Eagles and alligators entertain us in Fruitland Park

To the Editor:

I have been living in Florida — with summers in Altamont — with one of my daughters. Another daughter bought a house nearby. This year, the girls decided to sell those houses and buy one together in central Florida away from the crowded area growing up all around us.

They chose a house in the lake district. The house is on six-and-a-half acres so feels more country, like our home in Altamont. But it has its differences!

I call it our Eden but, instead of a serpent, we have a resident 10-foot alligator fondly called Bufort. He occasionally suns on the back lawn. The house is on Eagle Nest Road and we have the eagle’s nest, again in our backyard.

At this point, this year’s chick is almost fully grown. I’ve watched his parents trying to teach him the best method of flying.

A natural canal that flows out into the lake chain ends in our yard. This is Bufort’s home. The canal is deep enough for motorboats so very usable for canoeists or kayakers who want to go miles through the lakes and hills of central Florida.

We daily have a flock of beautiful white snowy egrets, 24 inches tall, and one lone brown egret. I call him  Lonesome George. We have had several large cranes drop by, one possibly a sandhill crane ....

The other morning, one daughter went for a swim in our pool only to be deterred by a “cute” little four-foot alligator swimming in the pool. Discovering nothing to eat, he left and has not returned — the hazard of non-screened-in pools.

The woods beyond our lawn have what I am told is the usual Florida wildlife: boar (wild pigs), deer, bear, panthers — exciting!

The house has its problems but, with a setting like this, it’s still a joy. I can view it all through the window wall of my bedroom or from the screened-in deck where we eat most of our meals.

At supper tonight, Pa Eagle flew right over us with a large fish he had just caught in the canal or nearby lake. (Showing off, he was so close overhead, the girls could smell the fish.) He took it back to the nest for a fine family dinner.

The yards have every kind of Florida tree from palm, to pine, to Spanish-moss-draped live oaks, to flowering magnolias, and more — so beautiful. We are blessed.

Carol DuBrin

Fruitland Park


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