Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An Ocala horse picture

For our anniversary, we decided to buy a new painting to hang in our living room. It should definitely be an "Ocala" painting, we thought. We looked everywhere. Found nothing we liked. Until we walked into Blocker's Furniture one afternoon. There it was! Perfect. I mean, you've got to have a horse painting if you live in Ocala! We packed it up, took it home, and it now proudly proclaims "Ocala, horse capital of the world" - right in our living room.

We didn't buy the cowboy. Sheesh. That would have been just too much!

Nikon D300, f/4, 1/30 sec, ISO 1400.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Caught! & the Unseen Rajasthan Award

The above photo, captured in the Marion County Historical Museum at the Fort King Festival, is presented in concert with the award below which is given, in part, for showing things "which are lesser known."

Nikon D300, f/4.5, 1/30 sec, ISO 1800.

We want to express our thanks to Bharat (Unseen Rajasthan) at Jaipur City Daily Photo for awarding us this beautiful award.

The Unseen Rajasthan award is given to a blogger who really shows off the beauty of his/her city - the things which are lesser known.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fort King Festival

Photos 1 & 2 - Replica of Fort King constructed at Silver Springs Park

Photos 3 & 4 - A Bunny Weaver at the Fort King Festival. She is weaving material made from the hair of the bunny on her lap.

Photo 5 - A Seminole using a seashell as a horn

In 1827, Fort King, a U.S. Army installation named for Col. William King, was built in what is now east Ocala to try to maintain a measure of peace between white settlers moving into the area and the Seminole Indians who lived slightly to the south. After about two years, however, the fort was essentially abandoned

In 1832, the Fort revived and became involved in the relocation of Seminoles to the west, and later served as a strategic site during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). It was burned by the Seminoles in 1836 but not decimated and remained in use until the end of the war. In 1844, Fort King became the newly-formed Marion County's first courthouse.

In the end, the fort was abandoned, torn down and it's wood used for other construction projects in the area.

The site of the original fort is about a mile from our home. It is empty land with nothing to designate it's importance other than a couple of markers.

A replica of the fort has been built at Silver Springs and can be seen on one of the boat rides.

Ocala and Marion County conduct a Fort King festival annually about two miles from the site of the fort. It is a celebration of the area's historical heritage and involves various vendors, craftsmen, soldiers, Indians, conquistadores, music and food, among other things.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dog in pouch

The annual Fort King festival was held in Ocala last weekend. We'll provide much more information about this festival along with a number of photographs in the coming days. This gentleman and his dog were enjoying the sights and graciously consented to having their picture taken. I neglected to get his name, so if he sees this, I want to say "Thank you!"

Nikon D300, f/4.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 200.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thrift shop

Changing Hands is an appropriate name for this place. In the past several months it has been a church (Tabernacle something or other), a rental store (where one could rent just about anything), and now in its latest incarnation, a thrift shop.

Nikon D300, F18, 1/25, ISO 200, Exposure Compensation -.03.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Horse farm, north Ocala

What caught my attention was the very large house, which looked more like a hotel and sat alone with no landscaping to speak of.

Nikon D300. f25, 1/25sec, ISO 200, -.03.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Renovation time

A small house on the east side of Ocala is undergoing some renovations. Unneeded and unwanted items have been left by the side of the road to be picked up by the garbage men. What often happens, however, is that people will come by with pickup trucks in the night and haul this stuff away before the garbage men get there. Most of it will then be sold in local garage sales or flea markets.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Choose a title for this photo

Florida is part of the deep south. We found these flags (American and Confederate) waving at a home about a mile from our house. What title would be appropriate for this picture?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Longhorn Bar

After a long day riding the range, tending to the horses, one needs a place to relax and have a drink or two. Some locals find the Longhorn Bar the place to go. Actually, business folks, lawyers, doctors, teachers, secretaries and even a few retired people have been seen in these environs! You might even see a preacher or two, but they'll be in a booth in the back.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Waiting ... for ? in downtown Ocala

Here's a larger view of yesterday's post. The residence for this horse farm is still out of sight, to the left.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Small horse farm

A small horse farm, just north of Ocala, on Highway 441.

Friday, September 18, 2009

B Squared in Ocala?

Like most City Daily Photo bloggers, I thought B Squared from Fort Lauderdale Daily Photo has been in Michigan all summer.

Well, maybe not. He may have come up to Ocala and opened a business. It sure looks that way. Right on Baseline Road, too!

If you see him, ask him how he faked all those Michigan shots.

You can check out his blog here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

For Mary Travers - In Memoriam

Mary Travers has died. She was 72.

Peter, Paul and Mary have always been my favorite performers. From their early years to the present, I have found joy, challenge, and solace in their music. But it was more than that. As they sang songs of protest, they didn't leave their commitment on stage, but lived it out in their work to end war, poverty and discrimination.

Musically, they are extremely skilled. Noel Paul and Peter are superb songwriters and incredibly gifted guitarists and singers. And Mary, with that throaty, sensuous sound, which cut through the air like a knife, brought a haunting vibe to every song they sang together. Who can forget how she would throw her head back, toss her hair, and let loose, challenging heaven itself as she belted out "This Land Is Your Land"?

In 1976, I became friends with Noel Paul Stookey. At the time, I was in charge of a large youth convocation which met at the Sheraton-Boston. I wanted desperately to find a singer to do a benefit concert for world hunger. Those I contacted were very gracious but could not perform due to scheduling conflicts. I also sent a note to Noel Paul Stookey, but heard nothing. Then, out of the blue, I received a letter saying he would be happy to perform a benefit concert for world hunger; that he had been overseas and had just received my note.

