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Water, Wings and Wild Things

In January Mark and I accompanied Melissa, a ranger from Avon Park, to an event called “Water, Wings and Wild Things” in Lakeland, Florida. Circle B Bar Reserve hosted this educational, hands on, nature experience for 2,700 2nd graders from Polk County Florida. Our Avon Park AFR table was set up near the back of the reserve and children came by in small groups to learn about Avon Park and how we age deer. Melissa brought a deer skull and several jaw bones of varying ages. Using these, she demonstrated how deer are aged based on their jaw bone. The children were then able to examine the jaw bones and guess which one was the oldest.

There were representatives at Circle B Bar from several state and county parks, aerospace centers, Audubon societies, children’s museums and clubs. 54 learning stations were set up throughout the reserve so although there were busloads of 2nd graders, not all of them made it to all of the tables. By our count, we saw 300 eager, excited, enthusiastic 7 and 8 year old children at our table. We were there til early afternoon and it was a beautiful, sunny, Florida day for it. Circle B is an interesting area with lots of hiking trails and would definitely be worth a day trip for hiking, bird watching or picnicking!

On another day, we finally visited Lake Placid, Florida and saw its amazing murals for ourselves! We had heard that it was a must-see while we are in this part of Florida. For such a small town, with a population of approximately 2,300, it has a big reputation for being a “town of murals.” Also known as the “Caladium Capital” of the world, it is said to produce about 98% of the worlds Caladium bulbs.

There are 47 murals painted on buildings throughout the town. These murals range in subject matter from wildlife to religion, caladiums to cattle and there are historical themes and clown murals as well.

All of these murals have been painted by Florida artists who submitted their ideas to the Lake Placid “Mural Society” for consideration. At the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce we watched a 10 minute video about the town. The Chamber also sells a printed map/guide to the murals.

Throughout the Chamber of Commerce building there are paintings on the walls of each of the murals. The artists submitted these small scale paintings before completing the wall-sized murals on the buildings.

We would definitely recommend spending a day in Lake Placid if you are ever in South-Central Florida.

Just a little update on the Old Glory progress…Mark was able to get the motor and fan replaced in the bathroom vent. He also replaced the grey tank vent cover on the roof. Next up is the signal booster for our TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System.) The TPMS for the RV tires has been dropping its signal when we are towing so we found a booster that Mark can install in the front storage compartment of the RV. Based on Facebook group information, this is a quick and effective “fix” for our problem.

Stay tuned for our February Florida Fun! We’ll be posting more soon to include the preparation for a Wild Game Dinner, so check back often or sign up below for our email list to be notified when we post. Thanks for reading!