Pinellas Heritage Village is just that – an entire village of houses built between 1850s and the 1910s all around Pinellas County and carried there in the 70s and 80s. Most of them you can now go inside and see what they were like. They often have interesting artifacts laid out and two of the houses have docent tours. They tell you in detail how people used to live and what all the artifacts do.
What on earth is that? Strange looking..... Reading the sign, I see that it's a fig tree. Well, I sure didn't know figs grew like that!
And so, as I strolled the pathways in the Florida Botanical Gardens, more beauty and wonders were discovered. There was a Silk Floss tree, a very spiky barked tree belying its softer name. I wandered past a lovely water garden featuring beautiful blue water lilies. A stunning garden bed of brightly colored impatiens followed (Think of a red, purple, hot pink, and orange explosion). Bromeliads, in their many shapes and forms, were blossoming in and around trees along the way.
I counted seventeen different types of gardens – every fascinating and beautiful plant labeled so you can take notes for your own yard. There is a butterfly garden featuring host plants and nectar plants for butterflies. Butterflies are everywhere in this park! Lush kale, lettuce, and tomatoes grow in the raised bed garden display. What fruit can you grow in central Florida's climate? Check out the tropical fruit garden. Florida Botanical Gardens even has a wedding garden, walled and secluded for that special event. It is flanked by four other gardens: a rose garden, a "contemporary jazz” garden, topiary garden, and a cottage garden.
I love this place. There is always something different to see in this little piece of paradise.
12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, Florida
Written by Lucy Noe
McGough Nature Park is pretty cool. It provides value to the community in several different ways:
The park takes care of animals (mostly birds) found injured or diseased. In some cases birds taken from the nest too early have become imprinted on humans, meaning they look to humans to teach them how to hunt and are not frightened by them. Birds like this can't live in the wild very well and would be a nuisance. The park takes care of them too.
Many falcons and hawks are there. They keep a bald eagle there with some sort of mysterious feather disorder preventing it from flying. They have several owls including some very small cute ones named Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel. They also keep a few snakes, fish, frogs, and turtles.
The park provides a place of education. In addition to live animals, they have numerous taxidermy exhibits and Indian artifacts. The staff is very knowledgeable. Many have been there a very long time they can tell you all kinds of stories over the years of things that have happened. They know all the habits and quirks of the animals very well. It is a popular field trip destination for schoolchildren. The staff will also take the animals into schools to show the children and teach them about animals or about conservation.
They also serve veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who like to see the animals. The surrounding grounds are a relaxing place. It isn’t that big, but they pack a lot into it, including a pavilion, a playground, trails, and boardwalks that lead out into the sea between Largo and Indian Rocks. Near the entrance is a turtle pond where you can feed the turtles. The pond is choking with them. They were everywhere.
The whole thing is free to the public courtesy the city of Largo.
11901 146th Street North, Largo, Florida
Written by Daniel Noe, WayOutLife.com
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