Saturday, November 29, 2014

Orlando, Florida

We have moved further south into Florida this past week, near the town of Bushnell.  About five years ago we stayed here, it is not a place to easily forget what with the presence of sand cranes.
I saw the above family while walking around the park a couple of days ago.  It seems to be an adult male and female with two young ones.  One parent is always on guard to watch for danger, as you can see in the picture above.  Also in my walk around the perimeter of the park we have seen wild turkeys, storks, numerous ibis, and the little blue heron.  There is one large swamp as well as a few ponds (which came about with the last heavy rainfall) in the park, which explains the abundance of wildlife at present.
No, we did not do Walt Disney Park in Orlando- we will save that for when our grandson Nathan gets a bit older.  Instead we thought that for a change we would just check out downtown Orland.  Its skyline is pictured above with the Centennial Fountain.  We spent most of our downtown at Lake Eola Park which has a wonderful walkway around it.  According to one tour book which we had on us, it was here where Orlando received its name.  It was named after Orlando Reeves, a sentry for U.S. soldiers in 1835, who saved his company by alerting them there were Indians creeping toward their camp at Lake Eola. 
Just as we started our walk around the lake we came upon this sculpture entitled "Muse of Discovery".  The sign near it said that if we sat in her hands she would whisper to us and help us discover our hidden potential.  We did not try that, currently the muse is fenced off as the park is trying to grow grass around her.  Finding our hidden potential will have to wait!
The park is quite beautiful  with live oaks, and cypress trees, as well as flowering trees and shrubs.  Many waterfowl can also be found here, as black and white swans, coots, anhinga, moor hens, and many ibis. In the picture above the latter can be seen, in the background is a white egret sunning himself on a cypress knee.  After our hike around the lake we walked the streets of the downtown area.  Not very much action there as I suspect many people were at the outlying malls doing their Black Friday shopping.  One final reflection here, as we walked around Orlando the thought hit me that we have walked the streets of San Diego, Detroit, Washington D.C. and now Orlando.  Hard to believe that we have covered that much territory in one year.  Maybe one of these years we will settle down!

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