Monday, November 26, 2012

Georgia in November

Sunset over Lake Eufaula - Low water level leaves many stumps exposed.
Mom's Confederate Rose was in full bloom - no frost yet!
Cotton looks ready for harvest.
Bradford Pear are in their full glorious fall colors.
The farmer is getting ready for cotton harvest.
A lot of cotton is already baled.
And we have a different sunset every night.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Anne Morrow Lindberg wrote "A Gift from the Sea" when she was living on Captiva Island.  It has always been one of our favorite beaches for finding shells.  However, when we rode the motorcycle on Monday, we decided to spend most of our time at the "Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge" on Sanibel Island.
We saw this fat otter waddling along the side of US 41 between Punta Gorda and Ft Myers.  As soon as we slowed down to try to get a picture, he dove into the jungle.
We took McGregor Blvd through Fort Myers.  It is a really lovely ride with the entire boulevard lined with palm trees.  We passed the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford winter estates but decided to tour them another day.
Sanibel Island in the distance as we approached the toll booth where we paid $2 for our motorcycle.
The causeway that connects Sanibel and Captiva Islands to the mainland is dotted with beautiful parks,
where people swim, fish, parasail, and build sand castles all through the winter.
The refuge has a four mile drive that is best enjoyed on a motorcycle.  The smells of the Mangrove swamp and the sights can be enjoyed as you make the leisurely drive through the refuge.
In several places, we were treated to clusters of a variety of birds.
About midway on the drive, we stopped and took a hike along the dike between two islands.  
A bridge connects Captiva Island to Sanibel Island.
Final stop, the beach at Captiva Island.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flea Market Shopping

Are flea markets a uniquely Southern thing or do we just not know where they are or have time for them when we are home?
There are at least three flea markets with around 1,000 booths each within 50 miles of our Englewood, FL house.  
The Red Barn Flea Market is located on the outskirts of Bradenton, just north of Sarasota.
 Clothes, clocks,
 hats and Florida t-shirts,
 polish for your car or boat,
 wall hangings,
 stuff for the pets,
 lotto tickets, toys, 
 name plates,

 entertaining games for kids,
 interesting decor items,

 used items of every description,
 pots to plant them in,
 golf carts,
 golf clubs,
 a variety of plastics from China,
 belts, etc. etc. 
Something for everyone - I happily picked up a $2 watermelon, a $5 bag of oranges, a $1 head of lettuce, and a $1.25 basket of tomatoes.  That was all I could convince Ron to carry back to the car that was parked about a mile away.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Marco Island Ride

From Englewood, where we started our morning, to Marco Island is about 130 miles - kind of an ambitious day ride, but we were in good company!
At 8:00 a.m. when we started, it was 59 degrees, so we started out in our jackets.  We met our friends, Patti and Fran, at WalMart, where watched a couple of Egrets hunt for food while we waited.
Gechos aren't even safe in the landscaping at Wally World.
More and more bikes gathered, until we had 16 making the trip..
The ride organizers decided we should stay in two groups to allow for traffic lights and road crossings.
By the time we came into Fort Myers, the temperature had risen to 77 degrees.
We came onto Marco Island at the north end.
Our destination was at the south, near the bridge to that end of the island.
"Island Woman" is clearly a popular place!  We wondered if we could even find seating for our group.
Not only did we find seating together at three adjacent tables,
the service was quick, 
and the food was great!
We went home across the south bridge and followed the road through Mangrove swamps for a few miles before we reached US 41 (Alligator Alley) for most of our trip home.
Arriving at 4:00 p.m. totally exhausted.  Another great motorcycle ride with a bunch of really great people!