1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May in Florida--Find-the-Spring Time!

"The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won..."
--from "Ode on Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth--

May in Florida takes us miles from home to visit someone special on the Atlantic coast. We decide to try a new route, leaving the interstate highway for a more leisurely pace and a look at what the heart of Florida has to offer. Silver River State Park in Ocala would be a great place to spend a few days if we had the time. We have only a couple of hours to stop and stretch our legs. Trail signs direct us to visit the spring-fed Silver River, but strange, hairy plants sprouting from tree trunks beckon us to stop and wonder at them and other oddities along the way. I suspect that these plants are some type of bromeliad, and this excellent site I found,, appears to confirm that suspicion.

If I'm wrong about the bromeliad identification, I can rest easy. I know there are bloggers out there who will kindly help me. Julie and Claude really know their stuff when it comes to succulents and other plants like the bromeliads that thrive without a lot of water. Visits to their blogs and discoveries along the trail help me appreciate the beauty and hardy nature of these plants.

Daughter made cupcakes for Mother's Day 2009, using a Red Velvet cake mix. We stayed up late Saturday night getting them baked and laughing about that armadillo groom's cake in the movie Steel Magnolias. I threatened to make one for her future groom. Who doesn't love a gray cake with a red center that looks like road kill? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the journey east and trail I go.

Silver River lives up to its name, flowing like a silver thread through the park, providing a cool, mineral-rich home for fish and the fowl that feed on them.

People with more time than we have to spend at the park find canoes available for a reasonable rental cost. The park ranger at the fee station suggests getting an early start if visiting on the weekend. Canoes for rent are a hot commodity on this cool river, especially during the summer months.

When we reach the river at the end of a boardwalk, we spy a small alligator making its way to our shore. It disappears behind some brush, and we hear a loud splash. I hope it's not one of those lovely birds we see diving for fish. A sudden noise behind me makes my heart skip a beat or two. An elderly gentleman laughs when I sheepishly admit that I thought he was an alligator sneaking up on us. He takes his place along the boardwalk with a much nicer camera than I have. I pray he gets a chance to enjoy and capture whatever we will miss as the light softens and the day comes to an end. We leave him alone and retrace our steps along the trail back to the car.

The lady we have come so far to see celebrates a long life, 92 years in 2009. A sister-in-law graciously provides a cake (not an armadillo, thank goodness!) for all of us present to share, and we think about the ones who are absent and missed.
"...Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

--from Wordsworth's poem as above--


  1. Oh, that's definitely a bromiliad... One of the tillandsias. There's hundreds of different species though, I don't have any idea which one.

  2. Yes, I was going to say that I clump all wild bromeliads into a "wild bromeliad" variety! LOL. This one would be impossible to ID without close up inspection.

    That Silver River looks very pretty!

  3. Ninety-two years is quite an achievement. Congratulations.

    I have to admit, alligators would inhibit my enjoyment of walks along the lake/river shores.

  4. I see you had a great time in Florida. I love visiting places that has rivers or pools. Somehow they make me feel great. I can stare at a river, pond, pool, tank or any water receptacle for hours. It's my dream to have a pond in my future garden on land and that too populated with ducks, geese, or swans. Wouldn't that be awesome!

  5. Beautiful photos. Great post :)

  6. I tried commenting this morning but my computer has been acting funky. Don't know what is up. Wanted to say Happy Birthday to the birthday girl!

  7. I love the tours that you take and the photos of the great outdoors. Lovely river views.

    92...that's a grand age! If I were in her place I'd surely love a visit like that. Surrounded by loving members of the family... moments to be treasured.

  8. Happy Birthday to your special family member! Looks like you made the most of your trip, too, W2W, visiting another beautiful park. I hope things are going well with you.

  9. How nice. I make a list of places like this. It's my "places I'd like to come back to when I have more time" list.

  10. Thanks to all who have commented. Sorry I've not been a faithful visitor lately. Lots going on, and we have a family member visiting this week and next and another birthday to celebrate Saturday. I may not get to make the rounds for a while. Apologies to everyone. I'll be back to a normal schedule as soon as possible (what is normal, anyway?).

