Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Giraffe in front of pediatric center

It does attract attention. I'd guess the kids love it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wild turkey or ....

I watched this thing from a distance and swear its head turned back and forth. And no, I hadn't been drinking any Wild Turkey!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mountain climbing

I would have tried this but I'm afraid of heights!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Island Grove Winery

The Island Grove Winery, located north of Ocala near Hawthorne, Florida, specializes in exquisite blueberry wines created from blueberries grown on the property.  We had read about this winery and decided to make a day trip to check it out.

Once we left the main highway (301) we were on a paved (more or less) road heading into the forest (1st picture).  After a couple of miles, we were directed by a sign to turn left (2nd picture).  Now we were driving on a dirt road (3rd picture) which continued for another couple of miles before we ran into a sign suggesting we turn right to reach the winery (4th picture).  Please note the acres of blueberry plants in the background.

The main building contains the offices and the wine making apparatus (5th picture).  We were greeted upon our arrival by Sarah Aschliman, the general manager, who welcomed us warmly and invited us to come inside and taste their wines, which we did (6th picture).  Following the wine-tasting we were given a tour of the facilities by the winemaker, Chase Marden (7th picture).  Mr. Marden described in detail and with enthusiasm how the wine was made from blueberries using the latest technology which included the tanks and other machines (pictures 8, 9 and 10).

The last photo shows a number of awards the winery has won for their products. 

The wines were delightful and delicious.  In fact, we bought several bottles and were happy to hear that Sam's Club in Ocala carries Island Grove wines!

Please check out their website here for much more information: 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gung Ho Marine!

Be sure to click and embiggen this photo.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Christian Life Assembly of God

This is a relatively new church on the outskirts of town. I know nothing about it, except that as an Assembly of God congregation it would be considered a fundamentalist Christian operation.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Spring in Ocala

In another month, we will enter the fall season here in the northern hemisphere. But it seems like yesterday that we greeted spring. This photo got lost in the shuffle. So as we head toward autumn, I offer you a taste of spring, which will be here before you know it!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cell tower aka the Tower of Babel

Not so many years ago, I had never heard of a cell tower. Nowadays, life would become much more difficult without them.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cody's Clock

I believe we posted this photo of the clock in Cody's Roadhouse Grill about a year ago. Today I'm using it as an example. We've had a number of our photos ripped off by unscrupulous persons.  In one case we found a company was using a photo of ours in their logo.  It is too expensive and time-consuming to initiate legal action when this occurs.

Therefore, on certain photos -- photos we feel have the most value -- we will be adding a watermark/copyright notice and it will be displayed prominently on the photo thereby making the photo less attractive to the bad guys/gals. These photos will also have our copyright information embedded in the photograph's file. 

Generally, I process photos with Photoshop CS3.  If you are interested in setting up this watermark/copyright system, I'd recommend you obtain a copy of "The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book" by Scott Kelby.  You will find instructions on pages 412 through 416 and these instructions are easily understood (with pictures!).  Mr. Kelby tells you how to make a Photoshop action which allows you to insert the watermark/copyright on a photo with just a click of a button. 

Those of you who use Photoshop Elements will find, I believe, you can create a similar watermark/copyright.  The latest book I have is for Elements 5, again by Scott Kelby ["The Photoshop Elements 5 Book"].  He explains the process in detail on pages 380-385.

The CS3 book's first edition came out in 2007, but it is still available at Amazon.  Amazon has brand-new copies for $35.81.  However, if you go to the Amazon site, you'll find you can get a new copy from other sellers for $15.00 and used copies beginning at $.01.  If you'd prefer not to buy the book, perhaps your local library has a copy or could obtain a copy for you.

Finally, it is possible you can find instructions on this process elsewhere.  Go for it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gas station/restaurant - alone and abandoned

This gas station and restaurant appeared to be a thriving business. Then it wasn't.

When these photos were taken, the place was abandoned and in disrepair as evidenced by the overflowing open trash bin. A few days ago we noted a homeless man taking shelter under the porch area of the restaurant.

But we've also seen signs of new life.  Twice recently, we've noticed men engaged in some sort of activity around the gas pumps. They may have been cleaning up the mess.

We're hoping it will once again become a viable business and a boon to the community.   It is in a good location -- at the intersection of two heavily-traveled roads in an area where growth is expected to be steady and pervasive. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meet the man

We may have never met this man, but we know three things about him already:

1) He's no youngster

2) He's got enough money to drive an expensive Corvette convertible

3) He's against abortion. (That's a Florida anti-abortion license plate).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Coming soon...Guy Harvey's Island Grill

You can't always believe what you see. This sign has been in that window for about 2 years. And there's no sign of Guy Harvey's Island Grill!

The Great Wall (of Chinese food) ...

But it's Chinese food New York style! I couldn't make this stuff up!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Live Oak - XL

This beautiful live oak tree is located about three blocks from our home. XL, of course, means extra-large. I'm guessing that this area was once part of Tartan Farms which is now the fabulous Winding Oaks Farm.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Falling wood?

Sometimes when driving down the street you notice a disaster waiting to happen. That's how I felt when I came up behind this mess, and I wasn't comfortable until I could get around him and he became a blip in my rearview mirror!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A broken tryst

They planned a tryst. They would meet here, far from prying eyes. But neither showed up. The tryst and trust was broken.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Training track at Winding Oaks Farm (Three different views)

This track is located about a mile from the oak tree posted on August 2.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Does this cloud formation remind you of someone? It does me but I can't come up with a name. Whoever it resembles is certainly focused, though! Maybe Mark Twain giving a lecture?

Friday, August 2, 2013

An Oak Tree on the Windiing Oaks Farm

In 2002, Eugene Melnyk from Ontario, Canada purchased 1000 acres of the Mockingbird Farms horse farm in Ocala; he then renamed it Winding Oaks to reflect the fact that the property winds through numerous hills dotted with hundreds of oak trees.

Winding Oaks is a large and successful operation. Melnyk, who is the founder of the Biovail Corporation, now lives in the Barbados, but can often be found checking out the work at Winding Oaks.

Ocala has grown up around the farm which provides a beautiful rural-like oasis amidst a variety of residential subdivisions and businesses. It is located on one of Ocala busiest thoroughfares.

The oak tree above is a perfect symbol of this wonderful horse farm.

For more information on Winding Oaks and Mr. Melnyk, please click here.
"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