Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 3rd, 2013

I am not a happy blogger at the moment. I spent an hour yesterday writing my blog and about another hour today uploading photos only to lose the lot and not know why. Dear Gary can usually recover my mistakes but not today which means I have to start all over again. Boo hiss!!

 Now let us see if I can remember what I wrote yesterday. I think I told you we were on our way South from Sarasota. We are calling this the beginning of The Great Loop so put up our flag to let people know of our intentions. The loop will finish here sometime next winter. You can read about the Great Loop on a website and it will give you an idea of what our next adventure will be starting in June.

The initials stand for America's Great Loop Cruiser's Association.

 We have just spent a lovely week with David who returned home much more relaxed than when he arrived. He went to 2 Oriole's Spring Training games with Gary whilst I took myself to a Botanical Garden in Sarasota. The Oriole's won so that was a good start to the baseball season.

Whilst I was there I spied a Great White Heron hovering around a flower bed. I whipped out my camera just as the heron struck his head into the flower bed and lo and behold, he came out with an anole (lizard). He swallowed the live lizard after turning it around in his beak and you could see it go down his long neck. I never knew herons ate lizards.



I was surprised to see amaryllis growing outside in winter.
This is a photo of the Monarch butterfly caterpillar eating off the Milkweed (the only plant it feeds off and lays it's eggs on).
 The gardens were not very large but fairly interesting due to the vegetation in Florida being so much different to that in Maryland.

We also went on a lovely kayak trip that David treated us to. It was over 3 hours long and we had the undivided attention of our guide, Colin as it was only the 3 of us. We paddled around and through the mangroves. Colin would stop, jump out of his canoe and grab something off the floor bed and then show it to us. He seemed quite knowledgeable about objects which made the trip even more interesting. He showed us 2 conchs, one of which weighed about 15lbs. He also showed us a star fish, sea urchin, and a sponge.

David and I went for a quick walk and saw a palm tree and another tree growing harmoniously together. The tree of which I did not know it's name surrounded the trunk of the palm and both trees lived symbiotically.

We have met with old neighbors of ours from Poplar Ridge who are thoroughly enjoying retirement and Florida living. We also met with one of the previous owners of our boat, Phil. Phil and his wife Rose did the "Loop" in our/their boat and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They gave us advice and hints to make the journey easier.

On Sunday Gary and I watched some men para boarding (water-skiing using a boogie board and being pulled by a parachute). It was quite windy that day so they were really buzzing along in the water. Some of them would leap into the air, catch their boogie boards and land back in the water to continue "sailing". We were surprised that many of them were not youngsters but men in their 40s.

 Here is the answer to my bird identification quiz:

Avocet, sandpiper, pelican (do you know the name of the piece of skin under the pelican's bill for extra credit), wood stork, reddish egret, top immature ibis, bottom snowy egret, shoveler, American bittern. black vulture, avocet, great blue heron, ibis, coots, right skimmer, left grebes, spoonbill, great blue heron, great egret, top snowy egret, bottom grebes, moorhen, osprey, great egret, bald eagle, snowy egret, glossy ibis, red bellied woodpecker, anole (lizard), grackle, male bunting, female bunting, red winged blackbird, snowy egret, roseate spoonbill, and last but not least green heron. If I have made a mistake with their names, please let me know for future reference.

1 comment:

  1. The correct term for the parachute, is actually Kite Surfing. Had a blast with you all. Wish I could be there and do it again.