched the pelicans.
Statue of Ponce de Leon in Gilchrist Park

Keeping their eyes on the fish, really big fish

We returned to the car and visited Bocca Lupo for dinner, then to Bayshore Park to watch the sunset, which was beautiful.   There was also a comet visible to the naked eye, the PanStarrs comet.

Seriously, if you look closely with a magnifying glass you can see it ;o)
They dressed to match the sunset colors!

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