Banana-Tree

Out and About

My new park is definitely a step down from my previous park. I’m 7 miles to the nearest beach from here, and the street nearby is busy and noisy. I just got on my roof yesterday and swept it off, since it was covered with oak tree droppings (those acorns have not let up since I got here over a week ago!). I’m ready for spring cleaning; Baby apparently hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned in several years, judging from the grime I saw up on her roof. I’ve decided to wait, though, until I’m not under an oak tree to accomplish that task.
So on to more interesting things. . . I had bought a year membership to the Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg on Groupon, and I went to activate that. Sunken Gardens is a nice botanical garden right in the city of St. Petersburg, and it was great to finally get out and see something new for a change. The best part of that membership, though, is there is a whole list of botanical gardens I can get into for free with my membership card, and there are discounts or free admission available for other places that I’d like to see, as well, such as the Lowry Zoo and MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry).
I got to Sunken Gardens around 1:30, and I had filled out my application and completely walked around it by 2:30. It’s not a big place, and I was only moderately impressed. While it felt like an oasis in the middle of the city, it wasn’t enough to hold my interest for more than an hour. Here are some of the photos I took there. . .

Bananas do grow on trees!

Chalice Vine Flower

Not sure, but I thought they were pretty

Flamingoes!

Hello Baby

This bird liked the phrase “Hello baby,” so I used that to communicate with him — and he said it back to me! He worked his way around the cage to me and was sticking his leg out of the cage toward me, but I didn’t trust him to not bite me if I took the bait.

Couldn’t find the name of this, but I thought it was cool. . .

I love yellow!
Of course, I hadn’t eaten yet, and I was hungry by this time. I kept smelling something really good in the air in the Gardens, so I thought I’d find out where the smell was coming from. Unfortunately, there was no cafe or other eating establishment in Sunken Gardens, but there was a Carrabas next door. That was not in my budget, so I decided to go home and fix myself something to eat. 
That plan was short-lived when I passed a sign on the way back for Sawgrass Lake Park, a Pinellas County park, and turned off to see what it was about. I am soooo glad I did! The park was somewhat dirty (trash strewn throughout the waterways), and while the sign stated that it was under restoration, I determined they really needed to do some clean-up of more than just the ecosystem . . .  Still, I was amazed at everything I saw there. Here’s a link to the website: http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/sawgrass.html.
The diversity in this park is amazing, and I could have stayed for a lot longer than I did, but I decided two hours was enough. I got pics of things I’d been trying photograph for quite some time, so I was happy with my day. 
My first alligator pic!

Anhinga drying feathers

Anhingas are diving birds, so they don’t have oil on their feathers, like ducks do, to make them buoyant. Instead, they have to dry out their feathers between dives, which is why they always look like they’re ready for flight (or enjoying the morning, as I noted in a previous post). Below is a successful dive:

Anhinga with fish

Raccoon having lunch (apparently, I was more interesting)

Roseate spoonbill — at last!
This has to be one of the funnier looking birds I’ve seen. His bill looks like it is just stuck on his face, and it reminds me of the cartoon where Daffy Duck’s bill is knocked around his head, coming to rest off-kilter. All in all, it was a productive day — now to process my pictures!

These pictures aren’t on my website yet, but I have updated it to include a few Florida pictures, and wildlife shots. The site is http://sherrylevasseurphotography.com. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Out and About”

  1. Thanks — glad you enjoyed it! And you’re probably right that I need to eat more. I’m becoming fattier, so apparently the not eating thing isn’t working for me. . .

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