Friday, September 11, 2009

Highlights of Fort DeSoto Park

Fort DeSoto was built in 1898 in St. Petersburg, Florida, for use during the Spanish-American War. The beach there is always rated among the best in the country and they have a beautiful campground, where we spent the second week of our vacation in a (thank god!) air-conditioned trailer. We had a Winnebago when I was growing up, and just about every vacation I remember taking as a child was a camping trip, but this was our first time camping with our kids. Our site was on a beautiful waterfront lagoon.

Poor Betsy was constantly tormented by the superbold squirrels.

Fort DeSoto Park is full of migratory birds. It wasn't unusual to come across sites like this during a stroll to the restroom or laundry. Those below are Eudocimus albus, or American White Ibis. Documented bird sightings have been recorded here for over 60 years and 328 species have been sighted as of last year, with new species being added every year. If you're a bird watcher, the best time to go is during spring migration - early April through mid-May.

A great Blue Heron. (Ardea herodias)

There are lots of nature trails, with common plant species identified.

You can fish from the piers and explore the forts.

There's a ferry that goes from mainland to Egmont Key, where there's a lighthouse and more forts to explore.

Here we are getting ready to go snorkeling at some sunken ruins not far from there.

Captain Jeff and Stephanie were our hosts on the ferry. They helped us with everything we needed. E. even got to drive the boat.

We saw some dolphin trying to mooch some fish from a fisherwoman on this pier.

Egmont Key has some of the best shelling in the area.

Both dog and kids had fun at the dog beach a.k.a "Paw Playground." Sand dollars and sea urchins were everywhere.

Around the campground, different varities of hibiscus were planted, and most were in bloom at the time of our visit.

(Hibiscus schizopetalus)

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Maybe it's all the mosquito bites, but I'm itching to get back into my garden at home.

Fort DeSoto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715
Park Office- 727-893-9185
Campground Office- 727-893-9185

1 comment:

tut-tut said...

Beautiful! Makes me want to got to Florida right this minute.