Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Page - Things To Do - Outside of Hernando County.

Over the last week, I've been working hard to gather information on places to visit and events that occur "Outside Hernando County".  You'll notice that a link is now available entitled "Outside Hernando County" in the left side navigation bar. 

When you click this link you'll find the places categorized by city and placed in alphabetical order.
In each listing I have attempted to include an official website for the location which in most cases will list the fees, hours and physical address.

I would love to list all that information for you directly on this site. However "change is the one thing that never changes" and attempting such a grand endeavor could lead to spreading inaccurate information.

I am still working on a page for "Inside Hernando County". There is a link available on the left navigation bar however it is far from complete. Actually, I've only just begun.

Blog posts will continue to focus on places and events I've experienced first-hand and have taken pictures of.  However ALL  Places, Events, Attractions  that occur or are located in Florida can be added to these lists so feel free to submit places that you like to visit using the email link on the left navigation bar.  I will update these pages weekly.

 Thanks For Visiting


Florida Mascot - Allie E. Gator

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Brooksville Mural Society - Mural Walk

April 30th 2014

My sister, Kim, and I drove into downtown Brooksville and began the self guided walking tour of the cities murals. The tour would probably take the average person an hour to complete. However, we meandered around a bit and poked our heads into a number of buildings in between murals, so it actually took us much longer. All you need is a friend and a bottle of water and this is a lovely and healthy way to spend an afternoon.

 "Bayport" Antique Mural
Artists - Ernest Brundage and Theresa Clingeman
Year 1978
"Saturday Stroll Down Old Brooksville Avenue"
Artist - Maurea Sleesman
Sponsors - Anna Liisa & Tony Covell
Year 2001
"The Fire Mural"
Artist - Keith Goodson
Sponsor - Dennis and Pam Wilfong
Year 2002

"The Fire Mural"
Artist - Keith Goodson

Sponsor - Dennis and Pam Wilfong
Year 2002


"The Brooksville Raid"
Artist - Antonio Caparello
Sponsor - The Hernando Tourist Development Council
Year 2004
"Early Physicians of Brooksville"
Artist - Diane Becker
Sponsors - Victor F. Heins
The Hernando Tourist and Development Council
Year 2003

"A Fifties Drug Store"
Artist - Chad Leininger
Sponsor - Progress Energy
Year 2004
"The Livery Stable"
Artist - Ellen Snyder
Sponsors - The Hernando Tourist Development Council
Hernando County Fine Arts Council
Ellen Duncan
Year 2008

My sister and I started our street trek with an older pamphlet and therefore were unaware of the "Bayport" Antique Mural and missed seeing it. The upside to this faux pas was the discovery of the "Livery Stable", a newer painting, which we delightedly happened upon by accident. Kim and I took quite a few pictures of the murals. However, since we toured downtown on a busy Wednesday afternoon the images are hindered by traffic and parked cars. To get the best pictures, free of traffic and the sun's glare, it may be best to take the tour on Sunday evening.

Additionally, we were able to spot two other paintings that were not listed in the new or old versions of the walking tour pamphlet, but are visible during the tour. Please email me a picture of any other paintings you uncover during your tour.

Artist - John Webster
Year 2010
Artist - Unknown
Year - Unknown
Currently, pamphlets for the tour can be found in the lobby of The Hernando County Court House. However, if you intend on taking the tour and wish to plan ahead, you can contact The Brooksville Mural Society by mail at P.O. Box 1682 Brooksville, Florida 34605 or the Hernando County Fine Arts Council by phone at (352) 754 - 4788.  Membership information for The Brooksville Mural Society is provided on the brochure for the walking tour.

Until next time,

Thanks for visiting,


Friday, May 2, 2014

Poisonous Plants found throughout Florida's Nature Coast

West Central Florida is not as developed as potential visitors might think. As you leave the larger cities of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg and begin to travel up the Gulf Coast, the environment changes dramatically. Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties make up a substantial portion of the area designated as the "Nature Coast". This rural community is a mixture of charming towns, farmland, nature reserves, forests, beaches and natural springs.
I am starting the blog off with some information on the local flora. If you plan on traveling through this area, it would be best to be able to identify these poisonous plants that could have you sporting a very unpleasant looking rash for the next two to three weeks.

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Poison Ivy grows in both sunny and shady locations all throughout Florida. It can grow in the form of a shrub or a long climbing / ground running vine. Poison Ivy can usually be identified by it's three broad, spoon-shaped leaves or leaflets. Leaflets can be 2–6 inches long and may be toothed or have smooth edges. In Spring, the leaves of this plant emerge with a shiny reddish tinge and turn a dull green as they age; eventually turning shades of red or purple in the fall before dropping.

