coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tree Houses

Southern live oaks are remarkable trees, the ones you think of when you imagine the Deep South. They are tall, craggy, sprawling trees with Spanish Moss dripping from the sides.

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, u
nlike 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!



16 comments:

  1. Funny post!
    They are building them everywhere in Portland. Especially in the little centrally located village type neighborhood I got kicked out of. (a lot because of those houses). Only there they are built in the middle of blocks of tiny little post war, sometimes one story cottages. It's becoming david and goliath.

    Don't worry about chubby for god's sake...you are biking!! I can barely go out for a walk, I am that slothful. And the real Florida - is gorgeous. I will keep thinking of that photo all day as I pass the multi packed to the gills housing developments in this neighborhood.

    Soon there will be a over played news story about the one who entered someone's kitchen when the door was accidentally left open...!

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    1. That is the stuff of nightmares! My oldest sister tells a story about visiting a cousin of ours in Clearwater a few years back. My sister got up early and went out to the screened over pool where she saw a giant alligator sleeping right up to (but outside) the screened area. Without the screen it would have gone in the pool.

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  2. Keeping my fingers crossed you're right that the parks can't be developed.

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    1. Me, too! I figure eventually that will be the only green space left.

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  3. I am an old woman who moved to the country to enjoy the lush, beautiful look of the area. Housing developments are popping up all over and I fear that it won't be long before all the farmland is gone in favor of McMansions on small lots and traffic disturbing all the serenity that was once here.

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    1. Youngsters all seem to want new houses. I don't get it. These big new housing developments have so little character - and the big houses require expensive natural resources to heat and cool. Plus, our older neighborhoods could use some new blood and tender loving care.

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  4. Ah... trees... yes... they feel like true friends. Regarding subdivisions, etc... yes... I just don't know. When I was 8 years old, I got second prize for a poster I made about "zero population growth." Basically, we have a lot of people on this planet and more showing up all the time. A lot is happening right now on ol' Earth and I guess many souls want to be part of it. But meanwhile... yeah... if we all live "American style" there are not going to be a lot of trees... or land... or anything else. So much for us to face as a species. Will we? And when? We shall see. Yesterday I saw that China is going to reduce its meat consumption by 50% - or aim to. That's amazing. Meat consumption contributes far more to greenhouse gases than transportation does - but few know that. Sigh. So often I think that people do not have really helpful information. And without information you can't make good decisions about the choices available to you. Do people really understand the impact of how they live? Mostly, no. Do people know that Florida has a lot of alligators? Mostly, no. Do people know the value of trees and ecosystems? Mostly, no. Do people know that Florida has laws against solar? Mostly, no. Do people know that "politics" is in fact policy which is in fact personal. That policy shapes our experience of being alive, determines our choices, and affects our perspective. Mostly, no. Sigh. So more crappy policy happens. Being an educator I know that education can and should make a difference in this area - the number one thing being the cultivation of truly critical thinking in our people. But... that's hard... because mostly, existent formally organized anything does not like truly critical thinking. It is a pain in the butt. So... we continue. And find our respite in trees and water and mountains and sand and the sea. May we see their value. May we wake up to their worth. May we create policy that protects them for in fact they protect us. Namaste, ZC

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    1. Geez-o-Pete Tree! You have a lot to say. Why oh why don't you have a blog? Seriously. You should.

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    2. I do. Several, actually. Mostly for work. I am currently in a yoke of double trouble so the writing urge mostly leaks out in my comments. Heck, it would probably leak out, anyway, lol. I'm the aging single mom of a teenager with aging parents in poor health (one of them is currently in crisis). 56. Puts me at the tail end of the Boomers but I've always identified more with the cohort after me because I didn't graduate college till 88. Left for a while to wander then came back. My main blog is part of the advocacy work I do for my profession - Adult Education. I became increasingly involved in advocacy (as in for free) in the past 7 years, working 20 to 40 hours on it in addition to actual paid work, parenting, etc. Meaning, I didn't sleep enough. That, as you can guess, exhausted me and led to health problems of my own. I am currently in a "transition" phase where I'm doing much less advocacy work - and was hoping to get some rest in till this parental health crisis. Then I plan to start a new blog that will have a different focus. Have the name for it, got it on blogger, etc. I must keep up the old one because it has become something people turn to for information. But I'm not writing the pieces that I used to. Not often, anyway. Mostly just posting information. It's all been very growthful and exhausting. When I get the new one and up and running (as in actual posts on it, lol), I'll let you know.

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    3. I look forward to reading it. I hope you get some R&R soon.

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  5. For some odd reason alligators are not respectful of private property and think they can go wherever they want... ~Made me laugh out loud. We shall hold on to the hope that existing parks stay untouched. Sorry about your losing your shady trees.

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    1. Thanks. I feel pretty strongly about these old shade trees. It is currently 8:00 a.m. and 81 degrees with 85% humidity. By this afternoon it is supposed to be 97 degrees and who knows what the humidity will get up to? The more shade trees the better.

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  6. Trees are some of my favorite people:)

    “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb

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  7. Whenever I see a new development going up with names like Fox Run or Deer Run and I always say "Yes! Run deer run! Run as far away from people as you can!"

    People move into these places without ever thinking about all the wild life they have displaced. And then seen surprised when the wild critters still want a piece of their territory.

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So, whadayathink?