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Paradise Park

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Dec 2017
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (13)

Snapshots! (2)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding A
Wildlife D
Summer Heat C
Terrain A
Fun Hike Not Rated
Maintained B
Mosquitos A
Biting Files A
Ticks A
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 1324 Paradise Dr, Lady Lake, FL, Lake, USA, 32159
OFFICIAL INFO:

1) What It's Like

Where this place is - "The Villages" - is weird. Not bad but prepare yourself for different. Putting that aside - this is a pond next to a nice mobile home park and a highway that has a little island that all kinds of water birds call home that normally you don't see. I don't know if they clip wings, feed them, or it's the only source of magic power up truffles for geese but it's an interesting little spot.

2) Kinds of Birds

Lots of ducks, canada geese, egyptian goose. Quite remarkable compact spot!

3) Wildlife

Lounge lizards in golf carts.

4) Amenities

Parking lot and sidewalk. Careful not to snoop on people who live on the lake.

5) Directions

Go to around 150 US-441 and look for a pond next to mobile homes on the north side of the road - so that is it... you just need to park. To get there from US27/US441 turn N/NE onto Wales Place, then immediately right onto Paradise Drive and it ends in a parking area by the lake.

6) Time Requirements

30 minutes more than enough. Could stop for 5.

Experience

The Villages is an odd duck. It's a retirement - I guess you'd say "city" - collection of a bunch of housing developments. The reputation is that it's for retirees who are ready to party and maybe be a little narcissistic. Which is fine - just different. Things I've been told (so let's call them rumors) include 1) there are some rules as to whether you can let your grandkids stay overnight so as not to get in the way of the lifestyle 2) there was an article out there saying this place broke some record for having the most STDs. I suppose the idea is lots of people ready to party, life long enough to get lots of STDs, plus invention of Viagra. I read later that that wasn't quite true but there's an element of truth to it. 3) It's odd to have signs everywhere with your city name that has a TM logo and slogan "Friendliest city" - never seen a branded city with a marketing department. Whether all that is true I don't know but get ready for maybe different kinds of folks and good for them for enjoying their retirements right? And I have met nice normal people from here - not just oddballs.

More fun - first place I'd seen the phrase "memory care" (a clinic), and there was a roadside stand titled "Bucket List BBQ" - that's actually a pretty good sense of humor if they were cool with that.

Okay - so regarding this birding spot: There is a little public parking area on the main highway by the pond. We parked and walked on the rubber-paved (odd material) sidewalk that goes by the highway and the pond and you see the island pretty easily. Birds all around to an extent but they focus there. Which is good because we didn't want to bother anyone who lived on the lake. The big get of the day was the Egyptian Goose - non-native. It was sitting right by the sidewalk so we just used the zoom lens and let them be. Also this is the first place we got photos of Canada geese.

On the way back there was this older guy in a golf cart. Healthy guy - maybe he had on sports type clothes. But he kept asking us in a way that was more telling us about "the game" like "see the final score - I think it was 12 to 3". No context - what game!? Seemed like this was his territory we were in and he wasn't aggressive but not an old guy giving out hard candies and worried about being a bother either. Grandpa doesn't ask - he just takes.

Weird place. But different is good. And thanks for the park!


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