Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fall Foliage and Fauna in Florida

Sparky has been bike riding in Bradenton lately....It's nice to go on the Legacy Trail, Sparky starts on the rails to trails route from McIntosh Road trailhead in Sarasota, to the trailhead in Venice, about 10 miles one way, but that's a straight shot, semi shaded, and you don't see much wildlife...There's a payoff near the end when you start getting near the water near Venice, but it's still a straight shot through the palms, dry areas and past Oscar Scherer State Park until you get closer to the water at Venice.

So Sparky decided to venture out into the neighborhoods...What a treat! She bike 12 miles one day and ten miles the next day through neighborhood after neighborhood in the Tara area of Bradenton--There is Tara Preserve and many many other subdivisions on golf courses along the way with lots of water in the ponds and lots of birds…And gators…This one was sunning himself on top of a water fountain jet. Another couple came riding by, they were from Scotland. Sparky had a wonderful conversation with them, thoroughly enjoying their accent while we discussed how fun it would be to see the water fountain turn on with the gator on top of it!

The ride is beautiful...It's shady, and it's a lot prettier than the Legacy Trail...And, you can ride on wide sidewalks instead of the street.

On another ride on another day, Sparky spotted a baby gator at the side of a neighborhood pond.....

A snowy egret with its black legs and the distinctive yellow feet….They use to kill these birds for their plumage to use for hats back in the early part of the century….
This guy got a little annoyed as Sparky crept a little closer for another photo…..You can certainly understand some of these expressions we've gathered from birds…"ruffle somebody's feathers"….

Some beautiful ornamental grasses with rose pink plumes....They line the parkway winding throughout the home subdivisions...

Some royal palms....They are so majestic!

The seed pods on these things are HUGE!
Sparky loves Bismarck palms....They are silvery and spikey....Kinda like Sparky's hair... :-)

A BUNCH of turtles.....They were clear across the bank, many yards away, and they still skeddaddled once they saw Sparky ride by on the bike. But she still caught them before they all submerged..."DIVE, DIVE, DIVE!"

We have fall foliage here in Florida, too...sniff, sniff.  (Sparky is missing the fall foliage north of here, explains E.)...Crotons are turning orangish...
Here's some red….Sparky thinks these are hibiscus hiding their blooms at the moment because it's a cool morning.

And whatever the name of this tropical plant is, it's GORGEOUS right now....It's always pink, but now it's DEEP pink....
Plenty of plants and trees are in full bloom...Wonder when they "rest"?
The bark on Florida trees is very interesting! This one is a tree philodendron like the kind that used to grow in a pot in our sunroom of Sparky's childhood home many a moon ago. The tree's branches have been trimmed leaving an interesting pattern...It's definitely a TREE and leaves are still sprouting!
Love the herons..…You can tell this is a tri colored heron because of his white underbelly.
Here's another heron, a little blue heron, spotted in another marsh along today's ride…..
It was a wonderful bike ride today. It's a wonderful ride EVERY day! The temperatures are so nice now! Right around eighty today, and sixties at night for this week. It doesn't start to get hot now until afternoon and even then, it's very tolerable, very low humidity...Yay! says Sparky!

See you later...On the bike trail, maybe on the water in Sparky's kayak soon!


  1. Okay, I am all in for some bike riding and kayaking with you as my guide. We will be in Cortez starting December 1st. Looking forward to a Florida winter!

  2. I'm glad you're finally able to get back out and do some riding. It was certainly a hot summer. I'm glad the temps are getting cooler. It sounds like it's about time to head south.

  3. Glad you are enjoying the cooler fall weather now, nice pictures too!

  4. Nice post about "fall" in Florida. HA! Looks like you have some great riding spots. You on your bike and Eldy on the links, good exercise - IF he doesn't ride the golf cart that is. :-)

  5. Nice photos and account of your trip. The flowers which you identified as hibiscus, are indeed hibiscus family, but not the ones the open all the way. This is as far as they "open". They are called Turks Cap Hibiscus.

  6. Nice photos and account of your trip. The flowers which you identified as hibiscus, are indeed hibiscus family, but not the ones the open all the way. This is as far as they "open". They are called Turks Cap Hibiscus.