Sunday, March 18, 2012

The View from Palm Beach Part 2


I promised more short favorite sites to visit in Palm Beach, so here they are. Part 2

Morikami Japanese Gardens in Del Ray Beach, provides an aura of beauty and quiet in Florida’s otherwise hectic environment. Perhaps it’s the influence of all the New Yorkers that now make the county home, but I’ve never heard such loud voices and dreadful drivers as I’ve encountered down here. But in Morikami Gardens, even the children move slowly down pathways leading from one century-style gardens to the next. Small lakes, waterfalls, trees groomed into bonsai shapes, colorful turtles and Koi passing under arched bridges soothe even the most garrulous of visitors. We also met several iguanas in the pond next to the tea house. A young fellow and a really spikey granddaddy.

Green Cay in Boynton Beach and Wakodahatchee  in Del Ray Beach are water thrill me each time I visit. Both are part of the Palm Beach water reclamation wetlands that offer that allow the visitor close access to hundreds of nesting egrets, herons, anhingas,  cormorants, gallinules and myriad wetland creatures and plants. Make sure to bring your camera as the avian wonders you will see there will amaze you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The view from Palm Beach part 1


Aside from bouts of homesickness for our northern home, my husband Bill and I have found respite for our aging bones, strength for our muscles and perfect tans in Palm Beach County Florida where we've been spending the winter. Among its many lovely parks, beaches, and other attractions, Bill and I discovered two more favorites just last week. We've already returned once even though it takes close to an hour to get there from Lake Worth. 

MacArthur State Park in North Palm Beach protects  a very rare and spectacularly beautiful piece of Florida’s southeast coast. It offers walking and kayak tours through various terrains: The Satinleaf Trail winds through a mixed maritime hammock. The Dune Hammock Trail runs through a forest of gumbo limbo,  cabbage palm, strangler fig and other tropical and subtropical forest species. Just last week, the Park opened a wonderful interpretive center that promises to keep expanding its offerings. You can rent a kayak and paddle the estuary into Lake Worth Lagoon. Manatees, snooks, rays, dolphins and a wide variety of other fish inhabit its waters and can often be seen while paddling or walking the 1,600 foot boardwalk over the estuary. A two-mile pristine beach with few sunbathers with whom to contend for space rewards the traveler who makes it to the end of the boardwalk. A free tram can help transport young children and beach equipment if you are so burdened. The beach also holds sea-glass galore and though shells are abundant, most are too small to warrant collecting unless making jewelry. Take a plastic bag along in case you find something wonderful to take home.

Only a few miles from MacArthur State Park is a place no child or adult should miss visiting. The Loggerhead Park and Marine Life Center is one of several facilities in the state dedicated to the preservation of endangered sea-turtles. A child-friendly interpretive center and turtle yard where injured or ailing hatchlings and injured juvenile to adult sea-turtles can be viewed are of special interest. Each tank posts information on the turtle being rehabilitated. Poseidon, one of the larger turtles currently being treated has lost two flippers with a third flipper severely compromised by fishing-line filament. Two others have severely cracked shells held together with special staples and still require feeding tubes to nourish them. Check out their website the Center's website (link above) which offers updates on each of the turtles being nursed back to health.

There's more I'd like to share with you, but I'll do so in separate posts. I don't know about you, but I much prefer short compact blogs to long complex posts