We ended our final day of Florida Birthday Bonanza trip with a visit to the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. We did a quick walk through the cyprus swamp in one part of the park. I am fascinated by ephiphytes or ‘air plants’, like Spanish moss that grow off of bacteria in the air to form long, stringy plants that have no roots and hang down from the upper canopy. I studied these same plants in Belize years ago; they are mysterious to me! Then we drove further into the refuge to walk along the canals in search of alligators! Yeah!

No ‘gators in sight! Crocs. either (did you know that crocodiles are found in parts of South Florida?).

Walking through the canals was so peaceful though, with or without ‘gators (mostly, without 🙂 ), watching the birds glide all around us.

These were some type of wading bird, possibly either snowy egrets or herons.

'Proof I went on vacation' photo

Then we came home 😦 Sad. My birthday week had actually started out with some treats from my mom. She first spied these chocolate truffles while in VT not long ago and then didn’t buy them at the time, but had them special ordered to be delivered to her instead (nuts! thanks Mom!). They are chocolate truffles from Laughing Moon Chocolates in Stowe, VT, and this particular style is chocolate mixed with Jasper Hill Farm’s legendary Bayley Hazen blue cheese! Drooling! Now, I realize only someone as unique as myself could really enjoy these, even solely as a novelty, but they are actually not very ‘stinky’ in a blue cheese sorta way (artisan cheese lovers, you know what I mean, right?!). I think they must melt the blue cheese into the chocolate to form the truffles rather than covering the cheese in a chocolate shell, which is what my mom and I expected when we sliced one open to split on Halloween. They tasted, as the website describes them – “salty and smooth”.

Someone else who knows me very well too got me this gift certificate to the very cool, very hip Sherman Market in Union Square Somerville. They carry tons of great, farm-fresh products from VT, as well as other locally-sourced goods, including meat, milk, cheeses, and of course, syrup! I love the goods in Sherman but it can be somewhat pricey and although I have window shopped many times, I rarely treat myself there (I’m sure they must love that!), so it was very thoughtful of the man to think of picking this up for me! Thanks!

Ah, well, back to the real world. Sigh. At least it looks pretty and autumnal out my window!