We kept in touch for many years, and Lois and I were often provided with free tickets to the trio's concerts, the most exciting of which was just after they reunited to go back on tour.

While I did not know Mary in a personal sense, I did say "Hello" and listened in on her conversations backstage after the concerts. She was unfailingly polite, gregarious, knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor.

We last saw Peter, Paul and Mary in concert in Coral Springs, Florida six years ago. They never failed to inspire as well as entertain. I got a chance to talk a bit with Noel Paul Stookey during an intermission where we renewed our acquaintance.

It is hard to believe that never again will Peter, Paul and Mary fill a concert hall with their incredible, unique, and most beautiful music.

Rest in peace, Mary!

You can find tributes to Mary by Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey as well as photos and much more on their website here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Biking granddaughter

Lindsay is the youngest of our grandchildren. She had a great time bike riding on the Cross Florida Greenway in Ocala.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kids Zone

Operating on the belief that they need to get 'em when they're young, Trinity Baptist Church in Ocala has a very active youth program. This is an outlying building which appears to be dedicated to their minor, as opposed to adult, members.

I took the photo mainly because of the brilliant colors, especially as found in the blue awning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ani's Shabby Shak

Ani's Shabby Shak is located in downtown Ocala. It appears to be an interesting place, and actually, the clothes don't seem all that shabby. Probably cheaper than Saks 5th Avenue, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Highway 441 in Ocala

Until Interstate 75 was built some years ago, State Road 441 was the main north-south route through Central Florida and ran right through the center of Ocala. This is a section of 441 near downtown and, as you can see, the main Ocala police station is located here in a commercial center.

The photo was taken recently with an old film camera and old film. I rather liked the effect.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the north side of Ocala, is a large horse training facility with stables, various other buildings, and a track.

In front of the track there is a monument featuring the bust of a gentleman and his horse. I would guess both are important in terms of horse racing but I don't know their names. It wasn't until I had walked around the area for a bit, that Lois Anne pointed out that the brick enclosing the statuary is in the form of a horseshoe, which is, naturally, quite appropriate!

The entire property, however, is going to seed. It is up for sale and there does not appear to be any substantial activity in terms of training or racing at the moment.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Party time

We're heading here tomorrow to purchase items for a granddaughter's baby shower. In this store you can buy just about anything you could possibly want related to any kind of party...including a wedding party!

Decorative junk, I call it. But then what do I know, being a male type person?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Avenue National Bank

A year ago, First Avenue National Bank was located directly across the street from this location in an older, nondescript building. At the time, the lot on which the bank now stands, was a large, unkempt, grassy space.

What I didn't understand is why a bank, in the midst of a severe economic downturn, and when other banks in Ocala were failing, would construct a beautiful new building which turned out rather nicely, but didn't seem to be necessary.

For some time the bank has been trying to rent out space on the second floor.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dollar Stores galore

Another sign of the economic slowdown may be the explosion of new "dollar" stores in this area of Florida. I have read somewhere that these stores are thriving. This store is new, located in a small strip center on the east side of Ocala and seems to be doing a booming business.

Just down the road are two other dollar stores, one brand new. We seen several others go up in recent months around Ocala.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

For sale

If you leave a place go in Florida, it soon becomes devoured by flora. This old house is located in Ocala's downtown area, just behind the main post office. It is for sale, if anyone is interested. I don't know the price.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mt. Canaan Missionary Baptist Church

Located just a couple of miles from our home, Mt. Canaan Missionary Baptist Church is comprised primarily of African-Americans. Behind the church is a cemetery, seen in the second photograph. Checking the grave markers, it would appear this church and cemetery has been in this location at least since the mid-1940s.

The final picture is a closeup of some flowers left at one of the grave sites.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dinner time

Photographed at a local Ocala horse farm.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Need a crutch to lean on?

On our way to breakfast the other morning, we spied this pair of crutches in the parking lot. After breakfast, they were still there. How can someone forget a pair of crutches?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stormy weather

Typically in our area, it becomes very hot by mid-afternoon. When that hot air meets cooler air, instability is created which most days results in thunderstorms. This is a brewing thunderstorm in the skies above Paddock Mall in Ocala.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

U.S. Postal motor scooters

We're back at Ocala's main post office downtown. This is the first time I have seen these little postal scooters! Maybe they are test scooters to determine if this would be a less expensive way to deliver the mail - at least in some areas. The wouldn't be too much fun in the cold and rain, though. Whatever, I thought they were rather cute!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Swedish house!

This one's for Per Stromsjo at Stockholm by Pixels. Some time ago, he raised the question as to whether we had any "Swedish" houses (blue & yellow) in Ocala. Since then, we've searched high and low but could not find anything fitting that description.

We've driven by this place hundreds of times. It's located on a small but busy road in the woods just across from Silver Springs Park. The house, obviously quite old, was a weather-beaten white, badly in need of paint and a general sprucing up.

What a surprise. We drove by the other day and this is what we saw. Per Stromsjo's Swedish house!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We found this place on a small country lane on the north side of Ocala...out in the woods. There was no sign of life anywhere. There is, as you can see, junk piled everywhere. But an anomaly: in the front yard, just off the porch is what appears to be a very colorful child's toy of some sort.

A conundrum, for sure!
"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