Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Key West Botanical Garden and the Cemetery

Common GallinuleJust outside of town from Key West on Stock Island you can find the Key West Botanical Gardens. There is a modest entry fee of $5.00 per person but for that fee you will Mermaid Artget a brochure that tells you about the gardens and tells you what you are seeing at various stops throughout the gardens. The gardens host a wide variety of plant life that are endemic to the keys and it also has a nice display of rare palms on the premises.

With scattered freshwater ponds and art sculptures there is even something for the birdwatchers as well. I have been a birdwatcher for a very long time. I started bird watching when I was a budding Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife back in the day. And as such, I have a “life list.” What is a life list? – you White Ibismay say… Well birders are a quirky lot of people (so we fit in well here in the Key’s) and there is a bit of competitiveness with many of them. So what they decided to do was come up with various lists of birds that they have seen here and there. The most well known list for birders is their life list or a list of birds they have seen during their lifetimes.

I bring this up because here in the botanical park I got two “lifers” or birds that I had never seen before to add to my life list. The White Crowned Pigeon and the Grey Kingbird were two birds I had never seen before my visit to the Keys. It has been a long time since I added a new bird to my list so this was a treat. So whether you are a plant person, art lover or a birder I recommend a visit to the Botanical Garden’s near Key West.

After walking in the gardens we headed into Key West to pay a visit to the local cemetery to check out some of the headstones that we had heard about. There is a free walking tour guide at the main entrance of the cemetery or one can be found on line via a google search. The cemetery has tombstone from back in the 1800’s and there are many highly esteemed and influential “Conchs” buried there. A Conch, by the way, is a local resident of Key West.

I told you I was sickThe cemetery is quite large and it is fun looking for the tombstones that have quirky comments on them such as “I told you I was sick” or “I’m just resting my eyes.” There is even one lady who on her tombstone self-proclaimed herself as the Admiral of the Conch Republic Navy. So if you are looking for something free to do in Key West make sure to visit the cemetery and look for the quirky tombstones (click on any of the photos to enlarge them).

I’m just resting my eyes    Admiral of the Conch Republic Navy

After a fun filled day we headed over to the Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island for Happy Hour. Hogfish Bar and Grill is indeed a Road Treat and although it is hard to find it is definitely worth it. After a few cold frosty beverages it was back to Bluewater Key Resort where we enjoyed a nice dinner of Pasta with Salmon in a Spicy Cream Sauce. Enjoy everybody!!!



  1. congrats on your two new 'life birds'!!..
    gotta love what some put on tombstone! funny!!

  2. It looks like you had a fantastic day. If you want to add to your "life list" treat yourself to a trip out to Dry Tortogus. There were lots of "quirky" birders on the ferry when we went out. They were very excited about all the birds they saw.

  3. Wow! Those tombstones read so funny! I love roaming around in old cemeteries! Congrats on your new bird!

  4. I don't intend to be buried, but if I were I'd like to leave a wise crack on my head stone. I plan to be just blowing in the wind somewhere!

  5. Sounds like a great day! New birds and dead folks with a sense of humor.

    But then every day you blog about sounds like a great one. These are both on my list for Key West. I think Dry Tortugus is also a great idea. Check it out for me will you??

  6. Yes we had fun looking at the tombstones and we have checked out the Dry Tortugas but it costs 165.00 per person to go and that is wee bit out of budget. We haven't ruled it out yet but we may not get there this time around.

  7. I missed the botanical gardens - shoot! Good spot on the new birds. I only have a life list in my head and that's not the most reliable.

  8. I love this place. I went a few years after the hurricanes and expected the worse, but was amazed at how tranquil and vibrant the place is. I spent hours snapping away with the old Kodak.

    Thanks for posting