Tag Archives: Lake Eola Park

Orlando…My Childhood Favorites

9 Oct

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Orlando is a beautiful city, isn’t it? The art! The buildings! The entertainment! The culture! 

I am a native and have lived my entire life in Orlando and Winter Park. I was born in a wooden house that sat on blocks off of the Orange Blossom Trail. It sounds scary because it turned rough, but it was a nice and homey place back then in 1951. We ran the dirt roads barefoot and freely visited people and places along the way.

Then we moved to Ollie Ave in Winter Park. My home was one house up from the Dinky Dock Park on Lake Virginia, a few blocks from Rollins Collage and downtown Park Avenue. I  survived hurricane Donna in 1960 in that location. When we moved there we enjoyed swimming at the park. The first few nights we were there, we kept hearing people calling for help across the lake. It wasn’t really clear so we didn’t call the police right away. When we did, we told them of what we were hearing. The officers just laughed. We were hearing peacocks. Across the lake there was an area of peacocks people would enjoy driving to, stop and feed the birds. They were beautiful but loud.

Photo credit Pixabay

Then, we lived near the Winter Park sink hole. My dad once had a business in the building that was almost swallowed there. 

From the Orlando Sentinel

In May 1981, a sinkhole in Winter Park opened up gulping down 250,000 cubic yards of soil, five Porsches from a foreign car repair shop, the deep end of an Olympic-size swimming pool, chunks of two streets and a three-bedroom home.

On two separate occasions, I lived near Mead Gardens in WP. I have enjoyed this little park all my life. I still do. Just a peaceful little walk in Florida nature. Near that park is Leu Gardens. Another place to stroll. A beautiful place with many events.

Just around the corner from that is the Science Center and museum. Directly across the street from that is a nice art gallery that offers monthly featured artist and a sculpture garden. There is a lot of art and unusual little shops and cafe’s in that area.

And finally, not far away is Thornton Park, there are some quaint restaurants there and it is right next to Lake Eola Park.

Painting by DiVoran Lites

Lake Eola is one of my favorite places to not only photograph, but be a part of the magic it has to offer. The swans and swan boats come to mind when you think of it.

 The mornings are spectacular with it’s light reflecting off the buildings onto other buildings and create artsy reflections in the water. I am awe struck by these patterns and can’t stop photographing the abstracts I see.

Photo credit Pixabay

And of course the fountain with it’s changing colors and shooting water is gorgeous among the abstract collection of art and architecture. There are many birds and of course the white and black swans that swim so gracefully through the water patterns are all a part of this loved place. 

Lake Eola is such an inspiration for me as an artist and photographer. Below is a video I was inspired to create of the awesomeness of my childhood city I love. Come take a little tour with me and enjoy Orlando as art.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.

Geese

26 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

I don’t know much about geese.

I know they are big birds with attitude.

I know they are wild or domestic.

I know there are a lot of them in some places.

 

I know Daddy bought a goose

To fatten for Thanksgiving

And kept it in the shed.

I was supposed to feed it,

But I thought too much and let the goose out

Daddy sent the kids to look for it

All we found was a hut woven of willow branches

Among the willow bushes

Next to Grape Greek.

Inside we saw a mat on the floor

And a picture of a woman

With an old fashioned hair-do

Propped nearby.

When we got home,

Daddy was perturbed, but didn’t punish.

 

In a big lake in Orlando where swans live too

Geese challenge people for the right of way

And you have to stand up for yourself

After all, God gave dominion did he not?

 

In that park we saw a woman filling

A plastic bag with large white eggs

Goose eggs or swan eggs?

And taking them to an official looking car.

Where were they going?

Abundance

18 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

jungle divoranWhen we go to Lake Eola in Orlando, we always see something wonderful because the lake is home to black swans, white swans, geese, ducks, coots, turtles, and is a landing pad for sea gulls as well. Last week we saw two black swans building a nest on the ground using pine straw (dead pine needles put out by the park managers as mulch.) The female was inside the increasingly rounding nest putting beak fulls of pine straw around herself—that’s how she gets the nest to fit–while the male was gathering the straw in his beak and piling it up. Each time the female depleted her pile he brought another close enough for her to reach.

Last spring we walked past a tiny shallow pond with limited access to the lake. In it were at least two dozen baby ducks and one big duck for a baby sitter. This kept all the babies out of the clutches of anything that might hurt them until they learned to make it on their own in the big lake. I call it the nursery, of course. I can’t tell you how delightful it was seeing them all swimming around, practicing dunking and being free and happy in the sunshine.

