We’ve spent most of the week doing as little as possible.
which has only been open to the public for the past two years. Situated on 170 acres, past of which was formerly a strip mall and parking lot, these “Gardens with Latitude” have been developed into a beautiful preserve with flowers, shrubs and trees from native to a band between 26Oo North latitude (roughly the latitude of Naples) to 26o South latitude.
It has 2.5 miles of walking trails which meander through six cultivated and several uncultivated gardens and ponds, restored natural habitats, and around a 90 acre reforested preserve.
While there were few birds present in the main sections of the gardens, there were butterflies galore, including those in a special designed apiary.
While walking around the preserve, we did see a number of Ibis, Rosette Spoonbills, Herons and Egrets … although at a distance too far to take decent pictures. However we did have a chance to watch a trio of American Coots
There were also some [as yet unidentified] spiders who had woven their webs between the leaves of many of the flowering shrubs.
But, the diverse flora, with its variety colors, textures and origins, was the main attraction.
There were also any number of species of trees with unique and interesting trunks, barks and/or fruits.
And there are the water gardens with white, pink, red, purple, blue and other colored tropical water lilies.
It’s going to be a real shock to our systems when we begin our slow trek back north next Wednesday morning!
Saturday morning we woke to an unusually thick fog.
However the day’s highlight was a 15 mile bike ride through one of the area’s larger residential developments and golf course complexes with a couple from Newfoundland with whom we’ve become good friends and their son.