Thursday, May 31, 2018

Where's Canada?

Okay, how did we end up here and how do we get back to Canada?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Paving Over Paradise

First, they murdered the trees. Then they cremated the remains. Now this! Aargh!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

One Way To Decorate A Car

These decorations are difficult to make out, but I think it's safe to say that the owner is a lover of animals.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Dining Car Diner in Mt. Dora

This is one of Mt. Dora's landmarks - a dining car converted into a diner - with outside seating.

Note: This is being cross-posted to our Florida Fotos blog.

Ocala Downtown Market

The Ocala Downtown Market is open on Saturday mornings. Farmers and other bizness people bring their products to the market and local citizens take advantage of things like eggs, produce, jewelry, etc. 

We've not been to this location, but on a previous visit, I thought it was more like a mini-flea market than anything else.

Still, it's a good deal for you can score really fresh stuff here as opposed to the crap you buy in the supermarkets.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Trilogy Trail With Bench

This is a recently finished section of the Trilogy trail system and the people in charge saw fit to place a bench here for folks to sit upon when they tire.

Just beyond that section of trees, is another large horse farm. If history is a precursor of the future, said horse farm probably won't be around much longer. 

The area is experiencing rapid development ... unfortunately.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Sandman Awaits

That's the Sandman in the golf cart, patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for me to take the darn photo so we can get back to playing golf and go home and take a nap!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hawk on Fence

This beautiful bird rolled slowly with the clouds in the sky above our house; probably looking for dinner.  Unexpectedly, it swooped down and landed on the fence that borders our property.

I often mention how important it is to have a camera handy for just such occasions.  But, unfortunately, I'd forgotten my own advice and had to run into another room to pick up the first camera I saw which was a Canon S95 point and shoot.

The Canon is an excellent camera, but not good enough on this occasion which explains the poor quality of the picture.  But I hope you are able, nonetheless, to see the glory of this bird, this predator, this master of the sky.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dillard's Department Store

Dillard's is one of my favorite stores, although its prices preclude me from buying anything unless they have one of their famous sales. It is located in the Heathbrook Outdoor Mall.

In this scene you see the women's shoe department on the right and the cosmetics department on the left.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cedar Key Beach and the Cedar Cove Resort

Cedar Key is a small fishing community about 75 miles due west of Ocala located on the Gulf of Mexico. We visit Cedar Key several times a year and take a plethora of photos. Cedar Key is noted for its clams and from what I've heard they are very good. There is a small beach and a playground which, in nice weather, are quite busy with families enjoying both of those amenities.

This photo by Lois Anne.

Note:  This has been cross-posted to our Cedar Key blog.

Duplexes at Trilogy, Ocala Preserve

When we bought our home in the Trilogy resort we were not told that the resort would contain duplexes.   That's not important for we have lived in a twin-home previously and never want to live in a home with a common wall again.  Still, it's curious we were never given the option.

This is not a twin-home, though, but a duplex.  Each side is unique and different, not just one floor plan turned around.  We were able to go through this duplex recently and it's very nice.  One of the advantages of a place like this is that the builder takes care of the yard, the exterior of the house, the roof, etc.  Of course, your monthly fees are higher, but for many it's worth the trade-off of living with the common wall.

Monday, May 21, 2018

1925 Fire Engine Golf Car

We found this beauty in the Spanish Springs hometown, The Villages. It appears to be more of a run-around golf car than an actual golf cart, but it would be fun to run around in it. It is for sale, and as I recall the price was around $30,000.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Moveable Shed

We espied this moveable shed the last time we were at Silver Springs. It doesn't seem to go anywhere and as you can see, it's all decked out for the holidays. As to what it's used for, I have no clue, but fully expect that at some time in the near future, it will be attached to a truck and hauled away.

That may not happen until after next Christmas, though.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cecile's French Corner - Mt. Dora, Florida

The outdoor eating area at Cecile's French Corner in Mt. Dora, Florida.

The following comes from the Internet:

"Mount Dora is a city in central Florida.  It's known for its antique shops and annual festivals.  Downtown, the Modernism Museum displays modern furniture.  Housed in a 1923 fire station, the Mount Dora History Museum documents local history.  An extensive collection of classic cars, plus a replica of a 1940s gas station, are on display at the Museum of Speed.  Northwest, bass-filled Lake Eustis has waterside restaurants."

We've visited Mt. Dora on numerous occasions.  It's a beautiful little city set amongst rolling hills and numerous lakes, and is a great place to wander about, get something to eat, people watch, and/or find some special treasure in one of the many gift shops.

Note:  This is cross-posted to our Florida Fotos blog.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Church of Hope

This is, believe it or not, a "storefront" church located on Ocala's east side. It has an interesting history. The pastor of Church of Hope is Mark Cummins. Cummins, a charismatic and dynamic young man, came to Ocala around 2006-2007 to take over as senior pastor of First Baptist Church, following the retirement of a beloved pastor who had served First Baptist for 20 plus years.

After about a year, all hell broke loose when Cummins fired six popular assistant clerics. First Baptist, a huge operation, became a battle ground, and after a great deal of dissension, split.  Cummins left to start his own church, bringing with him over 300 members from First Baptist.

For a time, the group met in another storefront operation then moved to Westport High School, and finally bought this place from another group that had moved on to build a more traditional church building.