I know it sounds kind of sad, but we’ve also seen a lady come collect many bags of eggs and take them to her official vehicle. The park isn’t so big, after all, about a city block in size. They take such good care of the birds there that if they let all the eggs hatch they’d soon be overrun with all the above. If I see that lady again this year, I think I’ll ask what happens to the eggs. Maybe they go to a place where more birds are needed or maybe they’re breakfast at the zoo (horrid thought, but perhaps necessary.)

God’s nature is like that. There is so much abundance we would never go hungry or have any shortages if we took proper care of what he has given us—and by that I don’t mean chemicals!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

¶ JAMES 1:17

1

Trade-Off

7 Mar

I think I may have discovered a hidden treasure. While visiting with a friend’s mom we began discussing books and this lead to writing which led to the discovery that she has been writing for years. Of course I pounced at the chance to have her as a guest on our blog. So today I am sharing with you  Louise Gibson, a friend and poet who has a delightful sense of humor Onisha

 

 

 

Trade Off

 

Pigeons are not on my list of favorite creatures

 

They destroy my peace of mind.

 

The feeder in my yard was dwarfed

 

By pigeons of every kind.

 

 

They came each day and flapped their wings

 

As they fought for a position.

 

The feeder was too small, you see,

 

Which affected their disposition.

 

 

 

My patio used to be a place

 

Of quietness and contentment

 

Until the pigeons came in droves

 

And filled me with resentment.

 

 

 

“Lord” I cried, “I need your help

 

I cannot stand their spats.”

 

The Lord obliged, to my chagrin

 

And sent instead eight cats.

 

 

 

No squirrels, no birds, they fled in fear-

 

The cats you see, do domineer.

 

Now you find no pigeons on Chipola

 

God sent them all to Lake Eola!

 

 

 

English: A flock of domestic Rock Pigeons (Col...

Downtown Orlando at Sunrise

Downtown Orlando at Sunrise (Photo credit: camflan)

The Last Free Childhood

12 Apr

Oh the freedom and joy of being a child in the 50’s.  We had our chores but then we were free. We rode our bikes without helmets, the wind flowing across our faces and through our hair. We rode with no hands and crashed. There were no government regulations to protect us. We learned that crashing hurts don’t do it.

We didn’t just play on our street, the neighborhood was our kingdom and we were free to roam from a pick up baseball game to hopscotch or just sit on a street corner and talk until dark.  My husband and his brothers would cross the railroad tracks in the morning and roam the woods until hunger drew them home. They swung from vines and built tree houses and forts. They even used machetes without  supervision. Did they get a cut or two?  Of course, but they learned to be careful.

Our parents didn’t worry. The neighbors kept an eye out and we each knew our mother’s bellowing yell and were smart enough to reply “COMING”, when she called. My parents didn’t worry about us being   kidnapped; we weren’t rich so why would anyone want us? My mother would say, ‘don’t worry, if anyone took you they would bring you back in an hour.” I was kind of offended. Surely they would keep me two.

My parents grew up on farms.  Even when they were small, everyday except Sunday was a workday. Neither went past the eighth grade. They were too valuable on the farm to waste time in school. When my siblings and I came along, we had a very different childhood.  We had a freedom I don’t think any generation has ever enjoyed or will enjoy in the future.

Growing up in Orlando, Lake Eola Park was where families spent Sunday afternoons. It was hard to get the three of us to sit still for very long.

 

 

Downtown or Sunday Will Never Be The Same

15 Feb

Mike, Rebekah and I went to downtown Orlando last Sunday. Our mission was to shoot video and pictures for Rebekah’s book trailers.

Usually Rebekah and I head off to Orlando for girl time but Sunday I invited Mike along as a courtesy. It turned out he was more than a courtesy he was our bodyguard.  Empty, dark  parking garages, closed restaurants and deserted buildings gave me the creeps.

I grew up in what I have come to think of as “the best of times”. The  50’s and 60’s. Sure we had the Cold War, duck and cover, Vietnam, riots and strife but a kid could play outside all day. In Orlando, we never locked our doors except at night when we put the hook and eye latch on. After school, I would have been a latch key child but the door wasn’t locked.

In high school, my sister in law to be and I would walk downtown to shop with no fear of being robbed or attacked. Walking through downtown last Sunday, I searched for signs of that gentler time. The only ones I could find were the public library and of course, the lake.

In the 50’s Lake Eola was THE place to be. It’s where you went on a Sunday afternoon. I imagine a lot of kids of my era have photo albums with pictures taken in front of beautiful flowers and foliage. Then the lake experienced a downtime. First the hippies came and then the homeless took over. Downtown wasted away.

Then downtown became cool again. Old homes were restored, the lake flourishes and downtown woke up. Well, except on Sunday afternoons.

If you would like to read a novel set in “new’ downtown  Orlando check out Summer Storms by Rebekah Lyn

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/summer-storms/18841461?showPreview

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