Category Archives: Florida
Dolphin Splash Downs
Happy Cruising – Enjoy!
On Honeymoon Island
There is nothing better than taking in a nature walk and then heading to the beach to relax!
The Eagle’s Nest
The Osprey and Their Nests
A Great Horned Owl – A 1st for Me to See!
(Photos by RSheridan)
Here’s to Some Much Deserved R&R! What Are You Doing to Relax & Rest? Love to Hear, Please Share.
Hello! The Gulf of Mexico
The park consists of 155 acres and is located on the Gulf of Mexico. You get to the park by going over the mile long causeway. The views are spectacular!
White sandy beaches. We enjoyed the beach and swimming area. Birds, dolphins and manatees. We saw plenty of seagulls.
The landscape of the park is impressive! Sea grass beds to wetlands to mangrove estuaries to salterns to coastal scrub to long leaf and slash pine flatwoods to turkey oak to long leaf pine sandhill. Plus the various species of birdlife and wildlife.
There is a $5 daily parking fee and pay via an automated pay station. There are picnic shelters available that require a reservation. There are plenty of restrooms, rinse stations and beach showers.
The park was dedicated on April 16, 1966 and today there is almost 2 million visitors to the park annually. Fred Howard was elected the Mayor of Tarpon Springs in 1945 and served as a City Commissioner. He also was the Vice Chairman of the Pinellas County Park Board for more than 30 years.
Honeymoon Island State Park
Decided to go on an exploration to see the Eagle Pair at Honeymoon Island State Park. Did not see the Eagles, however; their nest was pretty impressive!
“The 2015-16 season was the 8th consecutive year for eagles to nest on the island. This new nest is the first time eagles have reestablished nesting on the island since the 1935 homestead nest.”
- May live up to 40 years.
- Eggs are laid 36 hours apart and both male and female incubate the eggs.
- Average gestation period is 35 days with eggs hatching one at a time 36 hours apart.
- The chicks are called Eaglets and remain in the nest for 10 to 12 weeks.
- Both parents feed the Eaglets.
Those Eagles have some exact timing when it comes to laying and to hatching their Eaglets!
The Osprey Trail
Imagine being on an Island within a Pine Forest! You will see sand as well as pine cones. Plus Ospreys Galore along with their nests!
I have lived here long enough now to know the call of the Ospreys. It makes my ears tune in and my eyes focused on the trees or skies every time.
Fauna & Flora
Other Birdlife Out & About
Spooky Trees aka Snag Trees
These trees are perfect places to build an Osprey nest. Also, Ospreys build and repair nests by snapping off dead limbs in flight instead of collecting downed wood from the ground.
Briefly touched on to the Pelican Trail that works its way around the edge of the Island and along the Gulf of Mexico. Mangroves, Salt Air and Sea Breeze Oh My!
Get Outside to Explore, Adventure & Walk On The Wild Side!!!
A Florida State Park located on Honeymoon Island, a barrier island across St. Joseph’s Sound from Palm Harbor, Ozona and Crystal Beach. The park is 385 acres in land area with 2,400 acres submerged and 4 miles of beach. Honeymoon Island was formerly known as Hog Island.
The American public were introduced to Honeymoon Island in the early 1940’s. The advertisements promised undiscovered pleasures for newlyweds. Honeymoon-type huts were built on the island for vacationing. Hence Hog Island became Honeymoon Island.
Then World War II began and the thatched huts fell into disuse. The structures were torn down as the island was turned into a state park. A causeway was constructed in 1964 leading to the island.
- Birding (Osprey, tern, plover, wading birds, etc.)
- Bird observation areas
- Nature trails
The Island is a refuge for a number of species of plants (i.e. slash pines, mangroves, etc.) and animals (i.e. dolphin pods, birdlife, wildlife, etc.).
The beaches are sandy.
- The Rotary Centennial Nature Center (elevated observation deck, exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the Islands, etc.)
- Bath houses
- Concession stands
- Passenger ferry service to Caladesi Island State Park
- Picnic areas
- Pet beach
Rattlesnakes are common to Honeymoon Island – exercise caution! Mosquitoes can also be a nuisance. Sunscreen+Bug Juice = Happy Beach Goer!
Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island were originally part of a large barrier island that split in half during a major hurricane in 1921. The waterway between the islands is known as Hurricane Pass. Located in the Gulf of Mexico across St. Joseph Sound to the west of Dunedin, Florida and north of Clearwater Beach. Caladesi Island is not its own island, but shares its island geography with Clearwater Beach.
There is a ferry from Honeymoon Island out to Caladesi Island. There is a dock on Honeymoon Island to launch private boats to go out to the island. You can also walk to the island via Clearwater Beach from the south; it is only separated by a “welcome” sign.
Hurricane Elena filled in Dunedin Pass in 1985 marking the island accessible by walking northward from North Clearwater Beach.
- Beach area
- Boating, canoeing, kayaking
- Hiking (3-mile nature trail)
- Swimming and snorkeling
- Wildlife viewing
- Picnic areas
- Bath houses
- Concession stand
Happy Exploring & Adventuring!!!
Took the Parrotdise Express out of the Dunedin Marina for a 2 1/2 hour boat cruise! The wild bottlenose dolphins were being a little more tame and relaxed than wild and jumping about.
The best was when the Captain turned on the Gilligan’s Island theme song while pulling out of the marina!
“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
a tale of a fateful trip,
that started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.”
“For a three hour tour,
a three hour tour.”
At least the punch was secured and at the ready – ha!
I loved that they covered so much of the water surrounding the Dunedin and Clearwater area too!
- Honeymoon Island
- Caladesi Island
- Clearwater Beach
- Sand Key
- Hurricane Pass
- Clearwater Pass
- The Gulf of Mexico
Let the Fun & Adventure Begin!!!
Great Day for Sailing!
The Birds Put On Quite A Show!
The Beautiful Gulf of Mexico
AMAZING! Day to Be Out on the Water!
I think this is Mama and Baby.
A Great Way to Escape and Relax for About 3 Hours! Enjoy!
With the Birds
Ibis aka Florida Chicken
Love spotting the baby birds high up in their nests.
Enjoying a Bird’s View On Life!
At Sawgrass Lake
Enjoying the Lake View . . . ahhh . . .
Mama Gator and Her Babies
Look at that tail!
Gator Babies – oh so cute!
I finally saw an armadillo in the wild. Just use your ears to hear all that rustling about and rooting for food.
Looking right at you!
Get my good side. (Photos by RSheridan)
Here’s to Walking On The Wild Side!
Watching the Birdies
This Anhinga was funny to watch doing its bird dancing!
Love the circles these birds make in the water.
There is a balance between the birds and the alligators. A nesting bird in gator territory has built in security in the gators keeping away egg thieving bandits like raccoons and opossums.
Catching Some Rays! (Photos by RSheridan)