“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
For my mother’s birthday, we took a boat ride on Lake Dora in Mount Dora, Florida. The ride took us across the lake through the Dora Canal, which felt tropical and was teaming with wildlife. The day was beautiful with temperature in the high 70s and the sky was crystal clear with hardly a cloud in sight. Premier Boat Tours leaves from the dock at the Lakeside Inn and takes you across the lake and through the Dora Canal and back. It is about a two hour boat tour with a great guide who was very knowledgeable. Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora is a grand old hotel built in the 1880s and is one of the first and oldest hotels in Florida. It is a beautiful Victorian style hotel. You feel like you are stepping back in time to when things didn’t move quite so fast.
At start of the trip, we were treated with a great view of a nesting pair of Bald Eagles with their immature young just getting ready to fly. One of the adults posed nicely for our camera and we saw them fly across the lake. They are an elegant and regal bird. What a sight!!
As we entered the canal, it felt almost tropical and was full of wildlife and vegetation of many different varieties.
Homes and communities line the beginning of the canal. As we moved further into the canal, we were surrounded by Cyprus trees with many knees poking out of the water, old oaks with Spanish moss dripping down toward the water and thick vegetation with birds and reptiles hiding within.
While I had seen many Great Blue Herons in New England, Virginia and here in Florida, I had never seen an immature one only about a foot tall. As we entered into the mouth of the canal, this little one was standing on the banking. The bird was such a delight to see.
As we went further into the canal, we saw Anhinga airing their wings and slinking through the water like the “snake” birds as their nickname applies and White Ibis peering down from the trees as we glided past.
One section of the canal, we saw a couple of alligators sunning themselves near and on the banking. The large one was close to ten feet long and he was a great sight with most of his body out on the banking.
The feel of the canal was amazing and to spend the day with my beautiful mother on her birthday was perfect. Our thoughts also turned to my Dad as we rode through the canal, he spent so much of his life celebrating and working to preserve wild spaces in this world, I know he would have loved this journey too.
Until the next journey…