When spring rolls around, our thoughts turn to new life, to all the signs of new life around us - fresh, green leaves, flowers exploding to color our world.
But this tree shows how, sometimes, spring brings evidence of death.
The tree is located in an upscale neighborhood on the east side of Ocala, not far from where we used to live. We were driving through that neighborhood the other day and I was taken aback by this wonderful tree struggling to survive.
You will note there are some buds trying to break through; it is showing it hasn't given up. But I don't think it will make it through the summer.
Special Note: We have re-activated our website, L & L Photography. But there is a new URL:
If you are interested, give it a look. We'll be posting our more "artsy" photos there.
Roma's Italian restaurant located in the Foxwood Shopping Center in Ocala offers a large menu selection, good food and good service. Just recently, they opened a bar on the other side of an open space next to their original location.
Then, they added outdoor dining in that open space. So, you can sit outside and order food from one side and drinks from the other side.
The only problem I see is that the heat is stifling and I can't imagine sitting outside to eat these days.
These photos were taken a few weeks ago when temperatures were more moderate.
First of all, I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. But fox squirrels are really goofy and do not stay still for more than a second at a time. I've posted photos of these squirrels before when I first made their acquaintance, about 5-6 years ago.
They are cute, but very sneaky. When you're not watching, they will burglarize your golf cart and make off with whatever goodies you may have stored there. They especially like chocolate bars with peanuts.
The reason they are called fox squirrels is because they look similar to a fox when they run.
This is Highway 225A which runs north from Ocala to where it meets Highway 441 and continues on to the City of Gainesville, which is the home of the University of Florida.
There are a number of large, beautiful horse farms along this stretch of the highway, but as you get farther north you'll see run-down very shabby homesites, along with a dreary little town which has very little to offer its residents.
As you can see, we were required to stop at this point, while cars coming from the other direction were given the rightaway. We were pleased to note it would not be a long wait. Evidently, the electric company was repairing lines and cutting away branches which could become a problem as hurricane season approaches.
As most of you know, The Villages did not exist 35-40 years ago. And although the buildings in the three "hometowns" appear to be old, some from the 19th century even, they are quite recent. The people who put The Villages together wanted to give residents a sense of community, a small-town feeling, a place where they could let go of their cares and simply enjoy life as it might have been in the "good old days."
What you see in this picture goes back maybe 40 years. It's an iglesia or Spanish church, or so the faded writing on the wall would suggest.
The effect is quite effective! And fun. And because so much care was taken in constructing the Spanish Springs hometown, quite beautiful.
And that's why The Villages is sometimes called "A DisneyWorld for adults."
If you wish to know more about The Villages, one of the fastest-growing communities in the U.S. just Google "The Villages, Florida," and you will find more information that you can imagine.
This is just another hotel room. No... it's a scary hotel room. It's a place where dark deeds are conceived and from which dark deeds are carried out. You don't want to spend the night in this hotel room unless absolutely necessary. And in that case, be sure you don't fall asleep...
This is a sweet little bed and breakfast, located in the historic district, just a few blocks from downtown Ocala. It's run by a very kind woman who goes out of her way to make her guests feel comfortable. The rates are very reasonable, too. And it's clean!
This ball was not planted. It landed here on its own about two weeks ago when I was playing with a friend. It was his ball, so naturally, I laughed and laughed and laughed. He was not laughing. Well, maybe a little bit. I told him not to touch it until I could get a photo.