Brooksville Hills - Brooksville - 10-11-2019
October 13, 2019
By: Andy Firk

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REPORT FROM THE ROAD – THE BROOKSVILLE HILLS: Jungle Jay and I headed out early Friday to explore the hills north of Tampa. On the way out of town Jay showed me a food-forested ashram that had a very impressive back garden area just loaded with edibles. Jay will keep us updated on the plans and growth of this lush property.
The first stop in Brooksville was a very pleasant visit with Koreen Brennan at the 10-acre property known as the Grow Permaculture Farm that she and others tend in a permaculture fashion. Water catchment containers and a useful plants nursery as you drive in let’s you know that you’ve found the right place. We received a grand tour of the wilder side of the land so that we could search and identify wild plants, which as you know, is my thing. There was Dogtongue Wild Buckwheat (Eriogonum tomentosum), Coastplain Palafox (Palafoxia integrifolia), what I think was Florida Bully (Sideroxylon reclinatum), and Cottonweed (Froelichia floridana), to name a few. Oh, and a slender wildflower with many small bright yellow flowers, that I think is Slender Scratchdaisy (Croptilon divaricatum). I will definitely return there and do a complete plant inventory and key these species out with photos sometime soon. Thanks Koreen!
Next, we headed south. Jay saw a sign for a public boat launch at Lake Lindsey, so off we went-a-looking. Well what a sweet surprise this little stop was. This free shaded parking spot opens up to a spectacular moderately-sized wild lake, a real gem. We chatted for a good long while with a grandmother and her grandson who were very nice and were fishing. We could tell immediately that this will be a perfect spot for some group kayaking excursions come winter.
Next was a stop at the then-closed nature center at the Chisengut Conservation Center. A very lovely spot. The forest looked pristine so I picked up a map of the hiking trails for the next time that I stop there. Gulf Fritillary butterflies swarmed some native mints in bloom like raw food vegans at a smoothie bar.
Boy oh boy are the Brooksville Hills beautiful!
Then, a quick stop to check out the beautiful boat launch at Mountain Lake and a drive south along the very hilly and scenic Spring Lake Highway.
We popped in for a quick stop in at the Get Healthy health food store which has been upgraded since last I was there. The café in the back of it was closed on Saturdays but is well worth eating at in the future.
Back in Clearwater, Jay and I stopped in at a Thai restaurant for some yummy dishes. For the first time in forever, I managed to grab the check before Jay did. Geesh, he always tries to spoil me.
So then we returned to Jay’s house, known as the Suburban Jungle, were I will crash for the night, and his wife Eloise had placed two nicely wrapped presents on the guest bed. Inside there were some of my all-time favorite teas!
Thanks Eloise and Jay, you MUST STOP SPOILING ME!
Now, I sit in their living room with their sweet little dog Stevie, pondering tomorrow’s adventures.
PHOTO: The amazingly beautiful and little known Lake Lindsey.