Friday, January 21, 2011

The Orange Dome

In 1964 construction was started on a very unique building in Winter Haven. It was round topped and was being built where the Florida Citrus Festival would make it's home. Construction was completed within a year and in 1965 the Citrus Dome was opened. A time capsule was buried on the grounds at that time, to be opened 100 years later.

The capsule is acutally built into the wall right outside the main entrance to the dome. As you are facing the entrance the capsule would be on the right side. The window in the middle was a ticket window. In recent years it became a showcase window. I know I would never fit in that's teeny tiny.

This is a photo of the front of the building. It was originally designed for parking on the main road, Cypress Gardens Boulevard. Today that is not possible because the Boulevard is now a 4 lane highway.
This is a picture of the back of the bulding. This is the door that actually leads from the building to the fairgrounds. The Citrus Festival was last held in 2007 I believe. There was not enough funding to keep it going and the popularity decreased over the years. My husband and I used to volunteer at the Festival and it was a sad day when they made the announcement that the Festival would not be returning.
The roof of the bulding is not actually attached to the building. It sets on top of some brick columns. It is probably the most sturdy building in the state. It is a very unique building and I am hoping to be able to get inside soon to take some photos.
And I am planning on researching more of the history and how and why it was built the way it was. I am also going to try to find some photos taken in the late 1990's when it was painted like a baseball with backwards stitching (long story). I wanted to share some of the Orange Dome with you because within the next 18 months they are going to be tearing it down. I just don't understand how we can destroy history like it was never there. The Dome has been many things over the has not been sitting empty. It has been used by Walmart for layaways, it's been an ice skating rink, volleyball court, it's held parties, car shows, boat shows, rv shows, holiday events, the Festival of Trees. Lots and lots of fun and good times in that one small building.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Layla got a new bike for Christmas. Since her Grammy babysits and doesn' t live too far from Wade & Diana's, Wade decided the bring Layla's bike to her Grammy's and then when he went to pick up her and Rossi, he rode his bike with a trailer.

Layla riding her new bike. We noticed she needed her seat raised and hopefully Daddy took care of it.

The crew getting ready for the ride home. You can barely see Rossi in the trailer.

Rossi is ready to go.

Rossi is such a character. You can tell she's ready to ride!

And off they go....heading into the sunset towards the ole homestead.

Wild Parrots

About 25 years ago someparrots escaped from Cypress Gardens. I believe a bad storm had blown through and damaged cages. Some of those escaped birds have survived and thrived in the wild for all those years. They actually have a next built between some power transformers out on Lake Howard right near the trail where I walk. With my new camera that Santa brought me for Christmas I was actually able to capture some really good shots of some of them.

Here is a photo of the nest between the transformers. I was concerned because I know transformers can blow and start fires. Evidently they have new tranformers that won't do that anymore, so I was assured that this wouldn't happen to the parrots.

A little closer shot of them at the nest. I saw 4 of them the day I took pictures. But you could tell there were more with all the squawking going on.

It's hard to see but on the bottom of the nest there is an opening where the birds crawl in and out of the nest. This is the closest shot I could get. Arent' the parrots just beautiful?

I saw this squirrel and thought it would make a great shot. I love this new camera I got. I just love how this picture came out. Pea and Susie Q....I may be able to give you a run for your money photowise now, lol.

I loved the way the Spanish Moss looked against the other trees.

Another shot of some Spanish Moss hanging in the trees.

Here is a shot of the sunset over the trees at the Lake Howard Nature Park. The pinks and purples were beautiful.