Thursday, April 30, 2009

Partial moon over Ocala

I took this photo earlier this evening with the partial moon almost directly overhead.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stewart at Panera Bread

Stewart has been working at the original Panera Bread in Ocala for about three months. He likes his job and enjoys meeting customers. We found that he smiled easily and seemed to work well with people. Stewart is attending Central Florida Community College at night and hopes to obtain a degree in psychology.

At the time of this photograph, he was busy taking an order from a customer.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Redheaded woodpecker

After attacking one of our palm trees, this little cutie decided the pecking was better on our water oak. That's when I got her picture.

Monday, April 27, 2009

An award-winning house

We drove by this house the other day and noticed a sign in the front yard proclaiming it had won some kind of award for being a terrific house. So, naturally, I had to take a photo. It's an older home in the historic district that has been restored.

Kayaks for sale

We found these kayaks for sale at Dick's Sporting Goods. I played around with the photo a bit in Photoshop.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Turtle on the Greenway

While Lois Anne was running at the Greenway the other day, we saw five turtles sunning themselves beside the path, fairly oblivious to runners, walkers or bikers. This turtle was a little unsure of my intentions and had started to head for the woods as fast as a turtle can head for the woods.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trinity Baptist Church

Trinity Baptist Church is located about 2 miles from our home, one of many Baptist churches in Ocala. It is a large congregation with an extensive program for its members. I've often thought the competition for new members must be fierce among the various church groups.

Lois Anne on the run

As I've mentioned before, we have a six-mile loop of the Florida Greenway just 4 miles from our home. Lois Anne often runs on this beautiful stretch of paved road (no cars!) which winds through varying types of scenery, including woods and hills.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church

Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church is located on Hwy 200, west of downtown Ocala. It is set back from the road, and we've driven by numerous times without noticing it. The other day, however, we saw a large group of black folks exiting the church building and decided we needed to photograph this quaint religious facility.

If you look closely at the second photograph, you'll see, off to the right, a covered area which appears to be for picnics or informal gatherings. Also to the right, off in the distance, is a cemetery. We would guess this church has been around for many years.

Just a click down the road and fronting Highway 200 is College Road Baptist Church, a huge operation covering several acres. College Road Baptist overwhelms Mt. Calvary and that's probably one reason we have not noticed the smaller church previously.

Ocala is in the "Bible Belt," and is Baptist country. I would guess there are between 75 to 100 Baptist churches in our relatively small town. Maybe more.

Mt. Calvary describes itself as "soul winning fundamental."

Justin of Chili's

Yesterday afternoon we stopped at Chili's for a bite to eat after some shopping. Chili's is a Tex-Mex chain with restaurants in various parts of the United States. We've been eating at Chili's restaurants for many years in different parts of Florida.

Justin was our server. Justin was born and raised in Ocala - a native! He's been working at Chili's for almost a year (his one-year anniversary is coming up on May 5.) Justin says he likes meeting people and enjoys his work. He did an excellent job as our server.

The "Chili" balloons were hanging from the ceiling close to our table. I thought they were colorful enough to deserve a place on this post.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Horse and Hounds

For some years there has been a Horse and Hounds restaurant on Highway 27 a few miles west of Ocala. This is a brand new one, just about ready to open on Silver Springs Boulevard on the east side of town.

Horse and Hounds is an interesting name for a restaurant, but reflects, I suppose the horse "culture" of our area. We'll be visiting it as soon as it's open for business.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Griffin's Home Accents going out of business

For over 20 years, Denny and Fran Griffin have operated Griffin's Home Accents in Oala. Griffin's sold home decor, scrapbooking material, paintings, frames, beads, collectibles, Yankee Candles, Precious Moments, Crocs Footwear and much, much more. They have decided to shut the doors and thus have put everything in the store up for sale.

Another sad casualty of the economic downturn.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Jools has worked for Ritz Camera for five years. Unfortunately, Ritz is bankrupt, having fallen victim to the moribund economy, and is closing 400 stores across the nation, most of them in shopping malls. The Ritz store at Paddock Mall in Ocala will shut down at the end of May.

Jools, however, has been in the photography business for 40 plus years, doing just about every kind of photography, but specializing in models and portraits. He will return to that business when Ritz closes its doors.

Friday, April 17, 2009


We have found the people working at this small post office across from the Silver Springs Park on the east side of Ocala to be very friendly and helpful.

Kathleen always has a smile and a greeting and goes out of her way to ensure you are satisfied that your mail is properly on its way.

Kathleen has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for a number of years, but she confided to me yesterday that she is hoping to retire this summer.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Living high

This is an older house in the historic district. I'm guessing that someone has a room up there and has decorated the small porch at the top of the stairs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ocala Downs

Ocala Downs is a large subdivision of horse farms located north of Ocala on Highway 441. The first photo depicts the entrance, and the second one of the farms.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

God be with us?

I joke sometimes that Ocala has a church on every corner. That's an exaggeration, of course, but we are inundated with religious institutions, all of them advertising and promoting their programs in order to get new members.

So, it isn't surprising perhaps, that the city's official seal carries the words, "God be with us," as you can see - if you look closely - on this city truck. Exactly what that means, I'm not sure.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thistle a little tune...

Thistles like this grow wild in an area known as the Florida Greenway, a 6-mile paved loop through several different types of flora, just 4 miles from our house.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Handicapped parking only

Could this biker get a ticket for parking in a handicapped zone?

Easter Bunny

At the local mall, this Easter Bunny held young children on his lap while an associate took photos which the associate then sold to the parents of the young children. But there were times when no children were ready to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap. This is one of those times and the Easter Bunny is lonely and forlorn.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lenten cross

In our neighborhood, the residents at one house have planted a wooden cross in their front yard. Every year, during Lent, they drape the cross with a purple cloth. I'm thinking that a clergy person and family live there, but do not know for certain.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grace Episcopal Church

Grace Episcopal Church has been a fixture in Ocala since the 19th century. Recently, however, the church split over the issue of homosexuality, especially the ordination of Bishop Eugene Robinson as a bishop.

Several hundred members departed to begin another Episcopal church which, so far as I know, will affiliate with a conservative Anglican group headed by an African bishop who is vehemently anti-homosexual.

Hanging out at the mall

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Central Florida Community College - Front

From all accounts Central Florida Community College in Ocala is doing a tremendous job in providing a quality education for young (and older) people in our community.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Redneck SUV

You will notice we've gone with a new template. No matter how hard I tried, I was never able to set up the other template with larger photos. But we think this one will work just fine.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mansion in historic district

Gas station & store - a remnant of the past

When we first drove by this old gas station and store, we thought it was shut down. It wasn't. Open for business. Not much business, though. There are very few of these types of businesses left - except in more rural areas. This is a remnant of the past.

I couldn't determine which photo I liked best, so I posted both of them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Man on balcony

It was about noon. In the old downtown. Across from the town square, this gentleman stepped out on a 2nd story balcony at the Bank of America building talking on a cellular phone. As I moved to take his photo, he saw me and waved. Maybe he was ordering a pizza.

Needless to say, the photo has been Photoshopped a teeny little bit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One-wheeled biker and homeless man

My camera caught these two in Ocala's downtown square just recently: deep in conversation.
"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