After a late start and braving rain, we made our way to downtown St. Pete this afternoon. We did wind up getting rained on, but only briefly. This is Florida after all, and in 10 minutes or so, the rain had given way to sunshine.
There was an art festival going on but we got down there so late, we feared it was going to be over by the time we made it. Turns out, it was still going strong, so we wandered around it for a bit. No trip to Downtown St. Pete, however, is complete without a chance to take some photos of the beautiful Banyan Trees in Straub Park.
Banyan Trees are unique. They grow “down” from the branches, dangling aerial roots which will eventually create new trunks.
(Click images for larger versions.)
They’re so huge and amazing to look at. They draw everyone’s attention, whether you’re a local or a new visitor. People can’t help but stop, stare, photograph and meander in and around the trunks.
I know that Thomas Edison planted the first Banyan trees in Ft. Myers (several hours south of here) in 1925 and that one has grown to be the 3rd largest in the world, spanning over an acre of property! The ones here in Straub Park have remained elusive in their history. The only thing I can find is a historical postcard with a 1939 postmark – but, it’s a drawing, not a photo and it does not state where in St. Pete it is located. (There are other Banyan Trees in the city.)
Seems a mystery though as to the history and the age of these two specific trees in Straub Park. Still, it’s interested to note that there were some Banyan Trees somewhere in St. Pete as far back as 1939. Likely earlier if the size of the trees in this postcard is representative of the true size at the time.
Anyway, it was a nice afternoon. The day couldn’t decide if it was going to be cloudy and rainy or vibrantly clear and sunny, but there was a nice breeze, the temperature was comfortable and we were in lovely surroundings. A very nice day out!