My Own Back Yard

This is my lake.  Technically, it’s not just mine, since it belongs to the neighborhood.  All of our homeowners association fees go toward the dock, which isn’t a bad thing to spend our money on.  I love this lake, so you, dear reader, are likely to see lots of pictures of it.  This morning, it had some kind of scum on it, so it isn’t as reflective as usual.  The lack of rain we’ve had lately is allowing algae to grow, but we are supposed to have rain tomorrow.  Hopefully that will solve the problem.

There used to be some big alligators in my lake, and I loved to watch them.  When people would kayak out there, the gators would leave them plenty of space, but there was one who would come to the dock every time a person was on it.  Apparently that’s a sign that they might turn aggressive, so someone came and removed them.  There are smaller ones out there still, but today, the only wildlife I saw was this squirrel, grinning at me while he posed for his picture.

There is a dock on the other side of the lake that never seems to be used.  It belongs to another neighborhood, which is not fully built yet.  Maybe they don’t allow boats to launch from their dock, but I’ve never seen a boat over there.  On our side, there are boats and kayaks galore, all man-powered.  Engines are not allowed.

As much as I complain about the weather in Florida, and as much time as I spend wishing for snow, it’s pretty hard not to appreciate flowers that bloom in January.  I’m not sure what this yellow one is.  I love the roses, though.  Usually we don’t get so many of the pink ones when it’s cooler, but this year they are blooming like crazy.  I love the rose hips, too.

Those are all oranges on the tree in my neighbors’ yard.  They also have banana trees, but those aren’t as pretty right now.   They tell me all the time that I can take as many as I want, but I can’t get the kids to go get any.  That’s okay.  They are the ones who love oranges.  I have another neighbor who has a Ruby Red Grapefruit tree that I did get the kids to help harvest just before our first deep freeze.  Right now I have four very large bags of Ruby Red Grapefruits, and to me, grapefruits are better than oranges any day.

One of the things that amazes me is that shamrocks seem to grow wild here.  I don’t know whether they are native, or whether they were brought here from Ireland, but they are all over the place.  The delicate flowers just pop out every once in a while.  It’s likely that these ones are because it was cold last week, so this week feels like spring.


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