Today’s Adventure: Hiking through the marsh

We’ve been to the cypress dome down here at CREW – now lets check out the marsh πŸ™‚ Our tour guide is David Cooper, a Florida Master Naturalist who volunteers here. I can tell I will learn a lot from him. Let’s go!

A fair exchange

A fair exchange, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

I did not bring anything to leave in the boxes, because I had no intention of taking anything… that is, until I saw the Mickey Mouse camera toy in one of them! I quickly rifled through my field bag and decided a bug bite stick would be a fair and useful thing to leave it it’s place.

First cache! First to find!

First cache! First to find!, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

I was teamed up with an experienced cacher "Lorriebird" – she has a Garmin, but was familiar with how the iPhone app works. My VERY first cache was also a "first to find" – mine is the first entry on the log. Exciting, and I guess a memo from the Universe that I was in the right place, doing what I am supposed to be doing.

Geocaching at CREW: the crowd gathers

I got there a bit early and was able to chit-chat with a few folks prior to starting out, letting them know why I was there and what I hoped to learn. Everyone was super welcoming and friendly. The infamous "Jungle Pete", Kenny Jenkins, and CREW’s executive director Brenda Brooks were just a few of the folks who were generous with their time and knowledge.

Today’s adventure: Geocaching at CREW’s Cypress dome Trails

Yes, we were just here a couple of weeks ago for the Wildflower Festival. Now we’re going geocaching! Was conferring on Thursday with some classmates in the Florida Master Naturalist Program about final projects, and the subject of safe and ethical geocaching in the uplands was floated as a possible candidate. Since this event was coming up, I thought I would try my hand at it. I did some last spring when my niece was here, so I was not a complete novice but now I have "an app for that", so watch out! Here we go…

Orlando Do-Over: Day 3, explorations in EPCOT

This is the SEVENTH in a series of β€œdo-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.


The “pearly gates” of Disney. Day 3 started out with a few hours of work; income is a good thing, as it supports the Disney habit, so I’m not complaining! On my way to EPCOT, I hopped off I4 at Apopka-Vineland Road. There’s a Starbucks there πŸ™‚ After getting my treat (I was a good little worker bee, so I deserved a treat, right?), I purposely passed the entrance, made a U-turn, and doubled back so I could stop at the light and get this picture (above) before turning into Disney property. This is “Pearly Gates, Jr.”.


No parking mojo at Disney. The parking mojo was not too terrible; Discover 13 isn’t bad at all. It could be far worse. To be honest, I don’t really think parking mojo applies at Disney World. They’re so busy telling you where to park, it’s unlikely that mojo will have a chance to exert itself. Still, this was not terrible.


It’s a blue sky Disney day. Ah, look at that blue, blue sky! Yes, it really IS that color. Those are jacaranda trees to the left, which grow just before Spaceship Earth/the geosphere. Next time I come back, which will be in May (conference/credits to maintain my professional certification), the jacaranda will will hopefully be in bloom. Spring came mighty early this year – I’m going to guess that everything is about three weeks ahead of schedule, all up and down the Eastern states. I’m hoping that the jacaranda will wait for me!


Jiminy Cricket! I was not in any particular hurry on this day, so I just adopted a meandering, vague touring style. First stop – a browse through The Art Of Disney store, just to the side of Spaceship Earth, where I saw this cute little Jiminy Cricket figurine.


Croc encounter. Next, I popped into Mouse Gear across the plaza, where I encountered the strangest pair of Crocs I’ve ever seen. It’s got a canvas upper, like a regular loafer, but the foot bed is pure Crocs. Weird!


EPCOT’s snapdragon sea. After a satisfying browse through Mouse Gear (I want it noted: I have been in two stores full of Disney merchandise so far, and purchased NOTHING!), I became interested in examining EPCOT for signs of Flower and Garden Festival preparations. It’s rare that I’m in the Disney parks when there is NOT some sort of festival or celebration going on, so the entrance was looking a bit spare to me. I wanted signs of festivular activity! The first thing I encountered was a sea of snapdragons. They were quite impressive!


EPCOT flower power. Just beyond the snapdragon sea, near the entrance to the Rose Walk, the flower power landscape of EPCOT was taking shape. The display on this side of the lagoon was pristine and orderly – and it smelled divine! It boggles the mind to think of how many pansies were painstakingly started, seed by seed, to become this magical landscape.


EPCOT’s hard hat mystery men. I came upon a section that was partitioned off by a marching row of vegetation. Peering through a space in the wall, I spied a small knot of men in hard hats and safety vests, conferring seriously with one another. Who could they be, and what could they be talking about, hidden there behind the shrubbery?

NEXT TIME: The hard hat men revealed, and epicuriosity in EPCOT!

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