Glorious Spring

This will be my last post about the London lads' visit, but before I commence with that, let me just say that we have been having some glorious Spring weather. Seriously beautiful with bright blue skies and very little humidity allowing us to have the windows open! It is hard to explain how much I love having open windows, but I just love feeling the natural air rather than forced cold air, something we put up with for far more months than I would like. 

Also we are being terrorized by a screaming Limpkin out back, presumably looking for a mate. Even on the day or two that we have had to shut the house up, we could hear the plaintiff call. Make that screech! Right now it is going like mad in the tree outside my window.

What, pray tell are they photographing? Here is my shot.

We took a trip out to Kenansville to introduce the guys to an airboat ride at Wild Florida. Exiting the boat, I spotted the eagle and when that happens, of course everyone has to take a shot!

Because we took the thirty minute ride, we didn't go too far and mostly what we saw were gators, something our guide had a knack for finding. By now we are all seasoned gator watchers so I would have preferred more bird sightings, but you take what nature gives you. Some of you may be familiar with the Where's Waldo books where you have to find Waldo in a super crowded scene. Try that with this shot of baby gators!

If you can imagine there are, or so I recall, five of them, all of which are only about 10 inches long. If you are viewing this on a phone, good luck!

Following the airboat ride we roamed the animal park which I think is really well done. They also have a pretty intense gator show.

I'm trying to think of what the job description for this guy is....willing to stand insanely close to a huge alligator? You think? 

We learned that their gators come from various places where people have asked for the gators to be removed because they are what are called "nuisance gators". Just today someone asked if anyone had ever seen a gator in Lake Pineloch and the answer is no. Same goes for Lake Willisara, thank goodness. That said, and this story is a quick departure from our excursion----Matt and Tom decided to walk to Target and not far from our place they encountered Mary who was looking for help with a big turtle. I still cannot imagine it, but Matt actually picked it up. This, my friends was no ordinary turtle, instead it was an alligator snapping turtle!! We can't seem to get off this alligator subject, can we?

Anyway, in time, Henry, one of our fantastic maintenance guys, brought a box, scooping into said box and returned it to our lake. is so scary looking. 

And acting for that matter. Snapping at the towel Henry was waving over its head trying to get it to head into the water!

My sister Lisa is a big turtle fan, but I suspect even she would not want to see one of this type.

Okay, back to Wild Florida....

An aviary with feeding sticks is always a highlight.

Actually, I let Bruce do it while I take photographs! Matt was game too.

I absolutely loved the deer habitat, especially with all the new growth on the Cypress trees.

Bonus points for peacocks!

Woo first time seeing an Eagle Owl.

By golly, here's a crazy story about one out of Norwich, England, a place we have visited. Let's just say that I am glad I am not that woman!

Who doesn't love a Lemur? This is not the typical one, but I can't seem to find what kind it is.

It was a good visit, that is after we arrived. Leaving the house with what we thought was enough time, the last miles were a bit fraught with anxiety that we were not going to make our boat time! In part this happened because I wanted to take the route through Lake Nona which was a bit of a mistake because, if you've not been out there in a while, is shocking in the amount of development along 15-A. When I was in x-ray school at Winter Park Hospital, I would take that road to 1-92 to see my folks every now and again. In those days there was absolutely nothing on that road. Nothing! I guess that is what happens if you live long enough, right?

Friday night we had a get together with everyone. In the photo below, David is regaling us with stories as only he knows how to tell.

And then it was Saturday, rainy and cool, but we did make a quick trip over to Winter Park for lunch and a stop at Rifle Paper Company. Returning home, Tom showed off his mad jigsaw puzzle skills by putting together about 150 pieces in short order! I stood amazed. Matt and I contributed, but that Tom, he's something else.

Airport time....and they are off.

If only that were the case. Their flight was delayed, however, eventually they were off and about twelve hours later, safely ensconced in their lovely London home with nary an alligator in sight!

Then the weather turned nice. And the new leaves popped out. Spring green, nothing like it!

There is a gorgeous Swallow Tail Kite perching above the courts here most days, a once-a-year treat. What a glorious bird!

In my last post, here, if you missed it, I mentioned taking my kayak on the lake to see the GBH nest which was elusive, but I knew was there. Well....

She's up there at the very tip-top of the pine tree!

We have been going to the courts at Dover Shores some days to play with new folks. Not that I don't love our folks herem but I'm trying to get over my fear of playing with strangers.

Some days I do a better job than others! That said, we have met some really nice pickleball enthusiasts so that's been good. In reality I should call them addicts!  

Back at the village, Sandy put together a party for Denny and Dunrey's birthday at the pool. 

So what, you say. 

I'll tell you what. 

Think back to one year ago, or even more so, two years ago at this time of the year. Fear, and in some cases panic. Thankfully things are beginning to return to normal, something to not only mention but celebrate, no matter the occasion.

If only that held true for Ukraine. My God, what a mess.

your friend,