Wood Rose, Revisited

Earlier this week I shared a beautiful Wood Rose bloom with a promise to capture a photo of the reason behind its common name. Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to return to that roadside and collect some of the ornate seed pods.

Thankfully, I was able to gather a handful of the pods for it would be a shame to crush these for their seeds – they are too pretty! The seeds I will plant in my yard so that hopefully next summer I won’t have to go as far to see this unique vine. Wish me luck!

Wood Rose

This bright flower caught my eye last weekend. Since it was growing along a roadside I presumed it was one of the many invasive morning glory species.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Cutleaf Morning Glory (Merremia dissecta) is actually a native vine with useful medicinal properties. I will be heading back soon to gather some of the cool looking seed pods for my yard.

When I do, I’ll be sure to take some photos. It is also known as Wood Rose because the ornate pods look like wooden, wild roses.

Following Their Footsteps

Last week I shared some photos from my great grandparents’ visit to Sarasota from seventy years ago. While I was looking for those images I came across a couple that were snapped within three miles of where I currently live.

Had some fun over the weekend trying to find the locations and recreate those images. Luckily, there’s one small section of the seawall in Pass-a-grille Beach that still has those hexagonal pavers.

In hindsight I should have taken the images with me that day. Ah well, you get the general idea…

Busy as a Bee

Note that I didn’t say “busy bee” because although this creature resembles one, looks can be deceiving. This happens to be a sand wasp in the Sticitella genus.

Though relatively harmless to humans, they come by their common name, Butterfly-wolf Wasp honestly. They prey on small butterflies, stunning them before dragging them into their sandy burrows. A female can stuff as many as ten of them into her lair before laying her egg. After all her hatchling will be hungry!

Family in Sarasota

Yesterday’s post about the Sarasota song reminded me of a couple old family photos. In 1951 my great-grandparents drove down from Ohio to visit cousins in Florida (just a year before the aforementioned song was recorded). Lucky for their descendants, they wrote little notes on the back of each picture.

From 1926 to 1954 the ferry was the quickest way to reach Sarasota. According to the Bee Line Ferry ads, the 40 minute boat ride “Saves 49 Miles!”. Considering a one-way ticket was only $1.50 for motorists ($17 in today’s dollars) it was not a bad deal.

I’m rather disappointed that the opening of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay put the ferry out of business, it’d be a lovely cruise.

I have inferred that my relative’s trip took place during the winter for two reasons. One, that’s a great time of year to get out of Ohio and two, the Ringling Circus wintered in Sarasota. The animals were kept near John Ringling’s mansion, which I had the good fortune to visit recently.

I’m grateful for these little snapshots of old Florida.