I went up to Pinellas County Saturday morning for the Floridiana Festival and Highwaymen Art Show. I walked into the auditorium along the bay in Gulfport and thought I had gone to heaven. All the Florida memorabilia and antiques that I love.
I picked up some Florida and Seminole postcards. The postcard I really wanted, I didn't find until the end of my trip, and did not want to pay the $30 for it and use up all my money that I needed for dinner and gas getting home. If I had found it at the beginning, I would have brought that one and no other postcards. It was a real photo postcard of the Seminole village at Royal Palm Hammock with Deaconess Bedell.
Also at the show were some of the former mermaids from Weeki Wachee. (I talked about Weeki last October.) They presented a program telling their experiences what it was like to be a mermaid, and the practical jokes they would pull on each other that are not in the book. Like various wardrobe malfunctions and when the beverage in the coke bottle was substituted for something stronger. But being a mermaid was a truly unique experience, and they all agree that it was the best job they ever had. It is very difficult when the first joy you ever have is also the best one ever.
I then went to Boyd Hill Preserve, a park run by Pinellas County.
There I met with Hermann and Elizabeth for an outdoor adventure. Hermann is a great artist who does some wonderful paintings of the original Florida people. You can check them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Neily-Trappman-Studio/354537365424
Below: Hermann, myself, and Elizabeth.
Boyd Hill is an oasis of natural coastal dune habitat, among the sea of urban sprawl of Pinellas County. There are several unique plants found here and no place else on earth.
We went around with one of the rangers Holly, to see endangered plants around the park. We also saw coyote tracts, baby alligators, and wood storks.
Baby alligators hiding in the mangroves. Momma is nearby!
Unusual twisted pine tree.
Very large bee hive up in an oak tree. Photographed with the zoom lens, of course!
Barred owl hooting up in the tree above the bird aviary. What is he after?
This is the reason! A female barred owl. Despite being in captivity, the male a female have still managed to mate thou separated by the wire of the cage.
Red shouldered hawks making a fuss over the owl hooting in the tree!
I joined the birds and sat in an eagle nest. Bald eagle is in the cage behind me.
Then there was this weird and scary sculpture next to the education center. Looks like a cross between the movie "Alien" with a bird beak.
Coming and going to Gulfport, I crossed over Tampa Bay on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I have a short video--I think I am starting a series!
Coming back over the bridge, I went over the center of the bridge as a cruise ship was going under. As I looked over the side, right below was the smoke stack of the ship, without room to spare. The ship was huge, and I don't think I will ever get such a view of the top of the ship again. Really close!