An old saying may serve as a reminder and save you from unwanted exposure, "Leaves of three? Let it be!"


Poison Oak (Toxicodendron pubescens)

Like Poison Ivy, Poison Oak can grow in the form of a shrub or a long climbing / ground running vine. While a single Poison Oak leaf usually consists of three leaflets similar to Poison Ivy, the leaves of Poison Oak differ in that they are lobed and look similar to the leaves of an oak tree. Leaf size varies considerably, even on the same plant, but leaves are generally about 6 inches long. Another distinguishing feature of Poison Oak is that the leaf stems and leaflets have a coating of fine hair. In the Spring, leaflets emerge with a reddish tinge before turning green and then assume varying shades of yellow and red in the fall before dropping.

Once again, save yourself from unwanted exposure by remembering the old saying "Leaves of three? Let it be!".

Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)

Poison Sumac can grow as a shrub or small tree ranging between five and twenty feet tall. Poison Sumac has 7 to 13 leaflets per leaf stem which are arranged in pairs with a single leaflet at the end of the midrib. The Leaflets are elongated, oval, between two and four inches long and one to two inches wide. They have a smooth, velvety texture, smooth edges and pointed tips. Distinctive features include reddish stems and petioles. In early Spring, the leaves emerge bright orange. Later, they become dark green and glossy on the upper leaf surface and pale green on the underside. In the early fall, leaves turn a brilliant red-orange or russet shade. The plant is found in swamps and other wet areas, as well as pine woods, and shady hardwood forests. In Florida, Poison Sumac has been found in the north and central regions. Various field guides have remarked that this plant is more allergenic than both Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.

If you do manage to get yourself into trouble with the local plants, below is a website that explains how to treat Poison Ivy and Poison Oak exposure.

WikiHow Treatment of Poison Ivy & Poison Oak

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Change of Pace.

It's almost May of 2014 and I have been debating as to what to do with this blog. Originally, I started writing online in order to post my responses to Daily Writing Prompts. I did this for almost a year before I began attending college classes, then my opportunities to write became limited. At the end of the day, completed works changed from what I wanted to write to what I had to write for those classes. Slowly, my attempts to complete the daily writing prompts dwindled to nothing and therefore I had nothing to post.

In 2013, I attempted to bring the site back by writing about mythical creatures. Mythology has always been a love of mine and so writing about it should have been easy. However, I found that I could easily get caught up in my research and often jumped from topic to topic. Before I knew it, the day was over and although I had read extensively and learned a lot, I had not written anything.  I also found that not as many people commented on my mythology writings. Interest among the people who visited my site was apparently not very high, so it was a lot of work for little to no pay off.

I turned to book reviews to fill the space. The trouble with that is, there are a ton of really great blogs for book reviews and I don't want to do the same thing everyone else has been doing. You can only ask the same question so many ways, and as a book reviewer there is a lot of reading that needs to be done each day. Could I make that kind of commitment and keep up with my other responsibilities?

I decided No.

I wanted to do something different, something I could make that would be my own creation.  I think I have finally found that "Niche", that something different. Taking the site in a new direction has a lot of positives.  The ones listed below are probably the most noteworthy of a rather long list.

1) I will be spending time with my family.

2) I will not be chained to my computer desk, what I plan on doing forces me to leave the house.

3) There is research involved, so I will still have the opportunity to visit my library while the children are at school and while I'm out, I can conduct interviews with the locals.

4) My camera will get a lot more use and with a little persistence I may even have the opportunity to get a new one. 

5) I'll still have time to work on Sakura Secrets, the middle grade story I have been writing. Hopefully, being out and around young people again will allow me to observe middle school age children, which brings insight to their interests and will increase the accuracy of my book.  

So, with that being said, what is the new direction in which I am taking the blog?  Wandering Florida will be about exactly that, Wandering Florida. My main focus will be West-Central Florida which is commonly referred to as The Nature Coast. Counties that will be included are Pasco, Hernando and Citrus; with occasional trips to Levy, Marion, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Orange Counties.

What can you expect to see on the site? Town History, Businesses, Attractions, Odd Laws and Interesting Facts, Local Lore, Birds, Fish and other Animals, Plants, Art, Beaches, Festivals and Local Events. I'll be writing about all manner of things taking place here in my community and providing pictures when possible.

Although this new turn of events may limit my readership, it is the direction of my journey. I grew up in the Spring Hill, Brooksville, Weeki Wachee area and have lived here for almost 40 years. I've seen a lot of change.. Some good, some bad, but all worth talking about.