A Walk in a Park

Back in February, I took a short trip to Florida to visit some family and enjoy a little respite from the NYC winter.  (Not that this past winter was particularly wintry.  And, no, I’m not complaining.).  While staying in the Tampa Bay area, I had the pleasure of enjoying a short walk in a park located on a quiet part of the picturesque coast of Pinellas County.  Nice to enjoy just a little bit of the amazing bounty of nature that Florida has to offer (in addition to its pristine beaches as well as its more famous tourist destinations).   I was especially impressed with the diversity of nature I encountered along my short hour-plus hike and thought I’d share a few of my photos.

The Rocky Creek Loop Trail.  Let the ‘hike’ commence (after a quick stop at the facilities if nature calls!)

At the trailhead… I’m ready for an adventure!

Behold, the swamp labyrinth…

A view from below.

Love the contrast in colors.

I think this photo really captures the cycle of life: note the re-growth among the decay.

View of an ancient trident protruding from the earth from afar…

View of the observation tower on the beach.  Time for a swim?  On second thought…

…Apparently swimming in the waters on this beach is strongly discouraged!  (What IS that a picture of exactly??)

The ancient trident: a close-up view.

A weathered tree stands defiant on the Florida coast…

I think this really captures the diversity of flora along the trail against a bright blue Florida sky.

Like a dandelion-puff blowing in the wind.

The trail beckons onward, for those who wish to penetrate deeper into the Florida wilderness… As for me–

–Time to call it a day. Sunset along the wharf at Tarpon Springs.  Perfect end to a beautiful Florida day…

FYI: If you’re in the Tampa Bay/Clearwater area and want to check out more of nature’s off-the-beaten-path options in the region, check out some of the local parks at: http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/default.htm.  Tarpon Springs, by the way, is a nice destination in and of itself, offering a little something for everyone.  For seafaring enthusiasts, there are a variety of boat tours and fishing trips; for  history buffs as well as Spongebob fans (I kid), learn about the City’s famous sponge-diving industry; and for all you foodies out there, indulge in some outstanding ethnic Greek cuisine and local seafood fare.  And don’t forget to grab some Greek sweets and coffee!  Opa!!

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