I was really excited back in February to find out that I was going to St. Petersburg, Florida in April. I've been to the city twice before but just for quick two day trips. This time I was able to add a few days on the trip and do some sightseeing. My plans included an airboat ride in the Everglades, various shots in the city around the hotel, and Ft. Desoto State Park.
My hotel for the first part of the trip was the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. What a fabulous hotel! Here's an early mourning shot from the park across the street.
I got up early one morning and caught the sunrise over Tampa Bay. Again just a short walk out of the hotel for this beautiful scene.
Ok, I can't post just one sunrise picture. It's so hard to choose my favorite.
In the little park in downtown St. Petersburg they have Banyan trees. They are so cool to look at and photograph. It looks like the roots are growing downward out of the branches.
After the "business" was done I had a couple days to sightsee so I headed south to the Everglades. On the way down I had to pass over the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Once over I stopped at a rest area and got some shots of the bridge.
No strip to the Everglades would be complete without an alligator shot. Notice how close the fish is to it's mouth. Dangerous living if you ask me.
Once in the "glades" my purpose was to get an airboat ride. After checking at a gift shop near Everglades City the recommended Wootens.
The first interesting thing was the Mangrove trees. Mangrove trees are well adapted to the transitional zone of brackish water where fresh and salt water meet. The Everglades have the most extensive continuous system of mangroves in the world.In the wet season fresh water pours out into Florida Bay, and sawgrass begins to grow closer to the coastline. In the dry season, and particularly in extended periods of drought, the salt water creeps inland into the coastal prairie, an ecosystem that buffers the freshwater marshes by absorbing sea water. Mangrove trees begin to grow in fresh water ecosystems when the salt water goes far enough inland.
The part of the Everglades I saw pretty much looked like this.
The airboats were some mean machines.
Wooten's also had a wildlife exhibit. One thing I learned on the trip is that there are North American Crocodiles. This one was scary.
Watch out for the teeth!
I'm pretty sure this isn't native to South Florida but interesting to see.
But a surprise to me, panther is.
Returning back to St. Petersburg I stopped to get a nighttime picture of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
On my last day in Florida I went to Ft. Desoto which is south of St. Petersburg. Here's a shot of the beach from the fort.
The fort itself is pretty cool and some of the old guns are still there for preservation. These are 12 inch rifled mortars.
After the fort I went back through St. Petersburg and stopped at a small park to kill some time. I saw this Banyan tree that is worse for wear. They actually had it fenced off in attempt to save it. I hope it recovers. I can imagine how beautiful it must be when healthy.
To see the whole gallery from the trip click here.