Orlando Summer Solstice

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I love the Spanish moss

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The well-manicured golf-course…

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and the wildness across the road

I am at a conference in Orlando which is held this year at a resort-like hotel with huge grounds and nearly impossible to leave without a car. So my usual habit of finding a store nearby and stocking up on snack foods in order to avoid having to buy lots of meals has been flummoxed. I did eat lunch in the restaurant downstairs and sat facing a window into the garden, where I was entertained by many many lizards who climb up the sides of palm trees and fences and do push-ups and extend some sort of red balloon under their chins (they are Brown Anoles, I have found out, and the flap under the chin is a “dewlap” or “throat-fan”). I took a walk before lunch through all the hotel-affiliated swimming pools, climbing walls, boat rentals. The pool where I had hoped I could swim laps in the morning is not designed for that, it is a sit-around-splash-around pool for folks to hang out by, alas. … Finally found a plain old path and listened to the birds- the crows sound different here, and the mockingbirds, who I’ve not heard much this year back home, were starting to sing again after raising their young, who I saw and heard acting out the learning stages of mocker-dom, when they don’t quite know what to say yet. And crossed the big boulevard to see the wetlands on the other side, a tangled prehistoric-looking wild place I did not want to venture into, being unfamiliar with Florida wildlife and not knowing whether I might run into an alligator or a poisonous snake. It is apparent, though, that it takes alot of effort to keep nature tamed and at bay here, and keep tourists feeling safe and secure. Today is the longest day of the year. Summer begins.

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A young hawk I saw on a walk Saturday morning (there at the tip of the dead pine limb)

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