"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December Things

In December I bid farewell to my spot in McIntosh and will be away for almost a year. Farewell to morning sunrises,
To all the birds: my buddy the red-tailed shouldered (thanks, Birdie, I knew that) hawk who greeted me daily,
the stately wood storks,
 the new to me hooded merganzers, male and
the sand hill cranes, and others who entertained me there.
Farewell to my red-hatter friends from church. May the God bless you in the coming year.
Farewell to my favorite kayaking river too. I will miss it all, but will soon be off on a new adventure.
But first to Georgia to spend Christmas with my family. I found good kayaking at my campground here.
And other birds to watch. Coots on a foggy morn,
A gaggle of geese,
 and a lonely loon in his winter plumage.
My daughter and I got some face time on our iPads, lol.
 I enjoyed my granddaughter's performance in her Christmas Pageant.
 Ashley played one of the Wise Men, with a gift of Frankincense.
 Where she had a speaking and singing part.
 Of course it was fun to watch the other children too, like the shepherds. Pay attention to the little one....the nose,
 the mouth,
 the hand!
I had fun playing with friend Kaitlyn's Christmas puppy. Much as my children wanted me to, I did not adopt one yet.
 WE took the grandkids to Harlem. (Georgia, that is)
Made famous as the birthplace of Oliver Hardy.
Of course the grandkids never heard of Laurel and Hardy, so a trip to the museum was in order.
 Where we watched one of their short comedy films. The kids laughed, but if you ask them, it wasn't funny.
 The museum is filled with Laurel & Hardy memorabilia.

 Next we checked out the murals on Main Street.
The original mural on the old theater building.
 This time of year it's not the ordinary deer you have to watch out for at night.
One night we all visited the "Lights of the South".
 Acres of light displays. Everything from the Christmas nativity to fairy tales.

 One section was a tribute to the military.
 Spider Man
 Reflected flamingos,
 Lots of color...

 The swan was my favorite.
 Afterwards, a cold ice cream treat. Left to right, daughter Jennifer, son-in-law Rich, married to daughter Heather. Christmas is also their anniversary.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. From Bandit and me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tour

It started at the doctor's office. I had a long wait, so read the local Ocala Style magazine where I learned about a new Zip Line course soon to open just north of Ocala. Asked my two daughters if they'd like to do it. So left to right, daughter Jennifer with her two daughters Rebecca and Ashley, and daughter Heather. All the guys had to work or were still in school.
 Here we all are while waiting for instructions.
 The Zip course was created over old abandoned phosphate mines which create an unusual landscape for central Florida.
 Jennifer in her gear.
 Heather getting adjusted.
 Overlooking the canyon.
 First some training in how to brake and "self-rescue" if you brake too soon.
 Jennifer on her practice run.
 You have to climb some steps and cross a rope bridge to get to the first real zip.
 It's called a canopy tour because most of your time is spent in the canopy of the trees.
 Heather crossing the rope bridge.
 Rebecca takes off on the first run.
 Here comes her momma.
 Here comes Heather.
Up a series of steps and platforms to the next launch site.
 Looking back.
 Checking out the first zip over water.
 The fellow in the green shirt takes your picture as you go by.
 So, smile!
Then there's a short hike to the next zip. The guides teach us about the ecology of the area.
 Ok now, that's going to be a good one.
 This one's called "Breakout," because you break out of the trees over open water.
 Ashley and Rebecca overlooking the highest & longest zip, called Speed Trap.
 Another look at the Speed Trap.
 One of the guides goes first.
 Ashley getting ready.
 And there she goes!
 The sun reflected in the water below.
 Ashley's just a speck.
 Heather getting set.
 View from the other side.
 Here comes Jennifer.
 Some more stairs to climb.
 And hiking to do.

 Heather comes over the Meadow zip.
 Then Jennifer.
 Another climb.
 To the Skywalker Bridge.
 View from the middle.
 Heather coming across.
 Rebecca takes off on Mag1, the fastest zip and the last.

 Heather comes across.
 The next group waves from the rope bridge.
 Finally you must rappel down from the last canopy platform. There goes Rebecca.
 Ashley and Rebecca down below.
 Heather's next.
 Here she comes.
 Did we have fun up there in the trees? Ribbit.
I'd say we did.

Nine awesome zips, three hours. I highly recommend it to anyone planning to come to Florida. http://www.zipthecanyons.com/