Sunday Walk To Fern Hammock Springs @ Fort McCoy, FL

This cluster of vents is located at the back of Juniper Springs Recreation Area. Always best to visit when the park opens. The morning silence gives way to Cardinals, turtles and hikers.

More information check out;

http://www.flsprings.com/content/fern-hammock-springs

Trolling for donuts off 46 – Sanford, FL

Every now and then, something had come along that emotionally connects to you, just like ring on your finger or a pair of sunglasses. Sometimes those items had been edible, like corn dogs, bacon, and french fries. Though, most of best tasting eats hadn’t been all that good for you anyway. For that reason, I had been trying to steer clear of sugary goodies. After all, sugar had been the devil. For energy for exercise, I had been front loading the bulk of calories in the morning with various healthy selections.  After a while, I had started to feel more like a robot. In an effort break that fatigue, to feel like a human being, it had been important in hitting the road in pursuit of an indulgent treat. This past week, a friend had mentioned just such a treat, in this place down in Sanford, FL, off 46.

Early Tuesday morning, I had coerced a fellow coworker to hit the road in search of donuts. Now these donuts had been talked up as some kinda of amazing. How many unique awesome things had I experienced out of Sanford, Florida. There had been that meteor shower and  those planetarium shows, but you can’t eat those. So traveling up in the passenger seat, scanning for sugary goodness, my eyes had fallen on this tiny plaza sign for Donuts to Go 2. Hmm, maybe they had good coffee, maybe not. Walking into the store, my view had  immediately been drawn to the display case of confectioneries. Krispy Kreme and Donut Donut had their place, whether on a morning trip or a cold winter night; However, this had a different seductive appeal. The difference had been the eclectic blend of  flavors lining each level and row.

Looking at the woman behind the counter, I had said “Orange Creme, Maple Bacon and Peanut Butter filled Chocolate glazed, to go please.” Unable to wait, I had devoured the Orange Creme almost whole. Then I had known, at $1  a pop, time for vacating the premises before a sugar overload. I had needed to leave while consuming one, and only one donut. I had figured time for enforcing a calorie dispersion strategy. This had meant  sharing with other coworkers. My giddiness from visiting this shop, sugar aside, had been finding food, so flavorful and rich, for so cheap.  If these beauties hadn’t enticed you too, maybe time to check your pulse. Sure, sugar had been the devil, but “Ever dance with devil in the pale moon light?”

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Read more:

Donuts To Go 2 (Google+)

Little Manatee River State Park Hiking Trail – Wimauma, FL

Little Manatee River State Park’s hiking trailhead had been north of the main park entrance. With a left off a dirt road, you could easily had missed it on north 301. During this trek, rain had saturated portions of the ground. The pathways had still been manageable. For a hike over 6 miles, it had provided a diverse range of greenery, waterways, and life forms.

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The first 2 miles of the trail had been marked by pine trees, sand and palms. About 2.5 miles in, the dry trail had given way to flooding. If you had been trying to keep your shoes clean and dry, good luck! Getting beyond 3 miles, a considerable portion of the trail had been underwater. Logs and branches had been the primary means to circumnavigate sinking further into muddy waters. Animals had been extremely active in digging up dirt everywhere. I had thought armadillos or forest rangers, until viewing a paw print, wild hogs. Grunting 30 feet away, one pig had startled me to the point of taking my breath away. In total, I had seen three wild hogs moving through the forest. The last 2 miles, the trail had run as close as 4 feet parallel to the river. With the afternoon rain, I had been extremely concerned about snakes being flushed from hiding. Combining this with the overgrown brush and a deluge, a sense of vulnerability had been present.

Close to the end, I had lowered my guard for a moment clearing the path with a walking stick. Almost immediately I had inadvertently run into a spider web. The web’s banana spider had then fallen onto my shoulder. At that point, I had thought, “I’m fraked!” Fortunately, I had instantly flung the insect back onto the ground while moving along in the rain. Some say these golden silk orb-weavers had been harmless; however, with a second major run in with a banana spider, I had queried and posted their toxicity courtesy of Wikipedia.

“The venom of the golden silk orb-weaver is potent but, not lethal to humans. It has a neurotoxic effect similar to that of the black widow spider; however, its venom is not nearly as powerful. The bite causes local pain, redness, and blisters that normally disappear within a 24-hour interval. In rare cases, it might trigger allergic reactions and result in respiratory troubles (in asthmatics) or fast-acting involuntary muscle cramps. As the genus possesses relatively strong chelicerae, the bite could leave a scar on hard tissue (such as fingers).”

For this excursion, I had suggested procuring convertible pants from Bass Pro Fishing shop ($30), a hat, a walking stick, bug repellant, and waterproof case for any electronic device. With respect to primitive camp site, it had some benches, a fire ring and a good clearing. For this portion of the Florida trail, I had recommended to any experienced hiker. It had made for a fun and challenging afternoon.

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More Information:

Little Manatee River State Park Hiking Trail (www.floridahikes.com)

golden silk orb-weaver aka banana spider (www.wikipedia.org)

Little Manatee River State Park – Wimauma, FL (www.garzafx.com)

Frak (www.wikipedia.org)

Little Manatee River State Park – Wimauma, FL

With 2,433-acres, Little Manatee River State Park had offered many recreational options, including the periodic chance to see a manatee. With so much square area, park facilities (i.e. restrooms, boat launch, playground, etc…) had been adequately spaced out. In all my visits to Florida State Parks, their picnic areas had been the only ones with screened in areas for avoiding bugs and other small creatures. The only compliant of this trip had been the lack of signage for getting onto the Little Manatee River State trail. For a good half hour looking for a way forward, I had walked around another trail parallel to the river. Recreational options that had attracted my attention; primitive camping, canoe rental, and a family seasonal pass. Primitive camping sites had only cost $20 but, check for availability. For a four-hour canoe rental, seating two people, this had been $15. The annual Florida State Park pass for $120 had been my favorite. My friend and I had purchased this option for the scope of covering parking fees, admission and one guest’s admission across any of the Florida State run parks. Big thank you to Linn, the park ranger that had described the above options with real enthusiasm and sincerity. Despite overcast weather and a little misdirection, I had enjoyed this excursion into Wimauma, Florida.

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More information:

Little Manatee River State Park’s 1ST ANNUAL BACK 40 MUSIC FESTIVAL (Saturday, October 12th,2013)

Little Manatee River State Park

215 Lightfoot Rd, Wimauma, FL 33598

Phone: (813) 671-5005

Kennedy Space Center with Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit – Titusville, FL

Few years ago I had visited Kennedy Space Center in Titusville. The general reaction to the park had been a fun, positive outing at K.S.C. Though like an automated manufacturing process, the exhibits had completed their tasks of presenting historical media and other facts with an unemotional dated precision. For any Floridian, we had already seen visual spectacle with Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures and Disney. On the other hand, Seaworld and Busch Gardens, had tapped into raw emotional connection between animals and people.  With Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit, K.S.C. had changed their game with inspiring visuals, grandeur and even a slight of hand trick.

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The first presentation of the Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit had been a dramatization following the twelve year creative process to bring the shuttle program to flight. How many of us had worked on anything outside of kids and marriage that long? Once this film ended, people had moved to another auditorium. Projected on the unique multi portion screen had been the lush greenery around K.S.C. with the first orbiter in the backdrop. The thundering launch kicks off a montage of various Nasa history and animated rendering that had been blended through the various screens. Periodically, I had to twist my body left-right, back and forth to keep up with all the moving space born objects. By the end of the movie, I had deeper appreciation for the size of these vehicles and monumental tasks of moving them to a live launch. Don’t get emotional much, but definitely it had plucked my heart string on the nationalistic tip.  This movie had complimented the size of shuttle with its supped up exhibit hall. This side of KSC had been worth seeing again. To that end, it had been time well spent on a Saturday noon.

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More information:

Kennedy Space Center

Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit

Titusville, FL (wikipedia)

Another Petty’s Night: Part 1

The value this go around from Petty’s Meat Market was three evenings worth of quality dinners and dessert, price tag: $70.00.

Here are master shots of the main entrees and desserts.

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Night one was composed of the following food:

1) New York Strip  (8 oz.) that had been pre-marinated. This was divided into two (4 oz.) portions with coating of Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Garlic Powder. Both portions were cooked on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

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2) Dry Sea Scallops (4 total) were seasoned again with Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Garlic Powder on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

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3) Twice Baked Potatoes (2 portions) brushed with Olive Oil were heated at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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This had produced two plates of food which left leftovers for the following day.

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4. Served on the side was pint of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA (Indian Pale Ale). The pint was more than enough for two cold glasses. This ale was a nice accompaniment to the scallops and strip. However, I have been a bit bias toward the Sierra Nevada brand since a road trip to Boston, MA in 1995.

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Following dinner on night one were these two desserts;

5) Berry Burlee (1 portion) was served as-is. It was not overly tart but, just enough blend of sweet and creamy.

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6) Following the above had been a Lobster Tail Pastry. This was over indulgent piece of pastry loaded with cream. Perhaps had it been on its own, it might have been more enjoyable. The Berry Burlee was superior in texture and taste.

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More Information: Petty’s Meat Market, Longwood, FL