Wednesday, February 05, 2020

A few more Monday in Florida photos (1/20/20)

Just sharing a few more pictures from January 20th on and near Anna Maria Island - I didn't want my Robinson Preserve post to get too unwieldy.

Starting off with the Great Blue Heron who hangs out at Peter and Valerie's condo. Last year he was actually perched on the mangroves just above our heads as we went out for a paddle, I got some great pictures of him. Again, this is pretty amazing to me because although we have plenty of Great Blue Herons in Jamaica Bay, they are pretty skittish about people. No such issues with this one. 

And there he goes (if we're FB friends you'll recognize this as my current cover photo). 

Here's another fun local bird. Meet the Official Welcome Duck of the Robinson Preserve. Or at least that's what the duck thinks.

Hi! Welcome to the Robinson Preserve!
OK actually we were leaving at this point, but the duck had been greeting people (and getting them to give it drinks from the dog water fountain, clever bird) when we arrived, so this is apparently just what it does.

Peter had a pretty serious discussion with the duck. There was a moment when Valerie was thinking they were going to have a new pet.

Checking out some creative kayak storage at the preserve, made out of lengths of drainpipe with lockable chain link fence gates. One or two kayaks in each, and one person had 3 stand-up paddleboards in one. The sun shade fabric was a recent addition, probably a really good idea with Florida's intense sun.

This is a gumbo limbo tree, also called a Tourist Tree for its red and peeling skin. Ha ha!

It was well on into the afternoon by the time we finished up at the preserve, and Peter and Valerie suggested a late lunch at a favorite spot of theirs, the Tide Tables restaurant in Cortez, a fine old-fashioned Florida fishing village. The name is very punny and the seafood was fabulously fresh (after lunch, my sister got to talking to a guy who was cleaning a cooler full of beautiful fresh grouper on a pier adjacent to the restaurant, and it turned out the fish were for the restaurant - can't get much fresher without catching them yourself). I had grouper tacos; the tacos on the menu are corvino, a mild white fish, but I asked about grouper and our waiter said they could absolutely do that switch (with a substitution charge).

They made the tacos with a sort of teriyaki sauce, an unexpected Asian spin for a Florida taco but delicious with the fish, I would have those again. If I'm remembering correctly, my sister then asked for the grouper sandwich with corvino, and we swapped samples so got to try both very popular local fish. Valerie and Peter also let us try some of their conch fritters, which were great - I've tried those once or twice at street fairs in my Brooklyn neighborhood, which has a lot of Caribbean influence, and been a bit underwhelmed because they were way more fritter than conch; the Tide Tables rendition involved a lot more mollusk and was absolutely delicious.

Here's the bar - 

The view from our table. The pelicans were putting on a good diving show but I never quite got a picture. And that's another Great Blue Heron on the dock. 

On the way back to Peter and Valerie's place, we stopped to take a look at one of Anna Maria Island's beautiful beaches. I wonder how much I would swim if I lived someplace with a beach like this? Lots more than I do in NYC, that's for sure.

After that, we headed back for "home", with just one more stop for a beach sunset. Glorious!


songbird's crazy world said...

Still laughing about the “tourist tree”...

bonnie said...

Isn't that perfect? :D

clairesgarden said...

wow, excellent kayak storage idea.. love the friendly duck.

bonnie said...

OK, here's the rest of the story about the duck photo:

I had crouched down to take the first picture, lost my balance, rolled over on my back while trying to not break my camera. The duck came over to see what was going on & I just sat up & stayed there for the close-up.

Nothing damaged but my dignity, which is not a thing I worry about too terribly much anyways!

bonnie said...

It was genuinely friendly though - didn't just come over to see if I was ok after my acrobatic routine.