Sunday, April 13, 2014

We're taking a break not saying goodbye


We're going to be taking a break. Best wishes to you all, and keep on blogging!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ocala Bicycle Center


This is where we buy our bikes and accessories. It's owned and operated by a great family and it's a pleasure to do business with them. As you can see they offer a wide variety of bikes at various price ranges. 

I liked the bike bottle rack (or wine rack?)!

Their website is here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Doctor's bench ...


...where you can wait in comfort.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Silver Springs State Park


The old Silver Springs theme park, which was a favorite destination for thousands of people for many years, is no more. Families and children came here to ride the glass-bottom boats, and the river boats that cruised down through jungle-like territory where you could see monkeys, old Indian villages, a variety of exotic animals, a replica of an early fort, and much more. They came to take a jeep ride also through the jungle and to watch the huge bears loll about and to visit the petting zoo, the giraffe compound, the alligator pit and much more.  They loved to ride the merry-go-round.

Many movies were made here, wholly or in part:

Legend in 1985
Moonraker in 1979
Never Say Never Again in 1983
Rebel Without A Cause in 1955
Thunderball in 1965
Tarzan the Ape Man 1932
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
I Spy (the 1965 TV Series)
Sea Hunt (1958 - Many episodes)
Cross Creek (1983)
Revenge of the Creature (1955)
Tarzan and His Mate (1934)
The Yearling (1946)
Sam Whiskey (1969)
Distant Drums (1951)
Zaat (1971)
The Wild Women of Wongo (1958)
Tarzan Finds a Son (1939)
Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941)
99 and 44/100% Dead (1974)
The Frogmen (1951)
Moon Over Miami (1941)
The Barefoot Mailman (1951)
Down to the Sea (1936)
Counterspy (1958 TV movie)

And many more....

But Silver Springs fell on bad times and gradually became a mere shadow of it's glory days. Last fall, the State of Florida arranged to take it over and it is in process of being incorporated into the Silver River State Park which is adjacent. The only rides left are the glass-bottom boats. The entire area is going to become a "natural" park with camping and trails and swimming will be allowed once again. The main spring pours 550 million gallons of water per day into the Silver River which is a tributary of the Oklawaha River which feeds into the St. Johns. 

The water is clear and remains a constant 72 degrees year round.

We spent a day wandering through the park just recently.  It is still worth visiting!




You can read much more about the park here.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Alligator adventure at Silver Springs State Park

This boat was coming up the Silver River toward the old Silver Springs Theme Park at the same time I was walking down river along the shore line.  I had just mentioned to Lois that this was the area where we saw an alligator back in 1988!  Then the man in the blue hat began yelling at me and pointing.

That's when I saw the alligator - all 8 feet of him, sprawled out, soaking up the sun.  I was careful not to get too close as they can run about 35 miles per hour, but I did get to about 10 feet where I took a couple of photos.  As you can see, I missed a portion of his snout as I was a bit nervous.  He was a big one, though. 

The boat began moving closer to shore, with the pilot maneuvering to avoid possible underwater hazards.  That spooked the alligator which slowly slid back into the river.

I was not a happy camper as I had missed an opportunity to get a few really good shots.  In this last photo, they are pointing to the spot where they could see the gator in the river.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bank of the Ozarks


It's an enigma.  What is the Bank of the Ozarks doing in Ocala, Florida?  The Ozarks are mountains located many miles west of Ocala mostly in the State of Arkansas.  Life sure gets confusing sometimes!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birds of Central Florida

 Hawk
 Pelicans
 Wood Stork
 Vulture
 Great White Egret
 Wood Stork
 Anhinga and Sea Gull
Swans

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Smile - You're on camera


This was spotted in Ocala's downtown area. Is there no privacy left anywhere anymore?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Southwest Christian Church - created triangularly


The theme for April 1 is "Triangles." As you can see the construction of this church involved a number of triangles. For other takes on the theme, click here.

For those of you who commented yesterday on the La Cuisine post, the owners of La Cuisine have written a response relative to the flag and other issues.  Please check yesterday's comment section.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

La Cuisine


La Cuisine is our own gourmet French restaurant, located in downtown Ocala. The staff is friendly and the food is good, if a little pricey.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Catnip


It would appear from the decorations on this truck that the owner has an affection for felines.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Table Ziosk


Our local Chili's restaurant has placed small "Ziosks" (wee computers) on the tables and booths. You can place an order, you can request a refill on your drink, you can pay your bill. And it has games for the kiddos to play!

When you've concluded your dinner and are ready to pay, just swipe your credit card in the assigned slot. You can add a tip and sign the chit and be on your way without further ado.

These things might be a bit too much for the technologically-challenged. In fact, I didn't like them at all at first and refused to use them. They are not mandatory. But the last time we ate at Chili's I decided to give it a try and it worked quite well.

We have not seen these elsewhere but it's possible some other restaurants are using them also.  Have you seen them in your city?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Central Florida Wildflowers


 At this time of year, the fields and roadside of central Florida are filled with these beautiful wildflowers.  The last picture is an "Impressionist" treatment.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Foxtail squirrels at Eagle Ridge




We found these little rascals while playing golf at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course which is south of Ocala toward The Villages.

Evidently, folks who normally play this course feed these squirrels as they were less intimidated by humans than usual.

The squirrel in the first two pictures saw me stop and get my camera out, so he ran over to the golf cart and actually stood up to beg.  But he didn't remain still long enough to get a good shot.

As you'll note, these squirrels have many different color variations.  Some are almost black. The squirrel in the last photo was quite persistent that we give him something to eat and eventually we offered him a piece of a protein bar which he put in his mouth and and then posed for the camera.

A little while after the squirrel encounter we noticed that a protein bar was missing from our cart. Then we saw a crow fly off with the bar in its beak. Friends in the other golf cart reported the same thing happened to them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Scenic bridge at Rainbow Springs


The photo was treated with a Photoshop paint effect by Triqui.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Owen celebrating St. Patrick's Day


'Tis a breach of some rule, I'm sure, but this is not a picture of Ocala or an Ocala person. This is Owen, our great-grandson, who lives with his parents in south Florida. His mother, our granddaughter, is a terrific photographer and she gave me permission to post this picture of Owen (who has some Irish from his father's side) celebrating St. Paddy's Day. Yes, I know St. Paddy's has come and gone, but I still thought the photo worth sharing.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Pray"


These signs were all over town several months ago. Then they disappeared. Now, they're back. They're all the same which makes me think it is the work of one person who feels some sort of need to tell people what to do. The only problem, there's no mention as to whom one should pray, or what the subject matter of the prayer should be, or the reason for this exhortation.

I've been praying, to whomever will listen, that whoever is doing this find some other, less obnoxious activity to fill his/her time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ocala National Golf Club...


...early morning about two weeks ago.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Radio Shack


This is the Radio Shack store in our local mall.  According to the latest reports, Radio Shack is having serious problems and the company is planning to shutter about 1,000 stores in the United States. 

Some folks may be saddened by this news, but most won't notice any difference.  Radio Shack has been run over by other, far superior stores, which not only offer the same goods at better prices but also sell thousands of products Radio Shack does not carry.

Hobbyists, computer techs and spooks employed by the CIA and the NSA may still rely on Radio Shack, but I'd guess most of what they need can be bought online for less than what Radio Shack charges.

From my point of view, one of the company's biggest problems is the incompetent and surly help they hire.  I stop at Radio Shack occasionally.  They usually don't carry what I need and if they do the clerks wouldn't know what it was or where to find it!  And they don't care!  

Unless big changes are made, I'd guess Radio Shack will be totally out of business within five years.
"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson