At least one nearby live oak is about 350 years old. It lives where many trees have been cut down recently to make way for a large, upscale housing development just off the bike trail.
Although most of the trees on the land were felled to clear land for houses, developers left this 350 year old tree intact. They put up a sign extolling its virtue. I suppose they want us to think they care about the environment. Sadly, compared to some slash-and-burn developments popping up along the trail, these people actually ARE the environmentally right-on alternative in this area.
However, unlike the slash-and-burn subdivisions, this development is building big new houses right up to and facing the trail; that is, no privacy fences.
Before you start thinking about how much you hate privacy fences, let me say this. This particular development has a large pond on the property, AND this development is built right alongside Lake Apopka. Considering the number of alligators in that lake and (no doubt) in the pond, I don't think I'd want to live in a house without a protective fence. If you think I'm overreacting, let me just say the Fish and Wildlife people had to move a large alligator off the bike trail in that area just a couple of months ago. For some odd reason alligators are not respectful of private property and think they can go wherever they want...
AND the developer turned the houses around so the front is facing the trail. The other developments that build along the trail put the back yards up against the trail and then put up fences. Yes, these homeowners can sit on their front porches and watch the bikers ride by a few yards away. Aack!
I miss the shade those felled trees provided. It is super freaking hot and relentlessly sunny down here. I am an overweight oldster huffing and puffing my way up and down the trail. I could use some shade. But I must confess I don't really like people sitting on their porches watching me bike past. I am probably being overly sensitive, but it creeps me out.
I know, I know, as if those people are thinking about me at all! I am not all that interesting unless you enjoy judging chubby older women. Then I can guarantee you I am absolutely fascinating.
I should take that high road and imagine they are cheering me on for biking against the odds. Or, I might consider this an opportunity to practice my retirement goal of not giving a damn what other people think.
Maybe tomorrow. Today I noticed about 5 more houses going up in that development, once again right next to the trail. In a few days the beauty of that parcel of land will be just another memory.
|This is the real Florida, not a gated community in sight. Don't worry, it is at a state park so it can't be developed. I'm almost sure of it!|