I recently enjoyed a week at a friend’s condo in Delray Beach, Florida. The condo looked out on a small lake where there was a lakeside bench we enjoyed during the cocktail hour. Out in the lake was an aeration fountain; its peak is shown above, caught in the setting sun marking the end of each pleasant day in the area.
One highlight was a visit to the Wakodahotchee Wetlands. This is a vast park maintained by Palm Beach County as a pleasant place for bird watching while serving to final filter the already pure outflow from their water treatment plant.
The park is fifty acres with a three-quarter mile boardwalk that crosses between open water pond areas, emergent marsh areas, shallow shelves, and islands with shrubs and snags to foster nesting and roosting. Over 151 varieties of birds have been seen along with turtles, alligators, frogs, otters and racoons. I was envious of the photographers with their long lenses, capturing the various herons, anhingas and cormorants nesting in the thickets. My own long lens was nesting back home. Oh, well.
ANOTHER REWARDING ACTIVITY WAS A VISIT TO THE COUNTY’S
In 1904 a group of pioneering Japanese farmers came to Florida to establish the Yamato farming colony between Delray and Boca Raton. By the 20’s the group had given up its dream but one member, Sukeji Morikami, persevered and became a successful farmer and fruit and vegetable broker. In the mid-70’s he donated land to the county to be used as a park to preserve the colony’s memory. Today it is a magnificent destination. One wanders along peaceful paths through six major gardens surrounding a central lake. The gardens reflect periods of Japanese garden design from the eighth to the 20th century. Centrally there is an excellent museum and educational facility, the museum housing some 5000 artifacts. The cafe lived up to its reputation as one of the three top museum cafes in the country.
For a gallery of trip images, please click here.