Birds in Venetian Gardens Park

We have been walking a good bit recently and even reached four miles per day a couple times. Usually, we walk around the neighborhood. But, we walk in Venetian Gardens at least once a week. We park at the lakefront and eat our sandwich first.

Then it is time to walk. I had not noticed the hole in this Great Blue Heron’s feathers until I got the pictures on the computer.

Great Blue Heron

This is an ordinary sign in Florida parks and anywhere near water.

I was able to get really close to this Limpkin.


There were Great Blue Herons everywhere. This one whizzed by waist-high as we walked.

I don’t believe I’ve posted a portrait of an Ibis before.


This Great Blue was standing next to the bridge from which we were watching the alligator. It was keeping a close eye on the alligator too.

Great Blue Heron

The alligator decided to swim on up the canal. It was not moving its limbs at all. Only the tail moved with a slow and gentle sideways wave.



Big Trees in Leesburg, FL

Good boating buddies and excellent exploring partners, Martin and Betsy stopped in to spend the night with us on their way from the keys to Massachusetts. I’m a little annoyed that they only stayed one night; I wanted them to stay at least a week.

So, to squeeze a little exploration into their visit, we took them to Venetian Gardens park to eat lunch on the waterfront. Then we took them to see our trees.

This Live Oak (so called because it does not lose all its leaves at once and is never bare) in Lake Griffin State Park is the second largest tree in Florida. Now that I know that, I have plans to visit the largest in Gainesville.

Betsy, Martin, and Andy in Lake Griffin State Park

I ask myself the question: is this one tree or six trees grown together? Here, Martin is peering into the “nest” formed in the center of the trunks.

Our next stop was a little road-side park in the town of Lady Lake. It is also large, but wide rather than tall.

Martin, Betsy, and Andy marveling over the tree.
Martin and Betsy

Venetian Gardens Park

I was reminded today that I have not been updating my blog very much. Sometimes life just gets away from me and I am swept up in activity, useful and not so useful. We have been out walking a good bit to get Andy’s new knees a workout and to build up some muscle he has lost over the past few years. I have actually gotten out of the habit of wearing my camera!!!!!!! I have taken a few of Venetian Gardens, which is a lakefront city park here in Leesburg and a beautiful place to take a walk.

Alligator Lounging Along Canal

From Wikipedia: In 1938, during the Great Depression, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration invested in infrastructure and improvement projects across the county. Its Works Progress Administration began work on the Venetian Gardens waterside park, located on the shores of Lake Harris. These canals and gardens have been a centerpiece of the community ever since.

As its name suggests, the park is full of canals and bridges.
This picnic pavilion looks out to Lake Harris

The park is home to a wide variety of birds.

Great White Egret

I am rather proud of this Anhinga portrait.

I have never caught a fish but enjoy watching others try their luck. Lake County is named so for its many lakes. This may be one of the most scenic fishing spots.

Purple Gallinule

We have seen this bird-feeding person tossing large quantities of food on several occasions.

Bird Feeder

Do Alligators Smile?
The water lilies are beginning to bloom.
We got a lecture from this squirrel.

October 30, 2018 – New Flooring in Lanai

While walking around the yard examining my half-dead plants, I noticed that the lawn mower had broken one of the irrigation pipes where it comes out of the ground. I reported it to the office. A man came by the next day to fix it.  I asked him if he could help me figure out the five zones on the irrigation system controller.  He turned it to “manual” and turned on each zone in turn.  While doing so, he noticed that all of them were set to only three minutes, three times a week.  Not enough for the summer in Florida!  No wonder all my shrubs were sickly. 

One of our items on the fix-it list was the painted lanai floor.  The paint was peeling up.  When the painter came and patched the spots, he told us that they had mixed too much sand in the paint (to make the floor non-skid) and it would continue to peel.  We decided to go ahead and come up with some flooring. A neighbor recommended “pool decking”.

The man from Mid-State Stone , with a helper, arrived at 0800. Andy and I had already moved most of the patio furniture from the lanai; they moved the rest. Then I positioned myself inside the sliding glass door to watch them work.

They carried in bags of lentil-sized river gravel. This is the lanai at 0836.
The helper mixed up the epoxy in a blue bucket, measuring with two cook pots.
He made a pile of three bags of gravel, one each of black, white, and reddish-brown.
Then he mixed them thoroughly with a shovel.
He spread the pile with a rake.
The master began spreading and smoothing the gravel with a trowel.
The helper mixed the next batch as the master worked.
Here is a closer look.  It is smooth and shiny.
This man must have incredible abs and arms. He stretched out to do heavy work. He made grooves above the grooves in the concrete.
Finishing up the second row while the third row is spread.

Here is a pile of the three colors before being mixed.  The black and red have more brown in them than I was expecting.
It was fun to watch him pouring the thick epoxy into the gravel volcano.
The process was very similar to making biscuits.
Starting on the last row.
He used the bottle of water to keep the trowel wet so the epoxy would not accumulate on it.
Maybe he should have sprayed some on the soles of his shoes.
He was cornered while mixing the last batch of epoxy.
He made the well with his shoe.
Here is a closer look at the tiny gravel.
The master was taking a break in the golf cart while the helper spread the last batch of gravel.
He said he has been doing this for twenty years.  This is the leftover gravel at the end of the job.
The job is done.
They loaded their gear back into the truck at 1151.  I suppose they stopped for lunch before heading to the afternoon job.

Bill Snow called late in the afternoon to say that he and Mary would be spending the night at Lake Louisa State Park, just thirty minutes from us. So we drove down there to meet them and got there before they did.  We waited at the entrance gate.

Bill and Mary’s old fifth-wheel at Lake Louisa. They have bought a newer on.
The evening sun was shining through the Spanish Moss at their campsite.
Mary and Yuki

I also took a photo of Bill, but it turned out most unflattering.