Church of Hope is proudly non-denominational, claiming to preach the Bible and insisting their mission is to serve the community.  One problem as I see it, is the phrase, "preach the Bible," can mean about anything these days.  For example, in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 15, verse 24, Jesus says:  "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel."

I rather doubt they preach that at Church of Hope.

As I recall, this church now has over 750 members.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spanish Mossy Tree

P.S. I'm pleased that so many of you like my new bike!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Trek Verve 3 Bicycle

We found this beauty down at the model home park.  Looks fairly new.  We also noted it had a custom seat, an odometer, headlight and taillight, bag, and a carrier on the back.

It probably belonged to someone looking at the model homes.

Nice bike, though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thanksgiving House

This photo comes from last fall. The pumpkins are a dead giveaway. For some reason I didn't post it then, but when I came across it recently, I decided it was time.

The house is located about six blocks from downtown in a mixed residential/commercial area.  When I first noticed it several years ago it was in pretty bad shape, but has recently been renovated.

I like it - the style, the colors, the turret, the stone steps ...

Monday, May 14, 2018

Along the Trilogy Trail

The riding/biking/hiking trail in Ocala's Trilogy Resort was initially planned to be 21 miles in length when completed.  But someone pointed out that was not physically possible, so the powers-that-be decided to measure the length of the trail in "furlongs" which is appropriate because horse races are measured in furlongs and this is horse racing country. Furthermore, the Trilogy resort is being built on land that was, at one time, a horse farm.

One furlong equals 1/8th of a mile. Some mornings we ride our bikes 5 miles or more which means we ride 40 plus furlongs. But the Trilogy Resort is just getting started so it is likely that eventually the trail will stretch out to 120 or more furlongs.

This section of the trail is near the entrance gate.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Just One More Great Blue Heron ...

...between a rock and a wet place!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Iconic Building - Downtown Ocala

This building is an Ocala landmark, located downtown diagonally across from the town square, but the only remarkable thing about it is the clock & bell tower. I've assumed it housed one or more businesses but at the moment it appears to be undergoing some renovation. I have no clue as to its ultimate destiny.

It's strange how quickly one can get accustomed to things. You don't have to be downtown very long before you find yourself looking up to the bell tower to check the time.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Movie Theater - Spanish Springs, The Villages, Florida

Each of The Villages' downtowns have a movie theater and in each case, they are quite beautiful. Spanish Springs was the first downtown built and thus this is the first movie theater in The Villages.

Note: This has been cross-posted to The Villages (Florida) Photos.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fox Squirrel Looking at You!

The Fox Squirrel is more elongated than a regular squirrel. It has a fine bushy tail. Generally, its colors are white and black or a brownish color and white. When it runs it looks like a fox, especially when seen from a distance. In my experience, Fox Squirrels are not quite as skittish around humans as are other varieties of squirrel and will often approach looking for a handout.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bikers Break for Breakfast

These bikers decided to break for breakfast at Bob Evans restaurant near an entrance/exit of Interstate Highway 75. The rider were easily identified inside the restaurant by their "Harley Davidson" tee shirts. It was a nice day for riding.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Florida Wildflowers

Every spring, central Florida is blessed with acres and acres of pink wildflowers.  For several weeks they cover the countryside.  Most of them, as noted, are pink in color, but some are yellow or white.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Cassandra on Watch

This is Cassandra's favorite perch. She can watch people, cars, trucks, and birds of all kinds, including buzzards and hawks. Included in her view are new homes under construction, bicyclists, tractors, and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. Every home in the Trilogy community is allowed two dogs and most people, it seems, have at least that many.

The only problem is that all this watching makes Cassie tired and she sometimes goes to sleep while on duty! 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Camping at Silver Springs State Park

There are several camping facilities available at Silver Springs State Park on the east side of Ocala. One offers a half dozen rustic cabins in the woods, but you need a reservation and you have to request one about a year ahead of time. 

There are also spaces for the large RVs seen pictured above.  Additionally, there are many open camp sites for people with small campers, tents, etc.

This photo was taken a couple of months ago when Mother Nature was still in a somewhat subdued mood and the woods were not as green or as luxurious as they are now.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bowling Alley

So far as I know, there are two extant bowling alleys in Ocala. This one is located in a small shopping center on the east side of town. For a variety of reasons, most of which are unknown to me, the sport of bowling has lost its allure for many people.

That's rather sad, I think.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Decorative Wall - Town Square, Spanish Springs, The Villages, Florida

Note: This was cross-posted to The Villages (Florida) Photos HERE.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Painter

In the garden of the Rodin Museum in Paris there is a statue called The Thinker. We don't have a Rodin Museum or The Thinker here in Ocala, but we have The Painter.

Hey, we try.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ocala's Train Station

To say this is a train station is to stretch the limits of language.  There are tracks that run along behind this building but no passenger trains run on those tracks.

It's my understanding that a few years ago, an Amtrak train ran once a day from Ocala to Lakeland, Florida and another Amtrak train ran from Ocala to Jacksonville.  That does not happen anymore.

This train station is used as a bus stop.  And it is best defined by what it does not include rather than what it does include.

ATM not available
No elevator
No pay phones
No Quik-Trak kiosks
No restrooms
Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
No Vending Machines
No Wi-Fi
Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure
How long before departure to be at the station.

Evidently, Amtrak provides bus service to places where Amtrak trains run.  Somewhere on the Internet you can probably find a bus schedule.  I think I'll drive or fly.  But if I fly I still have to get to Orlando or Tampa or Jacksonville.

Such a deal!

"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