Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where Am I? Revealed: Coastal Florida

It is an understatement to say there are so many rivers, lakes, springs, bays, canals, and bayous not to mention the hundreds of miles of coastline in Florida to be explored.

Many of them interconnected and flowing into one another. I love every minute of investigating what I'm blessed to see.

Just being near the water is rejuvenating to the soul. Listening to the sounds of wildlife and all at the same time the sounds of stillness. Miles away from the busy city to peaceful quiet.

The Withlacoochee River (above) flows into the Gulf of Mexico dividing Citrus and Levy counties.

It wasn't surprising to see the swallowtail larva thriving right along the river's bank among the wildflowers.

Mr. Meems and I have taken a few day trips and overnight trips lately. I've got lots of photos to share with you from those recent jaunts around some coastal Florida towns.

A day trip to Yankeetown revealed a wonderfully quaint "old Florida" area. We found the people there to be friendly and helpful as we looked at some available properties up and down the river.Cedar Key is a short drive further north. It's an easy, scenic route off the main highway. That day we finished off our daylight hours eating dinner over the water. The sunset fell as we watched folks fishing off the pier and breathed in the salty scents.

Wakulla and Franklin Counties
A couple of weekends we've taken some extra days to hang out in the panhandle. There are SO many little coastal towns that have been preserved in the style of "old Florida".

That coastline is vastly different in appearance than our West Coast Gulf shoreline we frequent most often.

It is a coastline with so many miles of untouched land. Sand dunes undulate along the shoreline with mounds of sugary white sand that are synonymous with the panhandle.

The condo highrises and businesses have not disrupted the coastline like so much of the west and east coast.

Oh, there are houses and small neighborhoods aplenty. But it is an area that has managed to keep all the commercialization to a minimum. Stands of oaks, piney flatwoods and marshes is the environment most prevalent in these counties.

We set up house in a tin-roofed cracker style house at the end of Alligator point in Panacea (Franklin County).

The weather was awful. Rain dumped from heaven from a weather system stationary over this part of the earth for several days. I guess you can't time everything just right.
The deck surrounded the perimeter of the house and the water was just yards from the front door. So many houses don't face westward toward the sunset we are so accostumed to on our Gulf Coast. This one faced due East.

Hardwood forests with an understory of cabbage palm and saw palmetto border the rivers and roadways for miles on end. This mocassin ventured onto one of the back roads where not many cars will pass in a days' time. I bravely took this photo through the lowered car window.
We found an interesting Inn near where the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers meet. It is a nature-based retreat with a Golf Course. What could be better?... something for him... something for her.
Admittedly it was restful and peaceful on the grounds. Because of the care that has been taken to create an atmosphere for wildlife, through the use of native plantings and flower gardens, it was delightful to be outdoors.
Butterflies know where they are welcomed. They were fluttering about in abundance near the walkways and arbors throughout the patios and gardens.

Thanks for hanging with me through so many photos. There are more but I'll save them until next time.

Oh, how could I forget ... VERY important stuff.
We found lots of great restaurants off the beaten paths. This one in a small home turned eatery with a family providing all the cooking and serving. Yummy stuffed grouper to write home about that night. One great thing about coastal towns is the seafood. It is everywhere and it is fresh. We have definitely had more than our share of fabulous seafood over the past few weeks.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where Am I?

Wow... it's been a while since we've played this game. Mr. Meems and I have been in and out of town a bunch lately... I've got lots of photos to share. Let's start with this from one of our day trips. This is an easy one.
For all you Florida enthusiast and those who have an interest in this beautiful state... here's how this goes:

I thought it might be fun to occasionally post some of the random photos I've taken from my romp-abouts in Florida and then you guess where I was when I took the photo... or where the scene is that the photo represents (whichever applies).

If you'd like to include your thoughts (experience) about the photo or the area it represents I'd love to hear about that, too. Thanks to everyone for participating. Meems