Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fresh Flowers To Welcome 2016

These plantings are located at the Town Center Plaza in Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, Florida. This was cross-posted to The Villages (Florida) Photos.

Happy New Year!

As we embark on our journey into 2016, may you be safe and may you have a great ride enjoying many wondrous possibilities!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SMALLCAKES - A cupcakery

Ocala's Paddock Mall has a smallish food court with several vendors purveying their wares. At the far end of the food court is an area which I've come to think of as "No Man's Land." Over the past few years a variety of stores offering different vittles have attempted to create viable businesses in "No Man's Land." All have failed, including one of the very famous and well-regard Subway stores.

I believe the reason for this is that the area is too far removed from the mall action.

Recently, SMALLCAKES, set up shop in "No Man's Land." It looks very nice and if I liked cupcakes I would certainly patronize the place. I hope they can make a go of it but cupcakes are a niche business and there may not be enough interest to gain enough customers to pay the bills.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Harvesting Clams in Cedar Key, Florida

Cedar Key is mainly all about clams. People here raise 'em and sell 'em. There are several major companies that raise and harvest clams in Cedar Key.

One of these is noted for their Sweet Littleneck Clams.

This boat had just pulled up the ramp after a clam harvest. It is, as you can see, loaded with clams.

You can learn all about clam farming in Cedar Key in this YouTube Video:

Note:  This was cross-posted to Cedar Key Daily Photo.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ocala's Downtown Ice Skating Rink

A few years ago, the city of Ocala sponsored a "real" ice-skating rink in an air-conditioned tent near the downtown area. It was great and big enough for adults to enjoy also. But it was expensive to keep real ice icy in our warm weather, and the rink was shut down.

Now the city has come up with a skating rink using faux ice (works better in 86 F degree weather). The rink is only open at certain times and was closed when we came by. It's very small, though, so serves mostly younger children. But they have fun skating on it.

I've never skated on this faux ice so have no clue what it feels like. The rink will come down soon as we leave the holidays behind.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Santa at the Mall

At the Paddock Mall there is a special arena for Santa just outside of Macy's.  The first shot was taken about a week ago when Santa wasn't in residence.  As you can see, there's no one around.

The second and third photos were taken yesterday.  Santa had arrived and the kiddos with their parents lined up to see him. It was quite chaotic and very noisy with kids jumping around and yelling (or screaming) and their parents trying to talk over the din.

Macy's has set up a special Santa mailbox inside the entrance to the store. This is for folks who, for whatever reason, didn't get a chance to visit with Santa and present him with their lists.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Lawn Decorations

These two lawn holiday lawn decorations were made by one of our neighbors. I don't know if he designs them, but he constructs them in his garage. We think they are quite attractive and unique.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Modern Architecture

Grace Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) is located in Ormond Beach, Florida. It faces A1A highway (which continues all the way to Key West), and is less than a block from the beach (Atlantic Ocean). Of the major Lutheran church bodies in the United States, the Missouri Synod is the most conservative. The Missouri Synod, by and large, does not think it proper or in accord with God's will, that the Missouri Synod associate with other Lutheran bodies. Generally speaking they reserve the Holy Eucharist (bread and wine) to members of the Missouri Synod. If possible, every Missouri Synod church tries to include a school as part of its parish so that their young members can know the "truth" and thus will be shielded from the temptations Satan puts in their path to confuse them.

The largest of the Lutheran bodies (and the most liberal) is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA allows all baptized Christians to participate in the Eucharist. The ELCA is ecumenical in its life and outreach. In recent years, an agreement was reached between the ELCA and the Protestant Episcopal Church, which allows pastors to serve parishes in either group.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Orange Lake Trading Post

Orange Lake is a small community a few miles north of Ocala. Highway 441 runs through the middle of town. Orange Lake has the largest junkyard (i.e. trading post) I've ever seen. Piles and piles of stuff. If you needed a part for some obscure machine of ancient memory, you might be able to find it here. Actually, while the place is rather interesting, it is an eyesore. But it's been in its current spot for years and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Art Gallery - McIntosh, Florida

McIntosh is a small town a few miles north of Ocala on Highway 441. It is known for its many antique shops and art galleries. Once a year the town hosts an arts and crafts fair which is quite popular and draws thousands of visitors who crowd into the small street of the town.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bench and Scene from the Ocala Golf Club...

...the Ocala Golf Club is a municipal course. It has undergone some expensive renovations in recent years yet its rate remain reasonable.

Many of the benches found on the golf course were donated by former members, now deceased, who loved and supported this course down through the years.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Luxury Golf Cars

These are two of the more creative, luxurious and expensive golf cars you will find in The Villages, Florida.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Micanopy Kitty

Micanopy is a very old, very small town north of Ocala and south of Gainesville. It has one main street on which is fronted a B&B, a Baptist and an Episcopal Church, a museum, lots of antique shops, and a couple of small cafes, one of which serves excellent ice cream.

Micanopy is noted for the antique shops.

This little kitty hangs out by the cafe/ice cream shop and pretty much ignores the people passing by.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ruby Tuesday - Oaks Mall, Gainesville, FL

Ruby Tuesday is a nice place to stop for a bite to eat after shopping in the Oaks Mall. The food and service in this establishment is consistently good. We have a Ruby Tuesday in Ocala, too, and the reverse is true!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Tree in Fall

It's all about the light.
"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