Monday, January 4, 2016

December 15, 2015 - Lakeland & Celebration, FL

It was a very cloudy morning and Edith thought it might not be a good idea to go to Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, FL.  The weather report showed it will be partly sunny today, so she and Erwin decided to go ahead with the plan.

We arrived Circle B Bar Reserve around 10 am.  Circle B Bar Reserve was a cattle ranch originally and now is a great place for animals and plants.  An excellent place to see nature. We went to the visitor center first to get information and to get the map of the hiking trails.  All trails are easy and flat, most of them are shaded. Pets are not allowed on the property.

Feral Pig

We chose to go on Shady Oak trail which connects with Alligator Alley trail.  We did not see much while on Shady Oak trail, but started to see several animals, birds, ducks and alligators. The hikers informed us that there is a momma raccoon with her three babies down the trail.  A short hike later the mother raccoon was walking on the trail, getting close to us then went into the bush.  The babies were not around.

About 1/4 mile further we saw three baby raccoons in the tree eating berries.  They were good climbers.  We were hoping that the momma raccoon would come back and be with the babies, but she was still in the bush.

One of three raccoon babies eating berries
We decided not to continue hiking because it was past 1 pm and we were very hungry.  We contemplated on coming back and continued the rest of the trails after lunch. listed Catfish Country restaurant as #1, so we decided to have lunch there.  It was not too far from the reserve we just left.  Erwin had chicken tenders, rice with black beans, sweet potato and lemonade.  Edith went with coconut shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes with gravy, black eye peas and sweet tea.  Biscuits were very good.  Everything was cooked to perfection.  We will eat there again next time we visit Lakeland, FL.

Making faces!

Edith's lunch

Erwin's chicken tenders and side orders

We decided not to go back to Circle B Bar Reserve but elected to go visit Lake Morton near downtown Lakeland.  We had been there before and it is a great place to relax and watch the swans and different water birds.  We were going to walk halfway around the lake, but decided to continue on around the whole lake.  It was a very good walk and we enjoyed seeing the swans, ducks and geese up close.  There were eggs hidden in some nests in the tall reeds. There was one young Mallard duckling. It seems like that one was an accident? 

It was almost sunset and Edith went by herself to the lake to take pictures while Erwin took a nap in the Jeep.

We started to feel very tired and sleepy and were 28 miles away from the resort.  Not a long drive, but Edith was driving and she yawned a lot, so did Erwin. 

On our way back to the resort Erwin wanted to pick up coconut cake at Publix.  Publix’s cakes are always good and coconut cake is our favorite. We know that we don’t need the extra calories, right? We need to do more activities tomorrow (will we ???)

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