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!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birds of Central Florida

 Wood Stork
 Great White Egret
 Wood Stork
 Anhinga and Sea Gull

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Smile - You're on camera

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