Bill and Kit’s Excellent Adventure Chapter 6

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The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #6

 Wednesday, January 28, 2009:

Woke to low clouds, much higher humidity but still warm. A storm is a coming! It’s probably payback for all the bad karma I gathered by gloating of the great weather. Gotta dig out the old oilskins cuz it’s beginning to blow. Folks west of Fryeburg or south of Kittery probably won’t understand that last bit.

Janice and Charles invited us to join them with Cindy and Harvey for incredible southern barbeque at Grandpa Johnson’s (remember him?) and then for an evening of square dancing at Strawberry Squares, a 55+ residential park and dance hall in Plant City. We had a great time with great friends and met a slew of new folks. We also got to enjoy Janice and Charles southern hospitality at their very nice snow-bird home right on the Strawberry Square property.

Strawberry Squares.  Janice and Charles.  Cindy and Harvey.  Bill and Kit.

Strawberry Squares. Janice and Charles. Cindy and Harvey. Bill and Kit.

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After the dance we all partied at the very exclusive “Tiki Bar”. So exclusive that one is not granted entrance unless one personally knows the owner…..fortunately Charles and Janice did. The place apparently is a sailor hangout as all the guys were Navy veterans and enjoyed telling sea stories. There were some very attractive women in the place as well. More fun than Olongapo City in the Philippines (another famous sailor hangout)!

Another late evening following a great day!

Thursday, January 29,2009: Woke to an overcast day. Had intended to rent a kayak and paddle some of the local rivers but the forecast was for heavy rain. So Dave (of David and Betty fame) offered to show me some local hiking trails where wildlife could be spotted. I mentioned we had partied at the Tiki Bar the evening before and had already experienced Plant City wild life but he assured me these would be the animal variety.

Now, Dave is a very knowledgeable naturalist and accomplished wildlife photographer so following his lead we set out along the banks of the Hillsborough River (pronounced, hills-boro) near the town of Thonotosassa (pronounced, thong-is-sassy). Thanks to Dave’s keen eye we were able to spot the following critters:

Along the banks of the Hillsborough River

Along the banks of the Hillsborough River

Black Buzzard, Turkey Vulture, White Ibis, Tri-colored Heron, Great Egret, Blue Heron, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, River Otter, Turtles, Cattle Egret’s, two Red Shouldered Hawks (enjoying marital relations in a tree)…..

…..and this big fellow.

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Which was menacing enough until we stepped around an old uprooted cypress tree and this slimy fellow was about 4 feet away.

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Water Moccasin

Apparently Water Moccasins are not to be fooled with…..so we didn’t! A great day in the wilds of central Florida and the first time I regretted not bringing my kayak as it did not rain until later. I took many pictures but decided to post David’s, for obvious reasons, so photo credit’s for all the great wildlife pictures belong to him. To see more of Dave’s fine work please visit his website- http://www.davewhitephotos.com/photos/main.html

Following our great adventure and with a ravishing appetite we picked up the ladies and headed for Parksdale’s. This place has to be seen and experienced. It is the “Disneyland” of the strawberry world. Looks like a typical roadside farm stand but once you enter your every sense is attacked by all things strawberry. They even make strawberry shampoo…..which might account for all the pink hair on older Florida women.

 

Left:  Dave and Betty  Right:  Bill and Kathy

Left: Dave and Betty Right: Bill and Kathy

You know…..there appears to be a common theme in these pictures. Maybe we should rename our trip Bill and Kit Gluttony Adventure.

Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit

 

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