Tag Archives: Sarasota

~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

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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….

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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…

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A Succulent Garden…

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Trees…

A winding path…

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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.

 

~Crested Caracara~

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Crested Caracara

As described, in birding books: “The Crested Caracara often walks on the ground on long legs in search of prey”.

And, this is exactly where Howard and I saw this large raptor. We were out for a hike and as we crested a hill at The Celery Fields in Sarasota, Florida, we spotted this Crested Caracara across a large field. The Celery Fields are very picturesque and known as a great place to bird.

The big guy was on the ground, surrounded by Vultures, and appeared to be feeding on something in the grass. We decided to see if we could approach him close enough for me to capture a photo. As we got closer, he seemed so focused on his prey and with keeping the Vultures away, that he simply ignored us.

I didn’t want to get so close that my presence disturbed his eating, but¬†close enough¬†to get a few photos. He stayed on the ground eating for quite awhile and then flew off. As we walked over to¬†see what he was eating, which appeared to us to be a huge catfish, the Vultures flew ¬†off ¬†unhappy with us!

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Stands about 20-25 inches

The Crested Caracara is fairly common in Texas; rare to casual and local in Azizona; rare in Louisiana; fairly common and local in Florida.

Their Florida and Arizona populations are stable with Texas population increasing and expanding.  They are considered threatened federally and in Florida.

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Feeding on a Catfish

A beautiful raptor indeed!

Sharing with Eileen at Saturday’s Critters

http://viewingnaturewitheileen.blogspot.com/2015/01/saturdays-critters-56.html

 

~For the Love of Herons – Green~

Green Heron
Green Heron

A couple of weeks ago, while staying at Myakka River State Park, near Sarasota, Florida, we decided to take an afternoon ride to explore the park. We noticed a gravel road off the main road and turned in.  Traveling down unexplored roads, not knowing what lies ahead, is a thrill and what keeps us motivated to continue doing what we do. We reached a dead end, parked the car, got out and began to explore.

There were a couple of picnic tables; however the area didn’t seem to be visited as often as some of the other well known parts¬†of the park. The grass showed no worn pattern and there wasn’t any trash on the ground.

From our vantage point at the top of the river bank, we could see the coffee colored Myakka River below, lazily meandering along. The filtered rays of the sun reflecting off its surface.

Finally, our eyes landed on a beautiful and unexpected sight. On a tree branch, that hung out over the river, sat a Green Heron. You can bet he spotted us before we spotted him.

The heron was resting with one leg tucked under its belly and occasionally it would begin to preen. I hope it had a full belly.

Preening
Preening

It didn’t seem concerned about us being there; we were perhaps fifteen feet away. The density of the trees and surrounding foliage, blocking sunlight, created a photo challenge.

The heron continued to pose for me and remained unconcerned of our presence.

 

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A feather in its bill.

 

I guess he did give me the evil eye!
I guess he did give me the evil eye or perhaps he was just saying hello!

I treasure experiences like this Рthe joy of being out in nature, the welcoming silence of the woods, the calming affect of the flowing water and the unexpected pleasure of a sighting.

The pleasure was all mine. After a while we got back into the car and as we traversed the gravel road, back to the main road, we carried with us a fond memory.

Until next time….