Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

A run for the camera and two redo, two new - Equinox Celebration continues

Thursday March 21, 2013
Site 7, Paynes Prairie Preserve
Micanopy, Florida


They’re here!!

I run over to and up the viewing platform this morning on my regular exercise run and what a sight.  I immediately run back down and back to Winnona, grab my camera and binoculars and drive back.  I’m in a HURRY.


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Lucky for me they are still here although they’ve moved further away.  DARN.

It’s only  part of the bison herd, a long way off to be sure but I can see them. What fun.  Can you spot them??

Look hard, they are the little tiny dots slightly more than half way over in the back part of the prairie.  Not the bushes.  Really Little dots.  I know……..so far away.




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Thank goodness for binoculars and cameras with zoom lenses.  Quality isn’t good but from what I hear, we are lucky to see them at all so I’m not quibbling.  They have 6000 acres to roam so this is amazing.  It’s been two years since we were nearly nose to nose with bison a lot of the time at Yellowstone.  It’s a real hoot to see them here.  In Florida, who would have thought. Cool Beans!!

 **if you haven’t read yesterday’s post on the animals of Paynes Prairie I hope you will.


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While I’m zooming in to get pictures of the bison, I also see more commonly seen residents  much closer to me.  They aren’t much easier to catch for pictures since they seem to be constantly moving while munching.


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AND then, while I’m getting the pictures of the deer, David has the binoculars and on the other side of the prairie he spies the horses.

WOW they are all right here right now.


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On to the Two Re-do


After that great start to the day we head back to get cleaned up, changed and on our way for the rest of our 2nd day of Equinox Celebration.  I want to revisit a favorite place of mine in Florida which is only 12 miles from Paynes Prairie, The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home.


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First stop on our way is The Orange Shop.  We’d been here last year when we originally came to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings House.  We like it not because the prices are great, they are about average.  But you can taste the oranges before you buy them to decide which ones you prefer and all are grown on property owned by The Orange Shop.  So after we have tasted the oranges, grapefruit is not on my agenda but they have it, and tasted the juice which is heavenly, we buy a half bushel of their temple oranges, a 1/2 gallon of the juice and a jar of orange, pineapple, cherry sugarless marmalade.  Sweetened with grape juice.  You can taste the marmalades and several mustards that they have on the crackers provided.  It’s a great place. I hate to see the Florida orange season winding down.  LOVE that fresh citrus.


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The visit to Marjorie’s home will be a short visit since we were here last November.

If you’d like to have a more complete look at her home and grounds  and learn why I so enamored of this place, check out my original post on it here.


When we walk in the gate and down the path to the house it is wonderful to again see the quote from Cross Creek - so perfect for this spot.  It creates just the right mood as you enter.

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We’ve taken the tour but think we may take it again when we see that the same tour guide is offering it today.  So instead we just walk around the grounds and enjoy it all.


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Cross Creek House


We go walk down  the path from the front door, through the gate and across the road to what was Rawlings’ main orange grove.  We hadn’t taken this short hike on our last visit for lack of time.  Today we have plenty.




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We assume these orange trees along the way are decedents of those in her grove.


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I find it amazing that this hammock has become so lush and full in the 60 years since MK Rawlings’ death.  It’s a lovely short hike and I’m very glad we returned to take it.

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Time for the First of the Two New.


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But by this time we’re hungry.  We go only a mile down the road to The Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek where they specialize in “Cracker Food”.

We passed this by on our last visit to Cross Creek.  It looked a bit, well…….. but we decide to stop in now after having it recommended by one of my commenters.  Love those comments!!


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Now if you see this joint from the road you’ll drive right by just as  we did.  Looks pretty sketchy.  Actually, it looks exactly like a Cracker Building should.  Inside it looks totally different.  It’s a huge sprawling place with several rooms.  All very dimly lit.





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I’m not too sure about this. It’s so dim, I can’t see how clean the place is.  I’ve really lightened up the inside pictures so you could see.  This is not how it looked.  But once we order our food and taste it, I’m sold.   In fact so sold that I forget to take any photos of the food except the fabulous piece of sour orange pie we share for dessert. It is half eaten by the time I remember.


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Before the pie, as an appetizer,  we have the Cracker Sampler Platter of frog legs, gator tail, fried green tomatoes and portobello mushrooms which they substitute for the cooter they are no longer able to sell. The turtles are endangered.  Too many platters sold I guess.  Portobello are hardly Cracker Food and I think they should just leave it off although they are quite good breaded as is everything else.  All are deep fat fried of course.  Yes this is the exception to our vegan rule.  When in Rome……..or Cross Creek as the case may be.


David has blackened red fish and I blackened grouper both served with okra and stewed tomatoes.   The food is delicious.   The bill is $55.



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The restaurant is named for Rawlings’ Pulitzer Prize winning novel and there is Rawlings memorabilia all over inside including first editions of all her books for sale.  And this US postage stamp honoring her.





Do go to Cross Creek.  Do visit Rawlings’ Home.  Do stop by the Yearling Restaurant and DO have the sour orange pie!!

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We visit the second new to us on our way home.

Well sated we head for home and on the way decide to wander through Paynes Prairie’s home town of Micanopy (Mic ah no pee).  Here are some pictures of beautiful down town Micanopy.  I believe the cafe/garage was open but everything else was shut up tight.


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Surely warmer more spring like weather will follow immediately after our great TWO day Spring Equinox celebration!   We’re definitely ready.


  1. "The Yearling" is one of my favorite books. Sorry we will miss you today. We would come over to Moffitt but have to wait on the repair for the coach.

  2. You finally got to see the bison and wild horses, shows that good things come to those who wait. Who'd a thunk that these animals would live and thrive in FL? Noticed the bison coats are not shaggy like you see out west. Must be the warm climate?

    Sour orange pie? You've got to stop showing these delicious temptations. :c)

  3. Loved the animals, especially the wild horses. I remember when you were at the Rawlings house. Glad you were able to finish seeing the sights. Dish me up some of the sour orange pie please!!

  4. I remember your first post of Rawlings house/land. This one is even more exciting. I definitely want to see it, myself, some day, if possible. I had the same reaction to the bison and elk in Kentucky, though I think Florida would be even more unexpected. If you're ever over on the Georgia coast, get reservations for Cumberland Island. It would be heaven to you and David. Over by ferry. No cars allowed. Wild horses running on the beach. Oh, yeah.

  5. Wow, who knew there was buffalo herds in FL:)

  6. You really had quite a celebration today!! Bison, Wild Horses, Rawlings, Frog Legs, Sour Orange Pie...Oh My;o)))

  7. It looks like you hit the jackpot with the wildlife!

  8. Bison in Florida??? Who knew?

    Gator tail? Hmmmm..... How did it taste?

  9. Wow! All those animals, I would have been in heaven. I'll bet you couldn't snap fast enough. Mmmm, sour orange pie, never heard of it, but would love to try it.

  10. That look like a FUN day!! Rawlins place is special and that little town of Micanopy is neato.... Cracker food sounds like fun too....

  11. Wow a wonderful day right from the beginning with wildlife, nature, history and food.

  12. So many animals in one day and in one place! Wow :) What a day - Rawlings, citrus, cracker food and a quaint town. I'd say that was a sucessful solstice celebration!


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