Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Moving On

The past seven weeks have been spent in Bradenton and Brooksville, Florida.  Our very close friend Chuck Burwell had serious fall, causing a fractured skull, which kept him in the hospital for seven weeks.  We wanted to stay in the area to assist in any way we could.  We are glad to report he is out of the hospital, and on his way to a miraculous recovery, so we are beginning to travel toward home.

While we were in this part of central Florida, we were camped at a State Forrest adjacent to  Silver Lake on the Withlacoochee River   This is one of our favorite campsites, partly because of the hiking trails, the easy access to the  50+ mile paved (flat) bike trail, and the low camper density.

Breakfast in the sun

Many trips on the long, flat, bike path.

Silver Lake, with access from the campground

Beautiful trails

even when the water is high

We have seen this trail when there is high water.  Not this year.

Marlin got a great shot of this black vulture.  He was not about to move off the trail since it was dusk and almost time to roost for the night.

Did some birding.

Caught this immature red shouldered eating a mouse.

This beautiful adult red shouldered hawk posed on this sign post for at least 10 minutes.

American white pelicans in a pond near our campsite

Sand hill cranes were plentiful throughout the area near the campground. We often saw them beside the bike path.

A local attraction in Brooksville is the Chinsegut Hill estate.  It is the oldest house in Hernando county, built in 1840 by Bird Pearson.  Purchased in 1905 by Raymond Robins and  his sister Elizabeth. The siblings named the property Chinsegut , meaning "a place where lost things are found".  Elizabeth was a well known actress, writer and suffragette.  After the Great Depression, the Robins family donated the estate to Federal Government.  It is currently owned by the University of South Florida and used as a conference and reception center.  A beautiful place to have a wedding or other event.

We spent the afternoon roaming the grounds and having a tour of the house.

A day trip took us to Cedar Key and the Suwannee River Wild Life Refuge.
Cedar Key is a  small, eclectic village that specializes in oysters and clams.

Main Street along the water front.

The welcome center where the docent recommended Tony's Restaurant. Tony's serves "Award Winning" clam chowder.  The designation came from winning the Newport, Rhode Island chowder competition three years in a row.  She was right, the chowder was fantastic.  We even took two cans home.

Local street Art

What to do with a dead tree!

This cement pot was in a large community garden.

The gardens were all on these raised bed platforms.  Great on the back!

Ever present brown pelicans.

Unfortunately we spent so much time on Cedar Key, by the time we got to the Suwannee River WLR the visitors center was closed.  We drove several of the roads overlooking marsh land and inland ponds,  but did not get to experience all the Refuge had to offer.  Next time.

Pleasant boardwalks and viewing platforms

Miles of quiet marsh land

Little Blue heron was seen on our last stop in the Refuge.

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