We still managed to squeeze in some outdoor time! It didn’t rain 24/7 as I feared, but we still got some heavy downpours scattered throughout the weekend. During some of the sunny times we made a break for the beach on Sunday morning to find glassy seas and perfect water temperature for floating around on a fun noodle. My wife has a permanent back injury and “bobbing” is one of her favorite forms of relief! After a few minutes of “bobbing” we received a few visitors, a small school of bait fish thought we made excellent shelter and kept close to us for the remainder of our swim. Some of them would swim between us and we’d brush our fingers over them. Lots of fun with silly little stuff like that. After a few hours the tide changed and it was time for lunch. All in all a nice mid-September day at the beach!
I was inspired to post this today by a conversation with colleague of mine who was asking me about stuff to do in the Gainesville area while visiting some of the springs. Knowing that she is an animal lover I recommended one of our favorite places to visit animals; the retirement home for horses in Alachua Florida.
If you have never been to or seen or heard of the retirement home for horses, you are really in for something special. Also known as The Mill Creek Farm, the retirement home for horses accepts animals from all over the country from mounted police horses to performing circus horses to rescues from the Humane Society etc. The horses that come here stay here for the rest of their lives. When their time is up, they’re buried in a special “memorial” field and a tree is planted in their name.
I was hesitant at first because I thought I was going to see some very sad creatures, but in fact it was quite the opposite. I’ve never seen happier creatures before my life. The horses were very appreciative of the spacious paddocks in green pastures and once we even got to see a horse touch grass for the first time (he had lived in confined stalls his whole life).
The Mill Creek Farm is open to the public on Saturdays at 10 a.m. , the price of amission is two carrots, though I recommend bringing two bags… very big bags (they go pretty quickly). Also, you might want to bring a few milk bones because there are a couple retired dogs there that like a treat too. So much so that we’ve even seen them eat some of the carrots brought for the horses so that they wouldn’t feel left out. For more information about the retirement home for horses, their upcoming events or visiting information you can check them out at their website http://millcreekfarm.org
Now that we’re half way through September it’s safe to say we’ve cleared summer…or have we? Temperatures are still balmy and the afternoon rains continue to fall, but that’s the beauty of being in South Florida; we don’t truly experience seasons like everyone else. Other parts of Florida (north of Orlando) will experience more of the fall and winter seasons than us thin blooded brats, but they can keep their achy bones and chapped lips on those wet cold February days. In the meantime there’s still lots to do and lots going on before the influx of snow birds make their way down from Canada. In some sense there will be more outdoor opportunities to explore that may have been more challenging between the heat and the rain. A good example would be paddle sports (such as kayaking or canoeing). September/October are great times to get out on the water without being intimidated by surprise thunderstorms or braving humid days with high heat indexes. So get out on the water!