Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Fortnight in review

We've spent the last two weeks visiting friends, getting stuck in southern Florida traffic and exploring the area on the tandem.

We went back over to Pine Island to bike the northern half and found it much more enjoyable and prettier then the southern tip.

 I love these old twisted trees that seem to be everywhere.
This restaurant is at the end of the island and it must be pretty good because they were waiting to get in for lunch.

View from the dock

Then a day biking around Boca Granda, which was extremely bike friendly and a great place to spend the day.

 Beach at the south end of the island at the state park
 Historic Inn.
A mural near one of the marinas
 A Purple wall along one of the bike paths
 One of the many outdoor cafes along the bike trail.
 Beach Lighthouse at the State Park.
Another lighthouse further up the coast.

Then we decided to just drive up to Punta Gorda park downtown and just ride around, it turned out to be a great day with the different things we found just following bike paths and signs.

The first thing we came across was History Park, right now they have 4 building that have been moved here, three restored and one in progress.

 The Cigar house, these were build for the workers to live in while working at the cigar factory.  after the factory closed the houses were bought and moved throughout the city.
 The shadow in the middle of the tree which is located on the grounds is a large Owl, of course his sitting there has a purpose, it's to keep an eye on the female owl in the nest about 20 feet below him.

Mommy Owl sitting in the nest,  This is the second season that these owls have returned here to nest.  They never build their own nest but use an unoccupied one.  This one belongs to a couple of eagles that have returned here for five years now.  We were told that the owls will be gone before the eagles return.

The city's first jail, it was needed to take care of the drunken fisherman and cowboys on pay nights.

The Punta Gorda Flower Club takes care of the grounds and it's covered with beautiful flowers and plants.

Another 4 or 5 miles and we came out onto a city park on the beach, the best part, it's where we found the Peace River Wildlife Center.

All wildlife here is nursed back to health and released back into the wild, if they can not be released then they get to live here for life.

 Barn Owl
 This bird was healed and released from the center and they said that it still comes back just to hang around and try to get feed.  They call these birds Comebacks.
 This bird was born here while his mother was being treated and since his release he just hangs around.
Another comebacker, who flew in and landed right on the walkway with all the people standing around.
 Just visiting his buddy the eagle with one wing.  The two eagles have been here for 12 years and this is the first year that the female is building a nest, so they are hoping for a baby eagle this year.
 Another comebacker that is nesting in the tree in the parking lot right in front of the center.
A lot of pelicans here.

On the way back to the car we went by the performing arts building and spotted the sculpture out front.

Click on it to enlarge and you'll see that it's made out of old house keys.

After we got back to the car we walked over to the Chamber of Commerce building to see the Whispering Giant that sits in their front yard.

Carved by Peter"WOLF" Toth, we bought one of his smaller sculpture two years ago when we visited his studio/home in Florida.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our week in review

We're now in North fort Myers for the month and looking forward to staying busy seeing stuff, doing things and seeing friends and family.

We spent one day biking around LakePark which is pretty much right in the middle of Fort Myers. Once you get inside the park you'll think that you're 30 miles out int the country. They have a big lake, beaches, kayak and paddle boat rentals, one,two and four seater bikes, a miniature train to take rides around the park on, about 8 miles of hiking and biking trails (paved) and a garden.

 Boardwalk and rental area

 Bike path

A little cloudy one day so we went to the Edison Ford Winter Estates, we only planed on spending a couple hours here today so we just wandered around the gardens, we're saving the museum and homes for a rainy day.

Just about all the Heritage plants are for sale in the nursery.
a lot of color

Two in the bush
Fig tree
Air plant
Star fruit
 I love the twisted trunk filled with air plants

Eighty degrees and sunny so we went over to Pine Island to bicycle the south half of the island. First thing we did was spot a Book sale sign at the library, so that's where we spent our first hour. The ride south to St James was pretty straight and level and boring, not a lot to see until you get to the south end and because it was a Saturday all the motorcycles were gathered at the outdoor bars with the bands playing. The one bar was karaoke and they sounded pretty bad, the other had a three piece band doing a country rock and roll which wasn't to bad. Other then the bars there is absolutely nothing there, maybe next week when we do the north end it will be better. 

 A fast Pepsi stop here

All along the path they had the power poles painted up

One of the houses at the end of the trail

Of course this house was right around the corner.

We almost traded for this tandem
Perched on a nest near where we parked.