Monday February 26th 2018
It was a beautiful warm day in central Florida. Some locations in the area experienced record high temperatures in the high 80s. I got rather obsessed with the cloud patterns this afternoon. Most of the pictures in this blog entry are of the sky.
Most of my day was spent enjoying the State Park. I walked through the campground and out to each of the lakes (big ponds) that border the campground. I didn’t see very many wild creatures, but heard owls and frogs. A circling turkey vulture and a squirrel or two were the extent of the visible wildlife. On the domestic animal front lots of people were walking dogs and one little mutt was getting pushed around in a stroller. I spent a couple of hours just watching the water in the lake.
During the middle of the day I left the state park to see what’s changed in the area. This is familiar territory. I spent the winter of 2015 in Davenport, just south of here. I was last in this area in the fall of 2016. The first reminder was just how heavy the traffic is with all the snowbirds in the area. There was always several cars backed up at each stop light. Most of the cars were from northern states. In between the traffic lights it was a combination of drag race and dodgem without any real contact that I saw.
The road in front of the park was under construction in September of 2016. It is still under construction. It looks like it is very close to finished. I don’t understand why it takes so long. Both lanes of traffic are currently sharing the northbound side. Getting out of the park can be a long wait for a break in the traffic.
I drove south about ten miles looking for major changes and to confirm my intent to return to the area for a month or two next winter. New housing developments have filled in some of the open areas and more development is getting underway. Near Interstate 4 there is a huge new warehouse that is labeled “Walmart.com”. The facility seems to be dedicated to Walmart’s online efforts. There were a few other new construction efforts that remained unidentified. Overall I didn’t confirm or dismiss my idea of spending time in the area next winter.
With Walmart in mind, I stopped to do some shopping for groceries and a few other things. Walmarts in this area do a good job reminding you of the location. The entire front of the store near the registers are full of Disney merchandise. I didn’t buy any. Other than sunscreen everything I bought was in the grocery category.