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On the way home I stopped by the small lot on the north-east corner of Quadrangle and University to look at what had happened to the wooded lot. They're using it as a holding area for fill dirt. The mound of dirt pretty much covers the entire lot and is as high as the tree tops use to be, when there were trees here. They've buried vent pipes to let the methane from the decaying matter (trees and other vegetation) that they knocked down and shredded and then just covered over with all the dirt. This is, of course, wetlands, just like the larger lot being worked across the street.
Palm Parkway, Four Days Later
I went back up Palm Parkway to document what had happened since my visit Palm Sunday. The land hwas been further cleared, and a retaining pond built in the center to hold water being picked up from around the land.The original bulldozers had been picked up and in their place were newer dozers with solid blades for moving dirt.
A tall crane has been delivered to the construction site, and a starter pylon driven into the soil. All of this is now next to I-4, on the other side of a chain link fence. It looks more and more like an overpass is being built that will tie into Palm Parkway at this point. Where it would tie into on the other side is pure guesswork on my part, but International Drive South is on the other side of I-4 at this point as is Orlando Premium Outlets. Looks like I'll need to drive over to that side of I-4 and investigate further.
Looking north and east up Palm Parkway at this point you see the Peabody and parts of the Orange County Convention Center poking above the trees. In the middle foreground you can see orange seedlings planted. I don't know if I'd eat any oranges harvested from trees growing in this area. I also doubt they'll live long enough to start to produce fruit before the ground they're growing in is torn up and covered over with development.
While tramping about the heavy construction I saw a sandy area with prickly pears (Indian fig) blooming. This is just to remind us that Florida has a wide variety of ecologies. You can quickly walk from dense palmetto undergrowth to dry sandy areas where cacti grow back to wetlands where small cypress grow.
In the short distance I walked up and down Palm Parkway where the road construction is going full tilt, I was reminded of the collision of old Florida with new. This old cattle gate closes off a private drive leading back into a heavily wooded area. The sign advertises 105 acres for sale. Right across the street I found that the road construction crew had extended the temporary barrier a good 100 yards on the south side back east. The lush vegetation hasn't been knocked down yet. Cars whizz by, their drivers and passengers oblivious to the subtle beauty.
I had all three cameras with me today; E-1, E-3, and E-P2. Post processing in Lightroom 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2.
I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.
What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.
The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.
During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.
When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.
So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).
Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.
She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…