12 October 2014

Vacation In Quirky Cedar Key

A few days before the convention were spent on the gulf coast of Florida in the small, quaint, walkable, low-key town of Cedar Key. There are no stop lights, no chain restaurants, and no chain hotels in the town that is known as 'old Florida' (before the mouse arrived.)

I will spare the 'where is this place' theme from last year's trip because I doubt anyone but local residents would know the answer. As this is a gardening blog, I will try keeping to that subject with some photos I found interesting around town.

Tuesday was Burger Day at AdaBlue Cafe on the outskirts of town. The gardener's theme on the 'sign trailer' out front attracted me. AdaBlue Cafe was at the entrance of an RV park with a great view facing west over the water, and a deck out front with lots of plants. The outdoor deck was as non-pretentious as the town, with plants and a tree growing up through the middle.

The burgers were real, with locally grown tomatoes, strong onions, and sharp cheddar. While admiring the plants in the yard on the way out, the owners came out and chatted extensively about their collection -- very friendly people. Most plants I recognized as houseplants in Virginia.

The town seems to have integrated some 'art' with 'garden.' I walked by the old man in the tree a few times before noticing, and it was the light fixture that first caught my attention in the garden.

I did not stay at the RV park, but rented a condo in town. The welcoming attendant at the front desk was an animal, who's attitude at first 'gave me paws.'

A garden wall was adorned with tiles in, what else, a seaside theme. The overflowing red trumpet vine turns out to be in the fern family and used as a ground cover. Russelia equisetifolia or Red Firecraker Fern is a tropical native to Mexico.

Two concrete heads are better than one, in the front yard of a home. Are these meant to be small bird baths or drinking wells for the geckos?

What I believe are agaves sit quietly near the entry of a local hotel. Most all sidewalks along the historic main street are covered, so these must be watered, and are not in full sun.

There were a few very large cycads with cones around town. Cycads originated millions of years ago during the time of the dinosaurs. They fascinate me because their biology is nothing like other plants.

I did find some time to spend on the water. The bottle nose dolphins did not visit me in my kayak. They did, however, swim along side us during a power boat tour of the outer islands.