Saturday, July 18, 2015

Florida's Hidden Gems



Hidden away off of a winding road on the other side of Tampa's well-known Bayshore Blvd. is Ballast Point Park, which is my favorite pick for Florida's Hidden Gems.

Only In Your State has an interesting article on 14 of their picks for Hidden Gems in Florida.  Click here to go to their article to discover some new spots in Florida to explore.




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What I Love About Living in Central Florida




As I sat outside in my Carport Jungle this morning, I was feeling especially grateful that I live in Central Florida.

Why?

Although it is hot and humid, since I've lived here all of my life, my body is acclimated  to this type of weather and I love it.  

The gentle breezes that were blowing through were very pleasant and soothing, as were the beautiful butterflies that rode the breezes like a colorful parade. The unknown vines growing on the fence are blooming (one is a bleeding heart vine) and butterflies of all colors and sizes have been gathering around them. I'll have to take a photo of them!  I keep forgetting to take photos!

Ground cover plants that most people buy at the nursery as houseplants are growing wild and begging to be pulled up and planted in containers for use in the Carport Jungle.  Since my serious gardening days are over due to my arthritic knees that have deemed me disabled, light container gardening is all I can do.  But I am so grateful that I can still get my hands dirty and have free plants to play with.

Since we are still without running water, the frequent afternoon storms are welcomed so the plants can get watered properly.  As a result, the plants are green, lush and thriving.

I can say without asking The Captain that he is very grateful for the nearby park he visits frequently that is so beautiful and picturesque, full of nature where he goes fishing.  What I love to do is visit with bread and popcorn and stay entertained feeding the animals who are so happy to see us show up with goodies for them.

As for what I don't like . . . I saw the first snake of this year who took a liking to the Carport Jungle that I had to chase away and haven't seen since.  It was just a black racer, but they still freak me out.  Very early this morning as I sat out there before dawn, I saw the first big, fat, ugly possum of the year run through the side yard and through the fence to the back yard.  I hope the cats chase him away to another yard!  I strongly dislike these animals!  And the mosquitoes are fierce this year . . . gotta start experimenting with the home remedies I'm finding online.

We saw the first huge toad yesterday that kind of scared me at first until I realized what it was.  I heard a loud rustling through the leaves and almost didn't see him since he blends in so well . . . then he jumped.  He's almost as big as a dinner plate and at least 6 inches high.  Very pretty toad!

Although we have been unable to do any maintenance with the plants that are left, they are blooming like crazy and such a joy to see.  Can't wait to hire a yard guy to take care of the Paradise and bring it back to it's former beauty.  My social security checks that I worked so hard for all my life should be coming in shortly!  Also a benefit of being deemed disabled . . . I'd rather have my health though!

The Captain and I will soon be ever so grateful for the Gulf beaches when we have some extra money to spend an occasional weekend retreat on that Gold Coast!  Pier fishing is one of my favorite things . . . especially before dawn. There is nothing like night turning into day on the Gulf of Mexico!  It is simply magical!

Last, but not least, is our membership to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island where it is awesome to get away and feel like we are in a different world. Florida's theme parks are the best!

I've been slacking on photos . . . will catch up soon!









Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday on the Hillsborough River


River Hills Park in Temple Terrace is one of those hidden fantasy lands that has no admission fee. Its beauty is a testimony to the community and its efforts to provide the simple beauty of the Hillsborough River.  It is best enjoyed just after sunrise.


The squirrels are always looking for a handout.


It was a cool morning along the trail.


Come Join us.