Three Parks Left..

Concluded my visit with these three parks..

  • Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
  • Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
  • Ichetucknee State Park

Let’s start with Kanapaha Botanical Gardens…

What a lovely visit. Enjoyed the labyrinth, and the many gardens. Price is reasonable, and there are places to sit, and enjoy the gardens allure.

Chess anyone? The Gardens also have a children’s playground.

Devils Millhopper Geological State Park

While interesting, there is little to see at this Park. For those into geology an outdoor museum explains the sinkhole. It is a National Natural Landmark, and according to the literature researchers have studied fossil shark teeth, marine shells, and fossilized remains found here. There is a picnic area, and nature walk at the park.

The Sinkhole

Ichetucknee State Park

Had heard of this park for several years but never visited. It is a must see! The Park is spring fed, and has areas where one can snorkel, scuba, or take a tubing trip down the river. For those squeamish be aware wildlife abounds. While in one of the waterholes a venomous snake was nearby, and in tubing down the river you may view an alligator on the nearby shore or otters. My photos are limited, however, on my next visit will be sure to bring my camera as the water is smooth, and pictures would be amazing.

Drivers with their equipment. Permission is required for scuba.
A feed to the waterhole.

If bringing children have life jackets as while the pond small the current is strong due to the open crater on the pond floor. There is a rope on the dock should it be needed for dragging someone to dock. I am a strong swimmer but found myself challenged returning to the dock. By circling the pond edge return to the dock is easier.

It is a once in a life time experience.

The light blue area is entrance to the crater.
Another swimming area. This is where the venomous snake was seen in the bushes.

There is a North and South entrance to the Park. Visit both – one will lead you to the tubing area and the other to the swimming holes described above. And as always….


Caveat: This concludes my blog for a bit as I am taking trips scheduled for 2019 and 2020. Will have much to report upon my return..

Butterflies and Music

Next to the Harn Art Museum on the grounds of the Gainesville College Campus, is the Natural History Museum with its Butterfly Rainforest. While the admission pricey, $14.50, it is worth the trip. Here are some photos. There are also places to sit in the Rainforest to relax and watch these gracious creatures.

And what better way to end the day but with music. Attended the University of Florida Concert Bands Spring Concert at University Auditorium. And it was free! What a delight. Am a fan of high brow music as I never can understand the words of songs and rap. The Auditorium was one of great beauty and hats off to the Conductors and musicians.

University of Florida at Gainesville

The Gator is the University mascot, and am told they have quite the teams…

However, my university interests lie in the esthetics, and acquisition of knowledge. And what a beautiful campus. If in the area drive through the grounds. Lake Alice is a must see.

These lucky students can walk the trail surrounding this Lake, and visit the Ficke Gardens.

The Baughman Center is another beautiful spot to visit on the Lake.

Baughman Chapel

I wonder if these students realize how fortunate they are to be immersed in such beauty?

Next: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Gainesville: Sweetwater Wetlands Park

What a special place where gators and birds live in harmony. Lesson to us all. And seniors abound with their $15,000. cameras having lenses 2 soda cans long. Was told by one bird enthusiast he hadn’t seen so much wildlife in 6 years. Guess they were waiting for me. Take a gander and enjoy.

Cameras – A Phallic Symbol??

This area of the state is known as the wetland area according to the literature. The Park is a man-made sanctuary with the water flowing freely through 125 treated acres into Paynes Prairie and the aquifer.

Take a gander and enjoy..

A Family of Birds

Wonder if he’s trying to make a cell call?

For more information,

One last look..

Final note: bring sun screen, water, hat, bug spray, sneakers, and camera for the visit.

There are picnic tables near the entrance by the bird houses. Cost for parking $5.

Gainesville, Florida: The Visit

Had always heard Gainesville, Florida, was a great place, so decided it was time to get away. Will be in Europe from mid-May to end of June with a 5 day US return between visits. This completes reservations from 2019 and 2020. So grateful to travel companies for accommodating with no loss in funds. Am hopeful EU conflicts will not cancel these visits.

So, in the meantime… Gainesville

A little history..

Established in 1854, and named for Edmund P. Gaines, Gainesville, was part of a proposed route for the Florida Railroad Company. It served as a Confederate commissary during the Civil War and was the site of 2 battles. Prior to this in the 1600’s Spaniards, and Franciscan missionaries attempted to rule the area intrigued by its fertile soil and clear waters.

And who was Edmund P. Gaines?

Edmund was a US Army officer, (1777-1849), who attempted to preserve peace in the Southeast area of the Country, and was a distinguished Revolutionary War veteran originally from Virginia. To read more of this fascinating man,

He was also quite a handsome dude!

First stop: Givens Park

Got lost, and glad I did as discovered this lovely, serene nature park after a 2 hour drive from St. Augustine. Enjoy..

There is a playground, picnic tables, and pavilion at this Park.

There always seem to be a reward when becoming lost..