As you no doubt know, I’m a passionate environmentalist and advocate for wildlife.
And because we’re in such dire straits right now as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I was quite happy to get a bit of nature news in my inbox just now. Some “feel good” news and I’m more than happy to pass it along.
An outdoor enthusiast passing through the Ocala National Forest a few weeks ago came upon an abandoned black bear cub on a dirt road.
The conflicts which have been called the “Vietnam Wars” of that time.
More about the fighting spirit and resistance of great Seminole chiefs like Osceola, Micanopy and Billy Bowlegs?
I was quite surprised to learn how much the park and the recreated fort could inform and educate those who come to see and experience all of it.
My companion and I stayed for over three hours and tried to take it all in. I assure you, it was time very well spent.
This post is mostly focused on the recreated fort. I did get some good photos and those make a good template to put together a post that can give one a glimpse into what the park and the replica of the fort have to offer.
The banner photo is a view of the gate leading into the fort from the outside. The one below is of one of the stockades from the interior. This would be one of the locations where troops defending the outpost would be if the fort should come under siege.
Once you’re in the interior of the fort, the building you see below houses a fine and accurate exhibition of the fort’s history, down to the carpentry and construction tools which were used for such purposes in the 19th Century.
Another one of the things that caught my interest is pictured below. That’s the enclosure where gunpowder and musket balls–the ammo of the 19th Century–were stored.
The earthen floor–which you can’t see in this exterior shot–was about two feet below ground to keep the ammo cooler and more secure than it would be at ground level.
There is so much more about Fort Christmas Park and the Fort in particular that could never be conveyed in a blog post.
For example, there are many real, authentic out-buildings that illustrate what life was like for settlers here in Florida in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The photo below features just one of them.
I did capture a few interior shots that I think merit a place in today’s posting. I’m very keen to know more about about wood-burning stoves and some of the other furnishings found in the homes of that time.
If you’re in Central Florida or ever come here–for a visit to our beaches or ever-popular theme parks–I heartily recommend the Fort and the Park for anyone who’d like a glimpse into Florida History or get a taste of what life was like for our early settlers.
My fellow outdoor enthusiast and I made another trip to Orange County’s Fort Christmas park a couple of weeks ago.
It was another splendid trip, and I did have a chance to take some good photos.
When you visit Fort Christmas Park, there are so many things to see. It’s a park in the Orange county park system wrapped around a pretty authentic re-creation of the actual fort. Fort Christmas was active for a short time in the 2nd Seminole Indian War.
That’s a photo of that storied fort (as re-created) but the fort is only one of the reasons why making a visit to the park is time very well spent.
There are at least 15 out-buildings spread all over the park grounds and they shed light on what life was like for settlers in Florida in the late 19th to early 20th Centuries.
I’ll have more coming soon both about the fort, a very brief mini-history of the Seminole wars and why the fort came to be. And then a photo journal of all of the other things that lie in store for the park’s visitors.
Keep getting out to see some of the great outdoor spots in your neck of the woods. Every corner of America–and our entire planet, for that matter–has a thousand lovely places just there for the taking!
My traveling companion and I had a marvelous time at Blanchard Park on the east side of Orange County recently.
That outing was about ten days ago and it was a great morning in a wonderful and somewhat under-appreciated spot in the Orange County Parks system.
The banner photo was taken from the picnic area. We had staked out a good spot with a truly fabulous view of the “Little Econ” River.
By the way, the river’s full name is theEconlockhatchee Riverand it flows into the St John’s River, the longest in the Sunshine State.
Folks around here just call it the “Little Econ”, as you might imagine. A good part of its 54 mile length winds its way through eastern Orange County and there are several parks dotting its path.
Here’s a view of the river looking straight across the bank from our prime spot where we’d set up our camp stove and started to take photos.
I didn’t get too carried away with my camera that morning. But I did get a dozen or so shots worth keeping. Here’s one similar to the banner photo but not zoomed so tightly.
As most of my readers know, I usually take plenty o’ pix each time I get out into Nature’s Den. But the other reason we went to Blanchard Park that fine Tuesday morning was that it was a perfect opportunity to fire up that two-burner camp stove I love so well and make some pancakes and vegan sausage.
We enjoyed our late breakfast that morning and then moved on to another outdoor adventure. That was a trip about ten more miles out East Hwy 50 to the tiny town of Christmas, Florida.
Fort Christmas Park is another choice spot for Central Florida outdoor enthusiasts. But that will be material for another post on another day.
I just want to note as I’m closing that while we were making breakfast, there were two incidents where joggers who were zipping through the park stopped to tell us how awesome the smell of our pancakes were!
That and everything else about the morning was pretty cool. We’re most definitely going to make another trip to Blanchard Park in the near future.