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lakemarygazebo-2res It’s always fun to go to the Farmers Market on Saturdays at the back of the City Hall of Lake Mary. I went early to go get some of my favorite honey.  DSC09638res Frederickson Apiaries will be opening their own store and bakery in a few months. Will have to go for that grand opening! Orange blossom and wildflower are my favorites.  After walking around the many booths, I walked across the street to where they had opened a new shopping area.
The first store was Morris’s Market, they are carrying fresh produce, honey, meats, cheeses and they also do the Farmers Market with their own booth.
100_2356res There was a floral shop next door and I forgot to take the photo, but it had a beautiful courtyard in the rear packed with plants. Next to that was Coastal Gifts and Decor. 100_2366res
giftres There was jewelry, note cards, knick knacks with a flair for Florida seaside decor.  Next to that was Kristin Shaw’s trendy clothing boutique called, ‘sophie and trey’.  100_2367res Inside were reasonably
priced men andwomens clothing.  100_2368res Kristin organizes the once monthly, Paint The Towns. Now she is trying to organize artists for the Farmers Markets so they can display their wares on Saturday mornings. If interested, contact her, 407-324-5747.
The artists who were displaying were ‘Nine 2 Five’, Tina Pochedley who had beautiful handmade jewelry on her table, 100_2373res I apologize for having taken it from a distance.  She works with silver and precious and semi precious stones and does private parties. Her number is 407-467-8138.

Also on display was Shelia Golden who does wonderful animal paintings and collage and note cards, there are some on display at Coastal.  sheliares-1 contact:  http://www.sheliagolden.com
The last artist on the street was Randall Smith who does very cool robot paintings and robot figures.  100_2369res100_2371res
To check out his work:  To contact Randall:
RandallsRobots@aol.com. 407-923-2075
The artists are always good to talk to and as I always say, support the arts!
On my way back to the truck, I stopped at the SPCA booth and got a t-shirt for making a donation.  spcares spcares Remember, not only our artists need support so do the local animal service groups!
Walked past the Orchid Nanny,  100_2377res Though those orchids are gorgeous, I have a very deadly thumb with plants that need attention.  But I find inspiration everywhere and always have a fun time making abstracts out of the picture I took.
orchidabstract-1res sheilagoldeninspired-3res

Lucas Nursery on Slavia Rd. in Oviedo is a place full of too many choices. There are plants and trees, grass, more plants, bushes, pottery and even chairs and tables.  dsc02886 dsc02768 They

even have live lady bugs for sale! But I was not going for plants at this time of the year. I was going for the butterfly encounter which costs  $7.50, a bit pricey I thought.
I arrived at the encounter just before 60 small children were coming through, and though I was able to take many photos. I didn’t feel like I got my moneys worth as I felt the need to get out of the way as the butterfly rooms are actually not very large and have small pathways, so I spent maybe about a half an hour experiencing the nature. The kids seemed so sweet and eager to learn. And I listened in to their butterfly talk and the children were getting wonderful information by the employees which was an important talk about nature so kids could appreciate the surroundings.  There was also a local photographer inside with his equipment and he was busy focusing on a newly
hatched tiger swallowtail.  dsc02777 He said he sells a lot of butterfly photos. And there were plenty all flitting around. Zebra longwings, monarchs, swallowtails and they had the most adorable petite quails called button quail. resizequail they were way too fast and secretive and did not want to be photographed! I so adored them! The plants were all over showcasing what could be used to appeal to the different butterflies for food and attaching their chrysalis to. dsc02809 The Butterfly encounter had a fantastic gift shop with all sorts of fun gifts and knick knacks. dsc05400
dsc05403 They had large net types of houses to buy and have butterfly encounters of your own.

The nursery itself was busy with people buying. The orchids at the front counters were so enticing, but I am a notorious house plant killer. dsc02881 It was good to finally see this business that has quite the reputation for having a multitude of plant and tree specimans. I can see why people are excited and can only imagine what it looks like when more things are in bloom. Within the Butterfly encounter, it is a slightly heated building so the plants looked vibrant, or maybe it was so alive because of all the colorful pairs of wings darting about.
I was drawn to the luna months which are big and fat and fuzzy and live off their stored fat, therefore, they don’t live long. (sorry, they were enclosed in mesh, so no pics.)  dsc05397 Here’s one of a luna caterpiller.
It was certainly a colorful morning and I took a number of what I thought were good shots. AND fishing was excellent and I caught a bass, but that’s tomorrow’s blog, one day at a time…or was that a soap opera?

