Saturday, December 22, 2018

West Wind, Blow!

Dave and I went to the nature preserve again yesterday, hoping for better weather this time. (The blue shell was still there.) We did in fact get to walk all the way around the park, and we did see a gopher tortoise -- well, part of one, anyway. It was in its burrow and it really didn't want to be disturbed. We saw the edge of its shell as it shuffled farther underground.

I didn't get a lot of photos. The wind was blowing so hard I couldn't easily see any birds or other critters -- everything was moving. Dave gets the credit for spotting this little brown anole, sticking his head out of a fence post. Definitely the best shot of the day.

For lunch we went back to Dave's favorite Chinese restaurant in Lutz. This time, the "in bed" game didn't work for either of our fortunes. Bummer!

From there we drove downtown, and checked in to our hotel. We're on the 20th floor overlooking Harbor and Davis Islands, and I'd show you the view if I could get a decent picture through our dirty, tinted window. Suffice to say it's pretty nice, and I can see Tampa General Hospital below us -- where I was born!

While Dave settled down to take a nap I walked along the Hillsborough River and through downtown, catching this crazy warped reflection of the old Tampa city hall in a neighboring building. It's always great to visit Tampa, and even though I haven't lived in the city proper since 1992 it still feels like home.

I found this unusual graffiti on the Riverwalk. Somebody has an artsy streak! (Well, sort of.)

Last night we caught up with some of my oldest and closest friends from college. We had dinner at Ulele, an excellent restaurant on the river where we tried to sit at the outdoor bar but it proved too freakin' windy and cold! It is winter, I suppose, even here. We retreated indoors.

Today, Dave and I are off on the long drive to Jacksonville, hopefully with a little side trip that will prove interesting!


Sharon said...

That first photo is a great capture. I like the reflection too. I can relate to the "cold" experience. It gets cold here at night too.

jenny_o said...

Wonderful photos today. Well, they're always wonderful, but today's stand out somehow.

I hope Maybelline gets a dogwalker for Christmas :)

Linda Sue said...

January in Florida usually sounds , to me, like warm sunshine, swaying palms. What do I know. Weather is everywhere! The wind up here has been frisky! Love your photos! The background of the little head poking out of the post is yummy, too!

ellen abbott said...

been windy here for days. at least today it's not howling. great shot of the anole.

robin andrea said...

Love that anole and the reflection. Beautiful photos. Sounds like a lovely albeit windy journey so far.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Is there a birthplace plaque on the side of Tampa General Hospital - recognising the holy birth - back in ancient times?

Red said...

The wind makes things unpleasant but when you're a visitor you get out there.

Catalyst said...

My wife's parents lived in Nokomis. I remember we went there one year around Christmas and it was cool, cloudy and gray. I couldn't wait to get home. Her sister lives now in Venice and they've ridden out a couple of hurricanes and floods over the years.

lulumarie said...

Hi Steve, I discovered you a while back through Ms. Moon’s your blog but have never commented because I’m kinda shy...however, you mentioned going to Jacksonville. I live in St. Augustine and I’m wondering if you’ve ever been here??? It’s a beautiful little city, although very crowded this time of year, but I think you & Dave would love it! I’m thinking since you’re from Florida you probably know all about St. Aug, ~ just wanted to check in and make sure! There are wonderful photo ops here!!!

Steve Reed said...

Thanks for the comments, everybody! Fortunately the weather got better the next day.

YP, as I understand it my nomination for a plaque was turned down on the grounds that I defected to the land of the Colonial Oppressor.

Catalyst, I used to live in Venice myself! It's a small world! Yeah, the idea that Florida always has balmy, warm weather is a total myth.

Lulumarie, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I have been to St. Augustine, though it's been a very long time. (Probably 10 years since my last trip, and another 10 the time before that.) I remember the lions on the bridge, and the Spanish fort, of course. We should pop down there for a photo expedition sometime, but probably not on this trip!