Key West Feral Chickens, B.O.'s Fish Wagon, Conch Train, Famous Kapok Tree
February 15 through 22, 2008
Adventures in Key West, Cudjoe Key & Stock Island. I am in Key West with a friend as we do some maintenance on his 60' yacht before he takes it to the Bahamas. Here I am still down in Key West playing on that yacht while Joyce is back in Pensacola playing with grandchildren. I guess we all have our priorities. VBG!
While we worked on the boat during the day we did take time to have some sightseeing in Key West.
Key West Royal Palms
These royal palms are but a small fraction of the lush vegetation to be found throughout the Keys.
Espernza bush in Key West
These beautiful yellow flowers can be seen throughout the Keys. Tropical vegetation typically showcases lush green and vivid colors. This plant is no exception. I hate to identify this bush since it goes by so many names in different parts of the country. Espernza is the proper name but yellow trumpet, Texas Bells, Yellow Elder, Remato, Trumpet Flower and at least a dozen other monikers, take your pick.
Tourist Tree on display in Key West
This is a tourist tree, so named because of the peeling red bark. Sometimes this tree is referred to as poison wood. It is purported to have beautiful wood.
Southernmost Point in US
The is the point in Key West that all tourist have to get their picture taken at. It is the southernmost point in the continental United States. I don't guess we were tourist since we didn't get our picture taken in front of the marker. There was a long line waiting for their turn and the obligatory picture.
Famous Kapok Tree one of several in Key West
Kapok are beautiful trees with wide buttresses at the base. Take a close look at the base of this kapok tree and you will see the "trademark" attribute of the Kapok tree that buttressed base.
After the leaves are dropped large bell-shaped flowers may sprout, although this only happens every five to ten years. The foul-smelling flowers are white or pink. They open in the early evening in time for bats to arrive. Tropical bats provide most of the pollination for kapok trees. Cross pollination is enhanced since only a few flowers open each evening. Large branches extend horizontally and are usually covered with other plants called epiphytes.
Kapok is the stuffing that was used in old life preservers. During WWII these life vests were known as Mae Wests. The fiber is lightweight and waterproof.
Kapok oil is made from the seeds of the tree and is used to make soap. The seeds are also edible and are eaten in some areas of the world such as Indonesia.
The wood is soft and is used for making dugout canoes, carvings and caskets in many parts of the tropical world.
Key West landmark beginning and end of US-1
I thought this sign was interesting. It marks the BEGINNING of US Highway 1. The sign says the end but this point is mile-marker 00 indicating the beginning not the end.
This is the infamous Key West "Conch Train" that hauls tourist around Key West. I do not know how many of them there are but I see them all over the island. Someone on board is providing information and history as the Conch Train rolls along. If visiting Key West this is one of the "must-do" things. We did not do it but I will on a return trip with my best friend, Joyce. VBG
This street corner is fairly typical of Key West. You see tourist, a bicycle locked to the parking meter, an artist plying her trade in the lower left hand corner of the picture, lobster trap floats decorating a restaurant/bar facade, complete with a bar that stretched down the sidewalk. It is midday otherwise the bar would be lined with patrons. Note that the restaurant is completely outdoors and surrounded by the ubiquitous palm trees. In case you are interested this is B.O.'s Fish Wagon a local favorite.
Artist outside B.O.'s Fish Wagon
Remember the artisan in the picture above? This is that artisan. She is creating interesting pictures by burning wood with a magnifying glass. As you can see she creates some interesting items. What do you think about that picture of Hemingway?
This is another view of B0.'s Fish Wagon bar/restaurant where you can see the "bar" that extends along the sidewalk. In the afternoons and evenings patrons line both sides of this bar eating and sipping brew.
Bougainvillea of Key West
Bougainvillea is a tropical plant that blooms in a variety of colors. No matter which color they are a showcase plant.
Ficus or Banyan tree which one?
Ficus and banyan trees are interesting in that they send down roots from their branches and can spread over large areas. This one is a banyan tree in the front yard of the Banyan Tree Resort in Key West.
What would paradise be without coconut palm trees?
Key West Banana plant
These banana plants have several bunches of bananas. It looks like some of the bananas have been harvested.
Coconut palms are interesting so I included another picture.
This is the end. I hope you have enjoyed this pictorial stroll around Key West.
Until next time remember how good life is.
Mike & Joyce Hendrix
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Until next time remember how good life is.