Florida Again

A family feeding the peacocks at Magnolia Park. I had heard the peacock's caterwauling as they prepare to roost for the night. But I had never heard the sound like a Volkswagen's horn they make when the children got too close.

A family feeding the peacocks at Magnolia Park. I had heard the peacock’s caterwauling as they prepare to roost for the night. But I had never heard the sound like a Volkswagen’s horn they make when the children got too close.

Our first camping this trip was at Suwannee River State Park due to its close proximity to family.

Our first camping this trip was at Suwannee River State Park due to its close proximity to family.

Mikkey usually prefers to sleep with Mom, but Mom is constantly rolling over or getting up.....

Mikkey usually prefers to sleep with Mom, but Mom is constantly rolling over or getting up…..

I had not intended to blog about Florida again because we are, as usual, spending the winter here.  The biggest treat is having time with family.

Unfortunately, I had to do a factory reset on my phone and haven’t downloaded all the photos yet.  I’m waiting for our next data cycle.  So there will be no photos to share of the lovely 80 degree Christmas celebrated in shorts at Gail’s screened porch.

So when Mom wiggles around too much, Mikkey heads for Daddy's bed.

So when Mom wiggles around too much, Mikkey heads for Daddy’s bed.

So I’ll just share my available photos taken at random, and let the captions tell the story…. which is, it’s CHILLY down here now!

BTW, our water pump went out and our toilet needs replacing.  I have them ordered and Gail and I will do the mods when we get back to her house in a week or so.

Lake Apopka is a big lake bordered by vegetation that provides a perfect habitat for many aquatic and semi-aquatic critters.

Lake Apopka is a big lake bordered by vegetation that provides a perfect habitat for many aquatic and semi-aquatic critters.

Next was O'Leno Park--because it had available sites. Then Otter Springs. The spring is a black water hole in a cypress swamp. But it gave us a place to stay till our next reservations were available.

Next was O’Leno Park–because it had available sites. Then Otter Springs. The spring is a black water hole in a cypress swamp. But it gave us a place to stay till our next reservations were available.

Otter Spring did have one nice feature... an indoor heated swimming pool.

Otter Spring did have one nice feature… an indoor heated swimming pool.

While we were at Suwannee River State Park, I found my first ever Albatrellus mushrooms. I originally identified them as sheep polypores, but discovered they do not grow this far south.  All I know is that they are both Albatrellus polypores.

While we were at Suwannee River State Park, I found my first ever Albatrellus mushrooms. I originally identified them as sheep polypores, but discovered they do not grow this far south. All I know is that they are both Albatrellus polypores.

As much fun as an Easter egg hunt!

As much fun as an Easter egg hunt!

You never know if you will be sensitive or allergic to even good mushrooms. So this was my sample. After 24 hours I knew they were okay to eat. To be honest, they were slightly bitter and not very good. But I relished my discovery anyway!

You never know if you will be sensitive or allergic to even good mushrooms. So this was my sample. After 24 hours I knew they were okay to eat. To be honest, they were slightly bitter and not very good. But I relished my discovery anyway!

So now it's winter in Central Florida, but still heavenly compared to home!

So now it’s winter in Central Florida, but still heavenly compared to home!

This pond was covered with thick, scummy duckweed last year. This year we discovered they had found an elegant solution to the problem.

This pond was covered with thick, scummy duckweed last year. This year we discovered they had found an elegant solution to the problem.

But winter in Central Florida doesn't really mean winter. :)

But winter in Central Florida doesn’t really mean winter. 🙂

Ron trying to find a spot out of the wind. Note the wind blowing the Spanish moss around.

Ron trying to find a spot out of the wind. Note the wind blowing the Spanish moss around.

Suwannee & an Extinct Town Named Columbus

Suwannee River State Park is situated where the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers merge on their way to the Gulf.

Suwannee River State Park is situated where the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers merge on their way to the Gulf.

We are really enjoying our stay here.  There is so much to see, and the walking is doing me a world of good.

Old sawmill site and remains of a small steamboat paddle wheel from the town of Columbus that was situated here in the park.

Old sawmill site and remains of a small steamboat paddle wheel from the town of Columbus that was situated here in the park.

Gail and Mike moved to a hotel when she was so sick.  She is bouncing back, and is already missing camping here in the van.  That’s hardcore!  😀

They close on the house Thursday, and we’ll head to another campground until the 24th to give them time to settle in and for Gail to recuperate.  Then we’ll driveway camp at their place for a few days before heading somewhere else after the 1st of the year.

I'm not sure what this is.  It looks like tracks from a very narrow gauge railroad with train wheels on it.

I’m not sure what this is. It looks like tracks from a very narrow gauge railroad with train wheels on it.

I bought some miniature Christmas decorations for the Casita today.  Will plan to put them up tomorrow after we visit with Mom.

Oh, I got reported for being a bad dog mom today.  We had gone out for a late lunch, shopping, then stopping in to see Gail and Mike.  We got back right after sunset around 5:30 or 6:00.  The new neighbor next door told me that Sunny was clawing at the door and making distressed sounds, so he reported us.

Confederate defensive earthworks situated across from where the two rivers merge.

Confederate defensive earthworks situated across from where the two rivers merge.

I know that as Sunny’s health declines, he sometimes has panic attacks.  I thought he would be okay inside the trailer with Sheba for company.  Apparently no more, though. So I will have to take him everywhere with us from now on.

He is not using the puppy pads that I place strategically on the floor.  So I think I am going to have to set the alarm to get up in the middle of the night and take him outside for a walk around the campsite so he doesn’t wet on the floor.

The town of Columbus had around 500 residents.  Their old cemetery had 4 separate enclosed areas.

The town of Columbus had around 500 residents. Their old cemetery had 4 separate enclosed areas.

I have thought about when it might be time to have the vet put him to sleep.  But he still loves his walks, loves being around us, and loves eating, so he still is enjoying his little doggie life.  So it’s not nearly time yet.

BTW, no one stopped by to check on the dogs, so I imagine the Ranger saw our truck parked out front and no dog noise coming from the trailer, so he probably just drove on.  I’m guessing that’s what happened anyway.

There were a lot of children's graves and a couple of babies' graves.  This tiny headstone has a symbolic cut off tree monument.

There were a lot of children’s graves and a couple of babies’ graves. This tiny headstone has a symbolic cut off tree monument.

Another area

Another area

Another enclosure

Another enclosure

Cemetery

Cemetery

This person must have been much loved and must have loved the beach. The grave has its own enclosure, and it is lined with conch shells.

These two graves were the only ones that weren't in a fenced in enclosure.

These two graves were the only ones that weren’t in a fenced in enclosure.

Sheba patiently waiting while Mom takes photos.  It was a bad time for photos--midday--but that's how imy day worked out.  :)

Sheba patiently waiting while Mom takes photos. It was a bad time for photos–midday–but that’s how my day worked out. 🙂