Monday, February 1, 2016

Let's Visit Florida: Lake Eola Part I

I recently traveled to sunny Florida, specifically Orlando, in order to visit my daughter Christine and granddaughter Adella. I have to tell you I really loved Orlando. The people were all very nice, the weather okay, the landscapes and roads were clean (This is something Tennessee does not have), it was easy to shop at local stores and there was a wide variety of stores and services close by. Orlando seems to be a lovely city to live in. It is completely opposite of the country hick town I live in. Honestly I cannot say I'd rather live in the city but the city truly had some advantages over this area I live in--quite a few actually. At any rate, while visiting the city Mr. Fix-it and I ventured out to visit a city park in the heart of Orlando called Lake Eola. Upon exiting our vehicle we were greeted by a great display of annuals right next to high rise buildings and the road. It was a feast for my eyes and a precursor of all to come. Let's walk the .9 trail around the park and see what else it has to offer.

After passing the beds of annuals we are greeted by this beautiful sculpture. And when I say beautiful I mean beautiful. I thought she rivaled sculptures from Europe and her setting was quite appropriate.
She must've been fifty feet long or so. She was so long I could not capture the whole sculpture in one picture. The woman is prone among a groundcover and you can only see portions of her. The feet and hands and all parts were unique in that they were very anatomically correct and the whole effect was soothing.

Bald cypresses are a very common tree in this part of Orlando. You cannot find a pond without bald cypresses planted in or near it. Can you see a knee popping up from the water? Soon there will be many more. We'll see some more knees in a later post about Lake Eola. I planted two bald cypress trees on my farm last summer in the hopes they will grow to be magnificent trees so I can enjoy them at home. So far they are doing well. Bald cypresses do not need to be planted in or near water to grow well, but I think they would like a wet area.
Looking across the pond we can see a magnificent water fountain. It is powerful and makes quite a sight; especially when lit up at night.
Now this is a picture you won't see on many Lake Eola websites, but I loved this building. It is the restroom pavilion of the park. The glass blocks were so in tune with Florida and the coral blues and aqua were a very nice contrast. It was a very well taken care of service area for this busy park area. Orlando is doing well with their maintenance.
Birds are the word in Florida--they are everywhere. All kinds of birds are abundant, but more so water birds when near the water. I have no idea what kinds of birds we saw except for a few. My daughter, who is an avid birdwatcher, could probably tell us but she did not join us on our walk this day.
These birds are easy to identify. They are mute swans. I think everyone loves swans and I am no exception. These birds were the queens of the little lake. There are also black swans in this lake.
Traveling along the path we find this male mallard taking a little nap.
The lake was surrounded by sculptures. Some were massive like 'The Muse' and this one called 'Take Flight', but some were also as small as a sparrow. I did not photograph all of them but this one is quite noteworthy to me.
And to this bird too as it took refuge on a piling.
All of the sculptures had metal plates identifying the sculpture and it is interesting to note that the artist of this sculpture as well as 'The Muse' are both Kentucky artists....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. The dark bird with the white beak is an american coot.

  2. So glad you got to see some of this state.

  3. This is a pleasure to read. All I have heard about Orlando is how the traffic is so awful. I love cypress trees. When the knees begin to stick up around the trees it looks like a village from another planet.

    1. Knobby knees. I love them and have taken some awesome pictures here of them!

  4. The parks in Orlando are just beautiful. We normally only visit the area in the off season and Yes, we too love it there. Doubt it is the same during the high season and humid days but I would not mind calling it home just the same. The year round gardening is the bonus of Florida...