Friday, February 5, 2016

Lake Eola Part III


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Continuing our walking tour around Lake Eola in the heart of Orlando, Florida we find this island just off shore. It was quite an interesting island and has a surprise. Look closely and perhaps you can spot the wildlife roosting in the brush on the left side of the island. Can you see them?
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I did not initially see them but upon looking closer I got a good surprise. I don't know what kind of birds these are but there were a few of them just roosting quietly on the branches of this tree.
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Looking at the island from a different perspective we also get a view of one of the many homeless people living in this park. If you are a homeless person Florida is where you want to be in the winter because it is fairly warm. All of the homeless we saw seemed to be enjoying the park very much and many, like this gentleman, were taking naps under the trees or on the benches. Still, others were eating nice plates of good food. The day we visited was Christmas Day and because of this holiday several local places were giving out free plates of food.
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The turtles were quite a sight.
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Bald cypresses were a very common tree in the part of Florida I was visiting. My daughter's subdivision had several little ponds that were surrounded with nicely landscaped areas. Bald cypresses were part of the landscaping near all the ponds I saw. This one has several knees since it is growing in the water. The white ibis were taking advantage of the perches in order to spear their prey.
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White ibis were everywhere in Florida it seemed. In my daughter's neighborhood they prowl around the lawns looking for prey. They are a beautiful bird. Their call sounds like a duck's call. Check the Cornell site for more information on them.
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The park was beautifully decorated for Christmas. This tree was a very large tree and completely lit up. We happened to pass by this park after dark and the wished we could've visited it then too because all of the Christmas lights were quite festive....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lake Eola: Part II



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Continuing around Lake Eola we find a little pier that on this day, totally belonged to the pigeons. It must be mating season for these pigeons as they were putting on quite a courting display for passerbys.
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Swans were all up along the shore as we slowly made our way around the park. At first I thought this swan with the raised foot had a injured foot. But then Mr. Fix-it and I noticed several swans had a foot raised up.
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We have no idea why the swans were like this but don't think they were injured.
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Off to the side there was a memorial to fallen soldiers. It's almost a rule that all public parks must have memorials to soldiers. At least it seems that way because so many have them. 

While in this area we saw quite a few homeless folks. Because it was Christmas Day they all had large plates of food to eat and were sharing with one another where to go to get the plates of food. A couple folks told us Merry Christmas and one managed to ask for money while we were leaving. I have no problem with homeless folks, but I do not appreciate  outright begging.  
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I am pretty sure this majestic bird is an anihinga, or snake bird. My daughter pointed several out to me while we were out and about. These birds are predators in the water. They stalk their food and spear them with their long sharp beak.
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Swans eat a lot of food. We did not feed any swans on this date but I thought it good the park placed informational signs out for visitors to remind us all that feeding wildlife it not really a good idea; even if they are on special diets.
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The gardener in me immediately caught a couple of camellias in full bloom. This red one is trained into an umbrella like tree. There were several different colors of camellias in this apartment complex's garden (the garden did not appear to be part of Lake Eola but skirted the park. I was thrilled to learn a bit about tropical gardens simply by observing the fauna in all of the landscaped areas in Orlando. I realized I don't know much about tropical gardens at all. 

There is one more post about Lake Eola.....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden