Friday, October 26, 2012

Winding down....

Our time in Cedar Key is winding down....soon we will be on our way "north" (The Carolinas)!  But only for 2 months and then it's back to Florida!

Last weekend we headed to the Seafood Festival in Cedar Key.  We went with some friends from the park...Ken, Vel, and Maggie.  The mission of the day was quite get seafood!  But first we had a parade to watch.

Yep - this is the police "car" for Cedar Key.  Gotta love small towns!

Very cool float complete with Ariel
Island Pizzeria "float".  The 2nd best pizza we've ever had...(first is Dan's Mom's!!)

Anyone and any vehicle can enter a small town parade!

Cute dog float!

The guy in the mask must have been oh so hot!  Temps were in the mid-80s! 
There were so many booths with arts and craft vendors and local civic organizations selling food.  Between the five of us, we tried fried shrimp, fried oysters, french fries, low country boil, cheeseburgers :-), and clam chowder.  Tony's in Cedar Key is the 3x world champion for his clam chowder.  At $7 a bowl, it was pricey but oh was so worth it!  We had a great day at the Seafood Festival.

Back when we were at Three Rivers State Park, the camp host had asked if we visited Florida State Parks regularly.  I said yes and she gave me a coupon that was for free entry into any state park for up to 6 people or free entry into Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park for 2 people.  I had been holding on to that coupon for a few months and, as it expired the end of December, needed to use it before we left Florida.  We took a day trip with Vel and Maggie earlier this week to check it out.

Homosassa Springs Wlidlife State Park is a rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned manatees until they can be returned to the wild.  There are also other animals there that, for some reason or another, can not be returned to the wild.  Our first stop was to listen to one of the park attendants speak about manatees.

We watched the manatees for quite some time and even got to see them get fed!
This gal was waiting patiently for her food!

Not what I would like but I am sure they enjoyed it!
We finally left to go explore the rest of the park.

Beautiful butterflies were everywhere

Patience paid off

There were so many swans.
There was also a hippo there named Lu (short for Lucifer).
He was sleeping when we first walked up but then he opened his eyes to peak at us.  This sign was posted nearby....

Thank goodness there was no splatter!

They had quite a few alligators...most were sunning themselves but there was one that was raising such a ruckus!  He was slinking in and out of the water...not sure what the commotion was for!
Lazing away in the sun...

Would swimming really be an option?

Check out his teeth!
After the alligators, we came to the river otter exhibit.  Oh what fun it was to watch these guys swim so elegantly and swiftly.  They liked having an audience to show off for!

We all agreed that if we could be any animal at the park, it would either be a river otter or a manatee!
Definitely not a hippo or alligator! ;-)

There were so many birds at Homosassa Springs!  We had a great time looking at them all.  And, as a bonus, I got  to see the Roseate Spoonbill up close.  We had seen these in Cedar Key but only at a distance.

Sandhill Crane

Roseate Spoonbills

White Pelicans

Can't remember this guys name

Bald Eagle

Couldn't resist one last photo of the Roseate Spoonbill
It was a great day and we would definitely recommend a visit to Homosassa Springs Animal Park if you are ever in the area!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Piddling the days away....

Our good friends Nancy and Bill know that we have perfected the art of "piddling".  Piddling is whittling away time without any great effort on one's part!   Who knew that piddling could be so much fun!  You can see so much more in our wonderful world when you slow your pace and piddle.

Gin, Syl, Dan and I were enjoying lunch one day at Kona Joe's in Cedar Key.  We were sitting outside on their deck with wonderful views of the marsh and mangroves.  Since we were eating lunch, we weren't exactly piddling but we were taking in the scenery.

There were four Bald Eagles circling above.  It was such a sight to see.  I don't think I could ever tire of seeing this majestic bird.

Another thing that I could never tire of is watching the clouds and sunsets here in Cedar Key.

Pictures just don't do the colors justice

Baby blue and pink clouds; sometimes with a tinge of purple!

Beautiful sunset from our lot
We like going "downtown" to the pier in Cedar Key, too.  I think I enjoy this as my Dad and I used to walk the pier at Emerald Isle, NC when I was little.    I have such good memories of doing that with him.
This guy was just waiting for someone to throw a fish back in the water! 
There were a lot of people fishing Saturday night and we several people catch fish including one black drum that was h-u-g-e.  I didn't get a picture as I was too busy gawking at it!  I did capture this though....
He was putting up such a fight!

He had to be brought up in a net.

Several people said rays were good eating but this guy ended up back in the water!
 And, we were treated to yet another beautiful sunset on the island....

At the pier in Cedar Key, you can see the sun rise and set over the water.  This is something that I would like to do one day!

We'll be here in Cedar Key a few more weeks and are looking forward to the Seafood Festival that they have here and which is supposed to be H-U-G-E!  Can't wait!

Life is good!