Surprised by owls
This public garden, seated on the shores of Lake Maitland, bursts with old Florida charm. Established in 1938 by George and Maud Kraft, the Kraft Azalea Gardens are situated in a small 5-acre park open from 8 a.m. until dark for 365 days a year and is free to the public.
A visit here offers a pleasant shady stroll under enormous cypress trees alongside the famed azalea bushes. You can easily take a seat among one of the many benches overlooking the lake to enjoy the lake breeze and bird song overhead.
This Exedra bench pictured below is a popular photographer’s spot. (FYI an Exedra is a semi-circular Greco-roman bench made for conversational seating).
Out in the distance, you can see the Scenic Boat Tours making their rounds. The boat ride starts on Lake Osceola then rides through the channels that connect the lakes.
On the day of my trip, I could distincly hear two hoot owls calling to each other from somewhere overhead. Suddenly, a rush of wings flew above me – it was an owl! It swooped up to a high branch in an old oak tree and landed next to it’s partner. I zoomed in with my new camera to catch these two up close.
What a magical surprise – a mated pair of Barred owls ! It was abeautiful afternoon well spent in Winter Park.
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