Tag Archives: Florida

~A walk through the spirit of a day

Alafia River State Park
January 26, 2016
A walk through the spirit of a day,
The path before us leads the way,
The breeze blows, tree canopies sway,
Sunbeams don’t reach the ground, the skies are gray,
Little eyes peer out of the bay,
On a log, in the water they play,
Heard the nine notes, the elusive owl looks for prey,
She will show herself we say,
It truly was delightful, yea.
Nature has a heart.
Nature has a heart.
“Is he smiling?”
Gnatcatcher, Blue-grey


What ya see Larry?
“What ya see Larry?”
“I’am watching you.”

Thanks for a good time!

~Alafia River State Park

Alafia River State Park, Lithia, Florida

We are currently in Alafia River State Park. Our friends Karla and Larry are camping here with us for a few days, and we are very glad they are here.

Since Wednesday we managed to get in a few walks and one neat hike. If you like to bike and/or ride horses, Alafia River is the place to come. Check out this beautiful Florida State Park here: Alafia River.

Here are a few photos of our site and the campground. We have four Live Oak trees on our site.

The girls are enjoying it here.

Skye River
A trail
A pond
Karla, Larry and Howard
Karla, Larry and Howard. Check out this bike trail.This park is known for its elaborate bike trails.

This park is pastoral and peaceful, and filled with live oak trees. The birds love these Live Oak trees. We have spotted several Osprey, one Bald Eagle and seventeen other species so far. Here is a beautiful Green Heron and a Killdeer.

A little fall color in winter. Alafia River State Park
A little fall color in winter. Alafia River State Park

More later…

~For Beth and Pam-Myakka River State Park


This tells us, some of the park buildings were build during 1934-1941.

IMG_6070This tells us,the park was established in 1935 and 1,920 acres were donated by the Palmer family.

Notice the photo of the plaque above, it is attached to these old log buildings, currently being used as a restroom and a picnic pavilion. Again, letting people know when and by whom these building were constructed. Right behind these building is the river and some people choose to launch their kayaks there.

There is a small room attached to the open, covered, picnic pavilion that houses a  fireplace.  Benches are placed around the room for people to sit on while enjoying the fire.

One cool morning while on a walk, we discovered that a fire had been started, and it was nice to stand there for a few minutes gazing into the flames. The last photo above is an outdoor amphitheater.

Lots of paths in the park to choose from. On this day a walk through moss covered oaks and palms, some covered with ferns.

Also, while out walking the paths, you are guaranteed to see Black and Turkey Vultures, and Herons fishing along the banks of the Myakka River.


The sites in the Palmetto Ridge area at Myakka River State Park are all full hook-up, some are pull-through, some are back-in, and even a few are drive-in, such as the empty one above. There are two bath houses, both with washers and dryers. All roads in Palmetto Ridge are paved, all sites are gravel. And, when it rains really, really hard, like it did on Friday, you will have your very own pond!


This state park is unique and gorgeous. A lot of people come to see the alligators; I come to see the birds and the sunsets. Each of us have their own reasons for wanting to walk along the Myakka River.


I took the photo of this gator while standing on a bridge looking down at him.




~Lunch and a visit to a botanical garden

Howard did his magic, and searched out another local, unique place to eat lunch. We pulled into a full parking lot at Casey’s Seafood and More here in Sarasota for a late lunch. That and the fact we had to wait a few minutes for a table, told us he made a good choice. After ordering and eating, he picked another great one.

A common method to prepare fresh, grilled fish in southern Florida, is to offer it with several choices of toppings. Casey’s had four topping offerings: Garlic and Butter; Tomatoes, Olives, Capers; Orange; and Maple. My grilled fish was delicious with the Tomatoes, Olives and Caper topping. Yum!

Even though it was a cloudy day after lunch we headed toward historic downtown Sarasota to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Please go to this web-site to read about her life and the gardens. Marie Selby


Selby Gardens is a leader in the conservation and display of epiphytes, or plants that grow on other plants without harming them, such as orchids, bromeliads, and gesneriads. (their  information)

I am sorry to say I don’t remember the names of most of the trees, plants or flowers we saw during our walk and tour of the gardens. I hope you enjoy seeing them.

Colorful blooms, up close….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Koi Pond…

Water falls splash into pools, hidden secrets draw you down winding paths, color dances on pavilion floors as sunlight shines through them, these and more all contribute to a tranquil visit…

The gardens border Sarasota Bay, where you can sit on a bench and watch the sunset, enjoy a resting Little Blue Heron, or watch the boats entering or leaving the bay.

Beautiful poems…


A Succulent Garden…



A winding path…


So many beautiful gardens, too many for me to do justice with these few photos.  Howard and I enjoyed our visit to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and if you are ever in the Sarasota area, I recommend a visit.


~Birding in Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida

We have spent the last few days hanging around the park. Taking walks, birding and enjoying other hobbies. It has been cool, temperatures in the 60’s. We are loving the lower temps!

Remember my header photo of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks? The reason they were able to rest with their eyes closed is, because they always have one watching for signs of danger.


A beautiful Northern Cardinal, daily visitor to our site.



A late evening walk along the river gave me these two gifts above.

Great Blue Heron

Look closely at the Great Blue Heron photo above. The two additional Anhinga photos are of it trying to dry its feathers after hunting.

A few additional Anhinga photos from walks around the park.

Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, all seen in Myakka River State Park.

Along with Black-crowned and Green Herons


Glossy and White Ibis, another late evening shot.

Myakka River State Park is a wonderful place to visit if you enjoy birding, biking, hiking, kayaking, or just the peacefulness of being out in nature.

Coming up, a late evening photo shoot with a Snowy Egret.


Have fun everyday!