  11. Whenever I visit with you I hear your voice so clearly, you're fully engaged in your subject matter. I'm glad you had a good visit and the park looks like a good place to enjoy the good weather and good fortune of being there.

  12. Mr. Wordsworth was worth his weight in nature poetry. And I didn't post enough poetry during April's National Poetry Month.

    And I don't go on enough nature walks. Stop by and get me the next time y'all go!

    (And I completely understand about time constraints at the start of the growing season.)

    You posted this on my birthday!

  13. Ha, that's funny, TC. "Worth his weight in nature poetry." I suppose to be successful these days, he would have to promote his poetry in a rap version for Greenpeace or some other nonprofit. As I understand it, some of his contemporaries felt that he sold out to religious conservatives as he aged. Can you really blame the old fellow, though, for not wanting to end up like the leech-gatherer in his poem "Resolution and Independence"? Happy Birthday, dear friend TC. I'll catch up with you in a few days.

  14. Now I'm going to work my way backwards here and reply to all of the commenters:

    Claude, I had no idea there were so many varieties of the things. It was such a surprise to see it along the trail. They're not common where we live in FL (northwest corner).

    I'm like you, Julie, in lumping things together. Maybe there is a brom expert out there who can enlighten us on the specific name.

    Marnie, I wish I could take the credit for the MIL's 92 years. Maybe it's just sheer determination to keep an eye on her DIL.

    Chandramouli, I'm hoping that your dream comes true for you. I know your water feature would be lovely.

    Thanks, DP! I have such a great time putting the posts together. It brings me a lot of joy.

    Tina, thanks for the birthday greetings. The birthday girl had a great time. I just wish we could see her more often than a couple of times a year. It's such a long drive!

    Kanak, thank you. If you ever get to visit Florida, I'd love to be your tour guide. It would be wonderful to share my favorite spots with a friend.

    Rose, we always look for special spots to visit on the way to different places. When we were younger, time off from work did not allow for impromptu stops. These days, we're trying to make the most of our "time off" and enjoy every minute of it.

    Troutbirder, this place should be on everyone's Top 10 Places to Immerse Yourself in Florida's Nature List. Hey, that might just be the topic of a future post. Thanks for the idea!

    PJ, I keep thinking I will bump into you somewhere in Pensacola. I hope we can hear each other's voice for real someday soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Oh my - armadillo cake. What's not to love? Your first pic of the sun back-lighting the palm branch is art. You should submit it to Mother Earth News.

  16. The best parks are the local ones, or the semi local ones.

  17. WS, it's a good thing the armadillos have that body armor. Otherwise, they would be easy targets for predators like black bears. While walking along the trail, we heard several of them crashing through the underbrush. I was relieved to finally see what was making all of that noise. Thanks for the encouragement and idea. I hadn't thought about showing my stuff to MEN. Sounds kinda funny. ;>}

    Mr. S., I agree. Florida has some of the nicest parks in the U.S. And water is a prominent feature in most of them.

  18. Hey, W2W that first pic is awesome. Would make a nice desktop background.

  19. Thanks, MBT. I will check into the links on your blog for those heirloom seed suppliers. You're just a "wellspring" of great information and ideas. I've been saving TP and paper towel tubes like you suggested, getting ready for next year's planting. I already tried them out with a row of beans and didn't lose a single seed to heavy rain or critters.

  20. the opening photo is truly amazing. we too often avoid highways so that we can see more along the way, unless we have far to travel.

  21. Thanks, Wayne. Interstate highways are so monotonous, and interesting places get bypassed when traveling on them. If we have a little time to spare, we try to avoid them and take the lesser known roads. If people want to know what Florida is really like (not just beaches and Disney), they should try exploring some of these places.

  22. your blog has been a wonderful tour guide to explore Florida, but I am a northerner who when I can travel during the summer heads farther north... I think I can out run the heat