Tag Archives: Pinellas County

Honeymoon Island

State Park

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.

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The Dunedin Causeway

Recreational Activities

  • Birding (Osprey, tern, plover, wading birds, etc.)
  • Bird observation areas
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Nature trails
  • Swimming

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.).

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The beaches are sandy.

Amenities

  • 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!

Caladesi Island

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.

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The Gulf of Mexico

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.

Recreational Activities

  • Beach area
  • Birding
  • Boating, canoeing, kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Hiking (3-mile nature trail)
  • Shelling
  • Swimming and snorkeling
  • Wildlife viewing

Amenities

  • Marina
  • Picnic areas
  • Bath houses
  • Concession stand

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Caladesi Island (Photos by RSheridan)

Happy Exploring & Adventuring!!!

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Adventuring

In Sawgrass Lake Park

Bird Life

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Fauna & Flora

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Wild Life

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(Photos by RSheridan)

Happy Adventuring!!!


Cruising

For Dolphins

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.

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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.”

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“For a three hour tour,
a three hour tour.”

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At least the punch was secured and at the ready – ha!

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I loved that they covered so much of the water surrounding the Dunedin and Clearwater area too!

  • Dunedin
  • Honeymoon Island
  • Caladesi Island
  • Clearwater
  • Clearwater Beach
  • Sand Key
  • Bellair
  • Hurricane Pass
  • Clearwater Pass
  • The Gulf of Mexico

Let the Fun & Adventure Begin!!!

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Great Day for Sailing!

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The Birds Put On Quite A Show!

Anhinga

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Herons

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Ospreys

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Pelicans

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Seagulls

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The Beautiful Gulf of Mexico

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AMAZING! Day to Be Out on the Water!

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DOLPHINS!!!

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I think this is Mama and Baby.

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A Great Way to Escape and Relax for About 3 Hours! Enjoy!


Going for a Walk About

In Hammock Park

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(Photos by RSheridan)

Escape to the GREAT OUTDOORS – Enjoy!!!


The Sun Dance

Of the Anhinga

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Lord of the Dance

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Guard Duty

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Blending In

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(Photos by RSheridan)

Happy Exploring!!!


WILDness

At Sawgrass Lake

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Enjoying the Lake View . . . ahhh . . .

Gators

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Mama Gator and Her Babies

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Look at that tail!

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Gator Babies – oh so cute!

Armadillo

I finally saw an armadillo in the wild. Just use your ears to hear all that rustling about and rooting for food.

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Natural Beauty

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Fauna/Flora

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Colorful Catepillar

Birds

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Fierce Bird

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Looking right at you!

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Get my good side. (Photos by RSheridan)

Here’s to Walking On The Wild Side!


Bird Curious

Watching the Birdies

Anhinga

This Anhinga was funny to watch doing its bird dancing!

Grebe

Love the circles these birds make in the water.

Heron

Gator

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)

Are You Bird Curious or A Bird Watcher? Love to Hear, Please Share!


Watching the Wild

At Sawgrass Lake Park

This is the place to walk on the Wild Side and see the Florida Natives! Saw Plenty of Bird Species and oh so much MORE!

Finally a Limpkin Sighting Again!

Ibis

There were plenty of Ibis to Spot!


One . . .


One, Two, Three . . .


One, Two, Three, Four and Five . . .

Egret

Heron


Look at the Pompadour!

Fish

Turtles

A Sunbathing Gator

Warm on Top, Staying Cool Underneath

A Unique Sighting – A Raccoon Out in Broad Daylight

Mama Gator and Her Babies

Fauna & Flora


(Photos by RSheridan)

Happy Exploring! What Have You Spotted Lately? Love to Hear, Please Share!


What Can You Spot?

At Sawgrass Lake Park

There is a lot of blending with the natural surroundings going on and it keeps you on constant lookout! You know there is always something worth looking at when a crowd forms in a particular spot along the boardwalk! 

Gators

Fauna

Birds

Flora


(Photos by RSheridan)

What Have You Been Exploring? Love to Hear, Please Share! Happy Exploring!!!


Largo Central Park Nature Preserve

A Mixed Hardwood Swamp 

Largo Nature Preserve. Located at 150 Highland SE Avenue in Largo, Florida. Hours:  6:30 a.m. to 1 hours before sunset daily.

A 31-acre nature park. Over 130 species of birds, otters, alligators, foxes, rabbits, wild turkeys, and bats. A nature preserve that is like a smorgasbord to the local wildlife! Over 40 interpretive displays to educate visitors on the wildlife in the nature preserve.

I was hoping to see an otter or two. No gators to be seen either. Next time!

A 5-mile kayak/canoe route begins at the park and ends at Park Boulevard.

  • Boardwalks
  • 3/4 mile asphalt trail for walking, biking and skating
  • 2-story observation tower
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic tables

No dogs are allowed in the nature preserve.

I enjoyed being able to walk on the boardwalk that goes all the way around the pond in the nature preserve.

The Anhingas were pretty active in swimming about as well as taking flight and landing in another part of the pond.

I was startled on one part of the boardwalk when I turned and there was a heron pretty much face-to-face with me – a little too close to nature – the wild need their space! 


Hello!


Preening Here!

Water Flora & Fauna

Birds

A Unique Plant

A Bitter Melon, Bitter Gourd, Balsam Pear

A bitter vegetable. Not a pear, but a fruiting gourd and vine. Smells like an old, well-used gym shoe – Gross!

LOOK, but do not TAKE!!! Edible when green and cooked. TOXIC when orange ripe! It then splits into three parts, revealing red arils or fleshy seed covers.

Found Connecticut south to Florida to west to Texas. Also Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian Islands.


Closed & TOXIC!!!


Opened Up & Still TOXIC!!!

Wander On! Love to Hear About Your Explorations & Adventures, Please Share!


(Photos by RSheridan)


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