Can you guess where I was over Christmas?
In this part of the United States, Spanish Moss hangs thick off the trees. Until this trip, I'd only seen it at a distance. Blowing gently in the wind, it has a ghostly, haunted appearance. But up close, it's quite beautiful.
Locals say if you turn a map of Florida on the side, it looks like a fish. Towards the southern half of the state, the "eye" of the fish is Lake Okeechobee.
The lake stretches 40 miles across and averages about 9 feet deep. For the past two years, Florida has been affected by a severe drought. Evaporation and continued water use has dropped the lake by 1/3. My dad loves to fish and their place is just a hop skip and a jump away....
This lush area is filled with birds, small deer, and alligators. Recently, my mom took her dog for a walk...and was trailed by an alligator. YIKES!
Since the drought began, the fishing hasn't been worth bragging about, but the lake is a great spot for air boating. These boats sit high on the water and easily navigate over the tall grass growing throughout the lake. I caught up with this guy just coming off the water.
Saturday means Flea Markets in Lake Okeechobee and we had a choice of two. For me, there was no doubt where we were headed. Here in Central Florida, this flea market is a little slice of Mexico.
Top to bottom: 1. Churros vendor, 2. Cantina, 3. A wide selection of boots, 4. Quinceañera decorations, 5. Lacquered alligator heads.
It was Christmas....
And houses were all decked out in holiday finery. I laughed at the neighbor's reindeer...standing regally--right next to the palm tree. No doubt, balmy nights...and snowmen...are an odd combination.
But this guy takes the prize:
Forget the reindeer. Here in Florida, Santa's sleigh is powered by alligators!