Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Week at The Creek (Cross Creek, FL)

As they say, "time flies when you're having fun"!   Saturday, 2 April we went to Cedar Key.  It was a beautiful spring day and, coincidentally, they were having an art festival.   We hadn't planned on taking the dogs this trip, but they behaved so pitifully as we prepared to depart that at the last moment we willingly caved in and loaded them in the car with us.  They contributed to the quality of the trip greatly.  So we had a pleasant drive of about 90 minutes.   We spent a couple hours walking through the art festival and the unique little town.  The boys were so well behaved!  We then went to check out the Sunset Isle RV Park and had at great BBQ lunch at a small restaurant right there in the campground.  We then headed home.  En route we took some little side trips to check out some more campgrounds, a wildlife preserve and discovered a great  campground, Shell Mound County Park, that warrants serious consideration for future use.

The next few days we either chilled at the campsite or cruised through our volunteer duties.  On Wednesday we went on a field trip with Sheila, our park ranger, and a few other volunteers/part-time employees of the park.  Our destination was the Big Scrub area of the Ocala National Forest.  Our mission was to visit some sites that were pertinent to Marjorie Rawling's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Yearling.  This was an area where Rawlings spent time as inspiration for the writing of the book.  Shelia has done great research on the subject.  Her role was to read from the Yearling and other publications, writings that related to specific events in the book.  It was a unique opportunity to better understand the culture Marjorie Rawlings was highlighting in the Yearling.

We drove about an hour and began our day at the Juniper Prairie Wilderness area and the Pat's Island Trail.

Fortunately, it was an absolutely beautiful day, and we encountered none of these "risks"

Much of the area we were hiking burned in a forest fire in I think 2006, but it was coming back nicely.
As Sheila explained, in 1876, the Long family  established a homestead on Pat’s Island, a high spot in the Big Scrub.  More than 50 years later, Ms. Rawlings would stay with the Long family and learn about  life in their remote homestead.  When the novel became a movie, Pat’s Island became a set for some of the scenes. Pat's Island includes historical artifacts from the Long family such as a cistern

and the family cemetery.

After a hike of a few miles, we returned to our cars, ate our lunch and then traveled a short distance to Silver Glen Springs, a beautiful spot.

Sheila and Jackie, the Park's Master Gardener Volunteer were the only ones ready to cool off a bit.

Our field trip group, Duane, Melissa, Jackie, Ray, Sheila and Judy

At our final stop, Hopkins Prairie, we eye balled some great scenery,

and spent some time on any empty site in the campground enjoying the camaraderie of our peers.  A very pleasant day!

We then returned to "chillin". 

On Saturday and Sunday my father and his wife Marge, who live in Palm Harbor, were staying in Gainesville to spend some time with us.  We had some meals together, toured the Rawlings house and visited the Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. 

The highlight there was the Butterfly House.

We have been to a few of these and this one may have been the best.  Debbie had the camera ready of course and even though we had  the help of a laminated identification card you can carry with you inside the rainforest, we were only able to identify a few.

Tree Nymph

Blue Glassy Tiger

More Tree Nymphs

Owl Butterfly

Small Postman
Okay, enough.  We do at least know who these are pictures of.

Marge and Pop in the Butterfly Rainforest
Duane and Pop at Natural History Museum

If you stuck it out through this whole post, thanks so much,  You are a good listener!



  1. Cedar Key is an interesting little town-we enjoy our visits there. Glad the boys were good and enjoyed themselves as well. Debbie did a great job with the butterfly pix. Enjoyed them.

  2. What great pictures!! Looks like a wonderful place where you are now. We may have to consider this for sometime later. Looks like there is lots to see near where you are too!! Hope you have continued safe travels!!