Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black Hammock...

It is a strange thing being back in Florida. It seems like around every corner, there's a memory waiting to spring out unexpectedly. For instance, while exploring the Black Hammock Reserve off of Lake Jessup, we passed by a now vaccant and fallow field where I once worked a weekend manning a pick-your-own strawberry field. It was a hot and miserable job, but was a stepping stone to my independence.

Above is a picture of my sister, Sheila and Azalea sitting at the booth at the Lazy Gator Bar. The Lazy Gator Bar is an off-the road restaurant that has live music, delicious Southern food and airboat rentals on Lake Jessup.

Cynthia, sporting her new necklace she made, found a feather by the docks. It reminds me of when we were kids and had our cardboard treasure chests filled with an assortment of found objects, like shiny pebbles, fallen feathers and random bits of brightly-colored string - and of course beads.

Above is a photo of Greg and Cynthia sitting at the booth waiting for our food in the Lazy Gator Bar. Note the stuffed alligator head in the background. The Lazy Gator Bar reminds me of my grandparents. It seems like a place that they would have liked. It also reminds me of the fictious bar in the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris called Merlotte's.

Here is a photo of Lake Jessup from the dock. It's much bigger than it looks and is home to all manner of creatures - alligators, frogs, snowy egrets, Roseate spoonbills, sandhill cranes and much more.

One of the things that I love about Florida is the abundance and diversity of life. Above is a picture of a snail shell on the rocks along the dock. It's a reminder that life comes in all shapes and sizes.

A giant gator head sculpture marks the entrance to Black Hammock Adventures. Across the way they have a fenced off portion for alligators, a large cage for parrots and airboat rides.

The highlight of the trip out to the Black Hammock Reserve was the FOOD! Above is a picture of the powdered sugar sprinkled corn fritters. They were delicious.

Above is a 1 pound basket of gator bites and honey mustard sauce. They were absolutely wonderful. The meat was light in texture, supremely flavorful, not too gamey nor too greasy and hit just the right spot.

The restaurant also had an aquarium that had a baby alligator in it. Azalea couldn't stop looking at it and starring at the little reptile body splashing around.

1 comment:

Marsha Neal Studio said...

Andrew...
I must admit - I adore seeing the pictures of your travels! I really enjoy your ability to capture some of the everyday that people often overlook...

And for some reason, I always feel hungry after reading your blog - must be all the pictures of the food (or that I'm almost 12 weeks pregnant...). Either way - Thanks for sharing!!!

Enjoy your time in FL...