Florida settled into my soul like a fine mist during my childhood, thanks to my father’s dreams. In the late 1950s, he came to stay with family in West Palm Beach to recuperate from major life changes he’d experienced, from the loss of his father to his mother’s remarriage and his dream of college slipping away.
In Big Cypress, a full moon means savoring the mystery of the swamps brushed by moonlight, the cypress domes aglow, the night air filled with chirps and squawks.
One of Florida’s oddities is in the toilet. Really. It’s a woman’s urinal called a Sheinal, developed in Florida and installed in businesses around the state. This one in Punta Gorda is the only one we know of, now a virtual museum piece.
On the Big O Hike, I can unplug. No computer tether for ten days, no cell phone til afternoons, awakening before dawn every morning to enjoy the zen of walking.
A chance meeting with botanist Leigh Brooks leads me to a tour of Chattahoochee’s botanical wonders and an introduction to famed Florida botanist Angus Gholson.
Mom told me she’d read an article about how the Governor’s Mansion now had a library devoted to Florida authors. “You should be in there!” she said. Now I am. I learned what fourth graders think about authors, too.
Four springs, interconnected waterways: the springs along the Suwannee River basin provide a fascinating look into the weird world of the Floridan Aquifer.
A family visit to McKee Gardens for research on Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders, paired with Pelican Island, brought back memories of our 1960s trips.
Today, Paynes Prairie and the air around it was filled with white birds. Pelicans! Hundreds of them! Wood storks, herons, and egrets too. Quite the gathering.
Working on research for Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders while in Broward County, I had the opportunity to visit Butterfly World for the first time.