Springing into Florida. Please brake for Alligators!

I call these Fuller Brush Flowers. They are everywhere.

Never met a Palm Tree I did not LIKE!

Florida landscape is enchanting!  Besides the myriad of Palms swaying in the wind, colorful bushes and flowers add to the splendor.  It is said that there are twelve species of Palms that are native to Florida, but I have seen scores of different types of Palms.  They must be vacationing in Florida!

Bird of Paradise flowers are grown in many yards.

This is a bottle tree reminiscent of those in Louisiana! They keep away bad things!
How gorgeous these are! They are about four or more feet tall! I believe they are a variety of Yucca!
One of my favorite Palms!
A woman tends this yard every day. This is only one of her plantings!

Love in the Ponds!

Flowers are blooming but the hearts of alligators are pining for mates. This time of year we see a lot of them. Here are two pics of visitors.

Back yard visitor!
This little friend stuck his head out to say hello!

The Flowers are Hot!

The Alligators are Hot!

And the housing market is so hot it is burning up!

RV homes on our street sell within a couple of days. Million dollar houses sell in a week. We visited about five new developments in New Smyrna (Yes, that is a biblical name.) in an area called Venetian Bay last week. The cost of the houses ranged from a couple of hundred thousand to a million or more. We took a tour of two zero-line homes that were built back to back. See below.

They are not condos but look like them. Cost is about $300K and they were very nice. Constructed of cement blocks and energy efficient, we thought they were priced well. The only problem is that the views are of dirty ditches and cement.

The front of one of the homes. They were quite inviting.
The homes we toured actually shared a wall. This photo I took shows a little grass in between homes.

The Hot Story!

So many people want to move to Florida that building supplies are running low. The agent we talked with said that he could not sell any more houses because supplies to build new ones were not available. A gated higher-end area reported that all the lots were sold and they no longer had models. Building materials have gone up more than 179%.

Sugar Mills in Florida

Yes, sugar cane was processed at these mills. Slaves did the dirty work and risked their lives to process the hot syrup. But most of the sugar did not end up on the table. It ended up in bottles of Rum! Who da’ thought! And that is what made the business so tasty and successful.

We discovered this mill in New Smyrna.

Henry Cruger and William dePeyster owned this mill and a nearby saw mill around 1830. After researching this mill for quite a while I could find little information online about it.

These iron vats were steaming once upon a time.

Florida has done a great job of preserving many historical sites. The above mill was burned down in 1835-1836 by Seminoles who had been attacked by the American government. Its founders fled. A local farmer appropriated much of the machinery left behind.

Beach Art

Strolling along the Canaveral National Seashore

Breakfast on Indian River

There are more pics in this blog than words. This is because the company who owns WordPress decided to shake down users. They took away the software that I had been using for almost a decade. Two graduate classes prepared me to work with WordPress software. Now that is gone. If you understand the construction of websites, you will understand Plug-ins. Now we must purchase a Plug-in to enable the old software for a cost of $300, a new purchase of a premium (costly) theme, and more. They have replaced it with a cranky, unresponsive “Blocks” software. And, they have taken away my administrative abilities with the site.

My first reaction to this breach of our relationship was hysteria. It is not like we haven’t paid other fees they charge us. What was I going to do? I have three websites and the cost would be more than $1500 to maintain them yearly. One website alone has more than 120 posts.

I could find another “free?” blogging website but, then, it could happen to me again. (While they say it is free, you create it yourself.) They could take away the software. I thought that I should start copying all of my work to save it? I could create the blog in Word with pics. Save it as a PDF and then send it out to people. The problem is that there are many people who follow this blog on the web that I do not know. And web presence would vanish!

I kept looking at the software and thought I would try to use it. It is clumsy and annoying, but I managed to write this blog. Hopefully my skills will improve.

As I have said to a few people in Florida, I understand why the government wants to control the Tech Giants–because they control us!

Hope all of you are safe. Hopefully this awful pandemic will leave us soon!

As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge

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