Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moss Park Fl.

Moss Park Fl.

SPFB !!! In case you have forgotten, it means: See Previous Florida Blogs!!

Moss Park is yet another SPFB!! Go back to last year’s blogs to read about me blathering about the 2 pretty little lakes or the narrow little river that joins them and how when the sun sets, the trees on its banks glow as the blasts of golden shards of bright light hits them. On Lake Mary Jane, the park’s beach is usually peaceful and quiet during the winter months. This year, several groups of high school students from New York and Connecticut congregated there for a training camp to fine-tune their talents of team rowing in those long narrow vessels called sculls. 8 oarsmen manned those 40 to 50 foot long boats and rowed in unison out onto the calm water for 2 hours of intense training followed by a quick lunch and 2 more hours out in their skinny crafts. Either 4 or just 2 oarsmen handled the shorter boats. Ally and Tommy were a team of 2 from Long Island and were very patient with all my questions about their sport!

And Moss Park still has animals! The person who cares about them the most is George, Moss Parks Camp Host and Resident Wildlife Photographer! Each morning the herd of white tail deer, the Turkeys, the Gray squirrels and several pairs of tall gangly Sandhill Cranes gather for their breakfast of corn and grain. The crows overhead announce the arrival of daylight and the Pileated Woodpeckers begin their incessant pounding out of a nesting cavity in the top of the dead pine tree behind George’s parked motor home. During the day, the bright colored Northern Parula Warblers flash their silver blue backs and yellow tummies as they flit from branch to branch and warble their little hearts out. As always, the Sandhill Cranes clatter and squawk from sunup to sunset! Each Saturday evening, George shares his love of photography and the animals of Moss Park during a movie he crafted and presents to the campers. Last year, we congratulated him on the birth of his last batch of Sandhill babies. This year we got to do it again! What a delight to have these doting avian parents lead, feed and protect their long legged tan youngsters while still letting all of us take picture after picture! Last year we met “Gimpy” an injured Sandhill with a terribly crooked leg. He is still in Moss Park – painfully limping thru the campground to visit each campspot as always but now he has a girlfriend. They stayed in our site quite awhile, hoping for a treat from bookworm H. NO Sandhill gets a treat from H – but Gimpy does from Grandma B!

Sherman Squirrels, Armadillo and Gopher Tortoise are still in Moss Park too! And the Baby Barred Owls are just a ways outside the entry gate in the 15-foot high crook of a sprawling Live Oak Tree. The parents nervously perch in nearby trees, watching over their children while George takes their weekly photographs. We were invited to go with George to see the babies for this 3-week portrait update. After we crawled carefully under a raggedy old barbed wire fence we climbed the 15 feet up the ladder and cautiously peered down into the oakleaf lined nest cavity to see the 2 buggy eyed, fluffy white babies that were crowded together in that deep niche.

As much as I enjoy the experience and the memories of these creatures of God, I cherish the friends we’ve met along our camping adventures even more. Our Georgia, dulcimer-playing friends, Bobbie and Gene are 2 of those special friends! We met them several years ago, here in Moss Park when G was only able to get around in a wheelchair pushed cheerfully by his best friend and wife, B! He now rides his bike around the park and tells lots of stories about their times together. Our travels lined up once more and we spent time together here in Moss Park where our friendship began. Campfires, conversations, Sour Orange Pie and lunch out at the Catfish Place are now added to the growing list of not to be forgotten memories.

The condo is almost packed down and Sunday is moving day once more. From southeast of Orlando we’ll be moving northwest to Wekiwa State Park for 5 days. This weekend is the NBA All Star Basketball game in Orlando and the Daytona 500 races are running this weekend too. Getting around this town is never easy and dragging the trailer will not make it any better with these 2 mega events going on.