Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Return to the Celery Fields of Sarasota

Sarasota, FL        High:  66      Low:   48

A couple of days of very cool weather has sparked Sparky into biking...Sparky has made some nice friends here at the park. It's funny, but when you are full timing in a park, starting to get to know people, and you mention acquaintances, a lot of people will say, "my friend Joanie, from Michigan" or someone will ask, "Do you know Patty from Wisconsin?" kinda like that's their whole name--"Karen-from-Florida".

Any way, Sparky went biking today with her friend, Joanie, from Michigan. We went to the Celery Fields because Joanie had never seen them. It's a short bike ride but there usually is quite a bit to see. You can climb to the top of an old landfill that's been made into a hilly observation point with gravel trails.....Good exercise climbing up and back down...

You can walk across the street to the boardwalk overlooking the marsh and see lots of different kinds of birds. We saw a great blue heron glide entirely across the marsh while we were standing on the boardwalk. It was a beautiful sight! There was a flock of egrets in the marshes. Sparky loves how they all rise up on occasion, as if they are going to fly away, but then they just settle down again in a slightly different position. Sparky was too busy yakking to take a photo of the birds as they changed their positions now and then. We were busy talking and sharing about our families to take a photo. Joanie is a retired special ed teacher just like Sparky, and we had a TON to talk about!

Sparky pointed out some birds that Joanie hadn't heard of, and told her about the roseate spoonbill that can be occasionally seen in the marshes and even around Sun 'n' Fun. Sparky asked a couple of gals if they had seen any spoonbills today, and they said yes, in the distance a little bit. Joanie really wanted to see one so we biked over to another section of the park, looking for alligators and spoonbills (it's alligator habitat in the celery fields) but we didn't see any. On the way over, Sparky was describing the spoonbills, with their beautiful pink plumage that can be seen when they fly, when Joanie called out, "What's that? Is that one of them?" It sure was! It was too far away to take a photo, but Joanie was excited, we were close to maybe seeing some more. She was game for exploring further, so we did. We rode along another gravel path looking for more birds. We did see turtles and several blue herons....

We saw two wood storks, which was great...

AND--the best sight of all, which remains uncaptured on camera but forever captured in our minds, the best camera of all...was a roseate spoonbill, a mature one with GORGEOUS fuchsia plumage soaring over the swampy marsh. It was close enough to see how beautiful the plumage was, but too fast moving by us to whip out the camera. We were thrilled to see it. Sparky is putting a photo of the spoonbill she saw just outside the park a couple of weeks ago, so Joanie can see one close up.

We had a great ride today and a great time talking....Thanks, Joanie, for coming along with me today! Best wishes to you on your upcoming mission trip!

Until later......


  1. Just love those roseate spoonbills and amazing site to see.

  2. Spoonbills are probably my favorite bird. We saw one recently at a disc golf course in the middle of a subdivision. He was evidently used to people and walked right in front of us. I was shocked since they are usually so elusive!

    So there is another Karen from Florida??

  3. Joanie from Michigan is practically a next door neighbor to Sparky from Indiana! :-). Glad you two had a great ride.

    Sherry from Virginia

  4. Isn't it amazing the people you meet, and where they are all from. Of course, most think we are from South Dakota, although we tell them, only the mail comes from there ;-)