From Ponce De Leon to Beach Complex Park

Pelicans at the PRWC park

Last Wednesday, I took the camera out and headed to unplanned places, some days are just like that. Living in Southwest Florida, 1 and a half-hours south of Tampa, 3 hours west of Orlando, and 3 hours north of Miami, gives me great latitude to explore all things Floridian, pretty much at will. However, on a beautiful, sunny, breezy day such as it was on this day, I did not have to travel very far at all, thirty minutes at most.

Mangroves in the park

I let my instincts guide me south to Punta Gorda, as I enjoyed the landscape while driving along US 41, Tamiami Trail as it is known. I quickly decided on a visit to Ponce De Leon Park. First stop, the Peace River Wildlife Center (PRWC), at the park’s entrance. I took my time strolling along; taking pictures of the rescued animals that inhabit the center; which according to its website, was “founded in 1978; dedicated to the rescue, care, protection and preservation of native small wildlife. Since its beginnings, the wildlife center has treated over one hundred thousand birds and small animals, offering a high level of skilled care by trained and permitted wildlife rehabilitation specialists with years of experience in treating native fauna disease and trauma”.

The center and the park for that matter are hidden gems in Charlotte Harbor. Its location almost makes one forget of its existence, but if you are in the mood to explore nature, see native birds and enjoy some quiet, you cannot go wrong by paying a visit; just make sure to bring enough bug repellent since a walk through the nature trail is sure to bring out some uninvited guests. It is totally worth the trip.

What a great way to end this day!

On the way back home I made a detour into the Port Charlotte Beach Complex, as it was soon time for the sunset and I wanted to snap a couple of shots. One of the benefits of living on the Gulf Coast—water is everywhere we go. Be it the ocean, rivers, lots of canal property, pools and more. So catching a sunset from anywhere is not difficult—for whatever reason we always seem to head toward the water.
Another benefit, you can have all of this for less than the price of a movie ticket. All I spent during this day trip was $0.80 cents for parking, the cost of adding two new batteries to my Canon, and less than a gallon of gas; you can not get it any better than that!
That was my unplanned day trip near home. I am sure there are gems such as this one hiding in your own backyards; the economy being what it is today, it pays to go out of the way to find places near home that can provide inexpensive entertainment, while providing family and guests with fun activities to do this holiday season.

Go ahead, explore!


12 thoughts on “From Ponce De Leon to Beach Complex Park

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  1. Back in the carefree days of my youth, I spent two winters working at Flamingo Restaurant in the Everglades. This blog post brought back some of those memories. I also play around with my camera and I will look forward to seeing more of your Flordian pics. I have tons of pictures from the Everglades, but they’re all on negatives. One of these days I’ll get around to converting them to a digital format. I’ll be sure to check-out more of your past posts soon.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jeri. I used to travel to Miami every other month (siblings in the area) and always avoided US-41 (called it the slow route) but the few times I ventured through, always stopped to take pictures. Like you, they live in negatives, most likely never to be seen again. LOL! Just recently I started to give my camera a workout and am learning lots. Practice makes perfect, they say.
      I already bookmarked your blog, glad to have found you, Linkedin is great!

  2. It was fun reading your journeys. Keep writing and posting. Love the pics. It adds a lot to the feel of the blog. Hope to see you at the Fort Myers WordPress Meetup. I am hoping to get a monthly group together. There is so much to share and learn about.

  3. Marcia, thank you for subscribing to my blog and i’ll call back to see how your getting on.
    You should put in your sidebar two widgets, latest posts and posts people like also remove your blogroll you don’t need it as you have a blogroll page.
    Hope you don’t mind, Harry

    1. No Harry, thank you! I am still going through the learning curve on WP, so appreciate any advice I get. BTW there are two things I intended to do: One was adding a “widget”? indicating I will post weekly, and the other was the blogroll thing. Obviously, neither one worked. I’ll play around with the dashboard to remove the blogroll and will attempt to add the two widgets you suggest.

      I might have to get back to you, if this does not work. Thanks for your help and comments!

      1. You will see two widgets, recent posts and top reated ( posts people like ) drag them to your sidebar, a box will open and let the mouse go, you can set them to high and change the title.

        Under follow i would put recent posts, top rated and then Archives.

        Anything else i can help with just ask, Harry

      2. Hi Harry, thanks for the suggestions. I followed your instructions and believe I got it right. Thanks for your help with this, really on point!

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