Search This Blog

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Florida Wetlands

Florida is the most fascinating place. I've only seen small parts of it but I've loved every thing I've seen so far. What grabs my attention the most are the wetlands that I've visited with my mom. Some day I'd like to go kayaking or on a small boat through the swamps.

I think people tend to think of beaches and skyscrapers like what they show on CSI Miami but there is so much more to Florida than that. We are surrounded with lovely beaches here on Long Island so I guess they don't call to me as much as they do with other tourists.

My mom and I could walk for hours so these nature centers are the perfect spot for us to visit.

The two nature preserves I've seen are built on the same concept. They have long boardwalks built just above the swamp. Native plant life is encourage to grow to help support the multitude of birds and creatures in the area. Parts of the boardwalks cross large open areas like you see above.

At times, the boardwalks cut through groves of trees.

Every now and then you will come across a shelter built on a small side path. What a wonderful place to sit and take a rest or as in our case, shelter from a sudden rain squall.

The plant material is thick and luscious. I don't have botanical names for these but I can guess that this plant is in the iris family.

Here's another beauty we saw in the water. Mom and I wondered if the bud opened on sunny days or if this is what it looks like in full bloom.

More plant material. I couldn't find a reference of this plant anywhere but it sure looked like a Canna lily to me.

The flowers that we saw weren't huge and in your face as is the case so often with species plants versus hybrids. Still, the simplicity alone was stunning.

Of course a walk through the wetlands wouldn't be complete without a good viewing of an alligator. We also spied out quite a few babies that were swishing through the water.

Ha Xuan, when we were walking there I thought about you and wondered if this was similar to Vietnam. I also thought about how incredibly difficult it must have been for those early explorers to make their way though this wild but beautiful land.

The last few days were insane here as I wrapped up my commitments to help run our high school fashion show. Finally, today I can get out in to my own garden. Yesterday we had balmy temperatures in the 60's but I didn't get to peek at a single plant. Today is cooler and damp but I can't wait to get out there and decide what chore I will begin now. I'm just dying to start dividing and planting.

Planning on getting nice and muddy,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Florida photos

Well here I sit, back home again after a whirl wind trip to Florida and back. My flight last night was quite delayed and today was spent playing "catch up" with tons of paperwork.

Still, I couldn't curl up and rest without sharing just a few of the images I shot in Florida.

These three photos were taken at Green Cay Wetlands and Nature Center in Boynton Beach Florida. My mom and I never did make it to any public (or private) gardens and I didn't miss them one bit.

There are plenty of gardens to see but for me, the fascination of wildlife at these wetlands and nature centers...well, they just continue to draw me back for another look.

As soon as I have a few quiet moments I'll try to write down some of my impressions of these incredible places. For now, I leave you with these photos. I wish I could have recorded the sounds too as the air was just filled with bird calls and alligator roars as we walked along the boardwalks.