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Ever get out the clippers and start trimming away at dead follage and suddenly, whamo, a sting here and there? Well, today I was out trimming the bird of paradise and bent over and there on the underside of the leaf was a good sized wasp nest inches from my head. Luckily I didn’t disturb them as the wind was blowing a lot and I think they mistook my motion for the breeze, It seems the wasps around here love the undersides of plants like this bird of paradise. I hate it when I’m gardening and get stung. Sometimes I don’t even think about it and get right under my plants and pull weeds only to find either the damn ants are attacking my feet and hands or bees are building some prime real estate. I did clip off that leaf and threw it in with the leaf trash as the wasps flew off. So the next generation on that particular leaf won’t be waking up to join the garden party of “let’s sting the the host”.  I see a few regular bees, but mostly these wasps who will make their nests on light fixtures outside or anywhere they just want to piss you off from. I had several near the front door where they would build and I would knock it down and they would rebuild and I would knock it down, and then I sprayed and that helped for a while. I guess you just have to accept that this is just about natures ‘natural selection’,  they seem to select places that I naturally appear…

  Gray, sunless morning. The morning of the impending cold front.
Right now it is very warm, (80’s) and very very muggy outside.
  Wings of gray have been fluttering among the humid mist.
The mockingbird always sings down my chimney to welcome in the morning.
The cranes have been down foraging in the sandy shoreline along the water. And,
the heron made a surprise appearance. It has to be about time for them to
mate and make their nests.  I am hoping to see more herons as it seems they have
been away and should be returning to keep their numbers going. I have not had a
heron standing close by as I fish for sometime now. But then again, fishing has been
quiet. Not even many turtles. Too much hydrilla and duckweed in water. The County is
trying to get us to add to our taxes by getting us to use a municipal bond to spray. 
Why can’t they offer a grant for windmills to stimulate the water, or grass carp and natural
cures without making it all about governmental add ons and pesticides? It is all about the
green and I don’t mean the trees and grasses. 
   The face of this small 13 acre lake changes each year. Three years ago there was an algae
bloom that looked like wooly clouds had fallen into the lake and were going to blot it all up.
And all the water creatures looked as if they were being starved of oxygen. Each day I would take
my rake and pull that thick sponge covering off to make sure the fish and turtles had a place to breathe. The thick glop would dry out and looked like cotton when dry. It was from all the run off by the gold course constantly fertilizing to keep it visually appetizing for the golfers. Plus many people use excessive fertilize, some have faulty septic tanks and it all adds up to lake pollution. That was the worst I have seen it.  Once the cold weather came through, the piles of algae sink to the bottom making it ‘nutrient dense’ which is another problem.
The winter of that thick algae bloom, the county got the owners of the culprit Lake next to us by
the golfcourse to take a municipal bond and they cleaned up the lake that feeds into ours.  It
made a big difference in the run off for us.  We have not had algae bloom like that in the past two years. But the non native plants are invasive and sink their roots in and grow with glee.
   This year I have a shoreline with lots of duckweed and spikey grass. Grass carp sure might fill the bill. But of course, we need permits and government okay. We do still have a few left over from
a time they introduced the sterile fish a few years ago. I heard the otters ate many. The County
has since told the owners of the lake with the municipal bond that they need more money for
spraying because it costs more. Of course that was going to happen, that’s government for you,
it’s always inflation and demand driving the price. I heard the spraying has been cut back a bit, wonder if they have watered it down even as compensation? There is still a film that seems to stain that lake near the canal that feeds downstream into our lake. It might be pollen, but sometimes it
looks like that familiar soft sheen of chemicals. We humans are awfully hard on our water sources.
   Isn’t it nice to escape the reality of human problems and the television drone of talk of politics, violence, and recession? All I have to do is look outside and something with wings or scales is busy gathering its’ creature needs. It seems so simple for them, just fend for yourself and your family. All species do this, but humans are much more dependent on everything around us. It is the complex simplicity that strikes me about nature, so easy and yet so complicated. How to eat and nest and survive the appetite of something else.  We do that too, but somehow our struggle seems almost egotistical driven, needs needs needs for the goods on demand. The creatures make it seem so unhindered: eat, shelter, reproduction, survival, they make it look like almost valiant as we humans sloppily struggle along. Ummm, sounds like a perfect excuse to go fishing, see ya later…

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