Nov 15, 2018: Sign up for a guided tour of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Cracker style home and farm, where she wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Yearling and other wonderful works of fiction. Her home has been restored and preserved as it was when she lived here. Our private tour will be led by Ranger Geoffrey Gates.
Park Manager, Scott Spaulding, who will then take us through the wild hammock to the marsh of Orange Lake. Scott is a 30 year Park Dept. veteran with enormous knowledge of native plants as well as invasive plants.
We will eat at The Yearling Restaurant, which offers catfish, frog legs and other regional fares.
Florida Scrub-Jay Trail
December 4, 2018: Pam Powell is taking over as VP of Field Trips. Pam has lived in Florida for 30 years or so. She has planned December 4 outing to the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail in Clermont in Lake County for a nature walk. The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail is dedicated to increasing awareness of the need to restore habitat for scrub-jays, gopher tortoises and native plant species.
May 5, 2018: Green Isle Nursery, 11303 SR 33, Groveland, Florida 34736
De Leon Springs State Park
April 30, 2018: De Leon Springs State Park is a 625 acres park is a spring overlooking beautiful Spring Garden Run, producing 19 million gallons of water a day at 72 degrees year-round. We were guided by Ranger Sloane through a Butterfly Garden that has about 500 plants for the butterflies and hummingbirds. We took a leisurely stroll on the one-half mile paved Nature Trail to see the 600-year-old cypress tree and took a boat trip through the springs. We had lunch at the Sugar Mill Restaurant located in a 100-year-old replica of the original 1830s sugar mill, where you can cook your own pancakes at the table.
Oh, what a wonderful day we had! A little cool but made the field trip nice and refreshing. Birds were singing and making their nests, alligators were basking and the manatee were floating and minding their own business. The spring is so clear you could see the gar, sunfish and the turtles. Jim, was our ranger for the day and what a brilliant person he is. He led our group around the beautiful boardwalk that hugs the banks of the springs. Blue Springs is the habitat for a least 15 threatened or endangered plants and animals. This was a great trip!
Blue Springs State Park,2100 West French Avenue, Orange City, Florida
April 16, 2018: Blue Spring State Park has the largest spring on the St. Johns River and is a designated manatee refuge in the winter. The park covers more than 2,600 acres and we were guided by Ranger Darrell Thomas through the springs and park. The park was a hotbed of steamboat activity, shipping tourists and goods to Jacksonville in the 1880s. “The Forgotten Mermaids”, an episode of the Underwater World of Jacques Cousteau, was filmed here in 1971.
February 22, 2018: This was a great trip. The weather was perfect, the park gorgeous and we had an interesting leader. We saw many plants with winter interest and learned a lot about park history and habitats. Wekiva Springs State Park
Creative Garden Structures
March 8, 2018, 9 AM: Creative Garden Structures has re-opened their store – they provide bee, bat and bird boxes and cedar furniture.