Traveled to downtown Sanford to pick up some calendars, books and tote bags I had made and was selling at the Historic Sanford Welcome Center. Of course, I had to stop and take a look at what was happening down at the marina. And lucky for me , they were looking back.
Yesterday a storm was coming in over downtown Sanford, the waves were surging over the gators and since most are probably a couple hundred feet from shore, it was hard to capture a good gator shot.   But today I had a face that came right up toward me, if that seawall had not separated us, I would be in the belly of the beast!
There’s something wonderful about viewing these creatures as I have said before on my blog. Being that close, my telephoto could really delve into the crags of the ancient machine built for killing anything of any size with a pair of jaws that bring with it 3000lbs of pressure per square inch. The dinosaur dynamic still resides today on Lake Monroe and many other lakes in Florida. I have been very lucky to have never encountered one on my lake!

They say the reptile will reserve all it’s energy for waiting till a possible meal or mating. I have observed that the three gators just beyond the marina virtually stay in the same positions week after week, near a family of ducks. Natural selection I suppose. I know it has been gator season, and wonder, where are they laying eggs?

I have enjoyed watching as the grackles, terns, and other seabirds carry on valiantly around the threat. Though at one point today, the gator swam toward me and my camera and the water is shallow, but quite dark. It submerged and I lost track of the 8 foot mega reptile. Then about fifteen minutes later, the head once again surfaced, and even though I am protected from it’s jaws, it is still intimidating to think what that gator can do!
The face is not one you want to pet, but one you look at with great respect. The teeth reveal their intention, to drown and crush its’ prey.  The eyes today in their black void followed me as I snapped picture after picture and the reptile  didn’t blink.


The sky was a very boring shade of white/gray/blue with few clouds, more of  a monotonous color over the dark water. There is a rather sea water- kind of fishy smell up here. Didn’t spot anything dead. But did walk aways up and saw  a carpet of floating weeds where the grackles and moorhens were present and picking through. The few flowers were beautifully colored. They would look gorgeous in a big round bowl floating in clear water, but I wasn’t jumping overboard to get them.

I saw the huge water gauge next to the bird, the water was about a foot deep right there and the stick shows 12 feet. The level looks like my lake, needing about 5-6 feet of water.
There’s no shortage of fishing for people along the bank further to the west of the marina. Not even anyone fishing by the eagle statue.


Stopped by the farmers market that has begun on Wednesday nights from 5-8pm at Magnolia Square, but did not see a veggie. There were a few people in attendance and a guy doing acoustic guitar.
There was no moon, just lightning flashes about every minute, not the distinct bolt, only the overhead lighting, like  when the whole sky reveals broad light. My area did not get any rain, but heard some did get a good soak.
Now it’s Thursday morning. Woke at 5:15am and took out the trash and immediately saw why I must have waken. The moon! It was voluminous and golden and stellar sitting between the tree branches. I grabbed my camera and tripod and walked up the street in my pj’s as it was dark and there’s hardly any traffic in my neighborhood anyway. To tell you it was anything but a solemn prayer to the morning sky would be a lie. It commanded attention. Indeed, I got dressed and ran up to the golf course to catch the last fragments before it sailed away.  

    As I came inside to finish the blog, I looked out from time to time noticing the wind shifting, coming in strong from the east. When the sun showed up about 7:20, I went out to discover the strong acid smell of smoke from the wildfires consuming our drought ridden state. “Maybe today”, we all say to ourselves around here, Maybe today the rains will come. Even the sun over the lake this morning looked revealing, like the reflection was of  fire upon the lake.    The sky a hazy orange at first, which is now like yesterdays, a monotone, a boring overhead canopy suffocating us with smoke. I wonder how bad these fires would burn if people weren’t here. The fire fighters work each day to try and avoid the further burning of property.
What if ? Sometimes you wonder what it would have been like to have lived here among the indians?  How did they survive the mosquitos?  What did my lake look like back then? How did that moon and the wildfires affect them? How about when they went to the banks of Lake Monroe to fish, bathe and gather water — how many gators chomped down on innocent souls? I probably say this often, but it still makes me think about it.

In the early morning hours before a revealing sun, it’s easy to take yourself out of the era and wonder.  Of course I don’t reflect on all the lousy wars or ripping off of the indians,  I am just happy to “own” my little 1//2 an acre on Lake DeForrest which I still think should be renamed Abbe’s Lake since I truly enjoy the water almost every evening. Fishing sucks, but that still doesn’t bother me because it’s more than the fishing I enjoy.
My herons are grown and fly all over, but do come back to the nest each night. The baby crane flies too, but each night the family comes back to their marsh to sleep. Lots of osprey, hawks, crows, and even eagles from time to time, and that’s now, what was it like back then?
Right now I hear thunder it seems, the sky has turned a little darker – can it be? is it possible? I will let you know. On these dreary days I love the luxury of nostalgia. Will keep you posted if we get rain, I DO hear the rumbling and hope it’s headed this way – have a wonderful day  – give yourself a nature break today!

8:43 am- here’s the water gauge — (look at that spider, he’s huge) and here’s a look at the sky – cross your fingers…

Mowed the backyard and at 9:21am, sky looks like this, still threatening, no thunder, the sun came popping through from time to time…