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 Archive Document Archive


- #5, Jan-Feb 2020
Answer: Shorebirds and Wading Birds

These birds are found by the water's edge at the ocean or along rivers, in mudflats, swamps, ponds and even pastures. In some regions, shorebirds are considered wading birds.

And, included are two birds that swim underwater, the Anhinga and Cormorant. These two birds must dry their wings outstretched after foraging since they have no oils in their feathers to allow them to shed water like other birds do. They must dry out completely before they can fly again!

Below are some examples of water birds that have been seen in Oak Run or within a 30 mile radius.

(click or tap any image to enlarge)



Flamingo
Killdeer
Great Blue Heron
Wood Stork




Little Blue Heron
Little Blue juvenile
Limpkin
Greater Yellowlegs




Glossy Ibis
White Ibis
White Ibis juvenile
Great White Egret




Black Crowned
Night Heron
Bittern
Anhinga
Cormorant
 

Roseate
Spoonbill

 
 

Green Heron
 
 

Black Swan
(bonus bird)
 
(Photos by Lavender Dreams)
 

- #4, Dec 2019
Answer: Spanish Moss
click or tap to enlarge
You may have wondered about the silvery "decoration" draped over trees around our area. This plant consists of slender stems bearing curly, heavily scaled leaves that grow in a chain-like fashion (pendant), forming hanging structures up to 20 feet long.

Spanish Moss is a flowering plant that often grows on large trees in tropical and subtropical climates where temperatures are warm enough and the average humidity is relatively high. It resembles beard lichen but it's neither a moss nor a lichen.

The plant absorbs nutrients and water through it's leaves from the air and rainfall as it has no aerial roots. It's brown, green, yellow, or grey flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. It propagates both by seed and vegetatively by fragments that blow on the wind and stick to tree limbs or are carried by birds as nesting material.

It is commonly found on the Southern Live Oak and Bald Cypress trees in the lowlands, swamps, and savannas of the southeastern United States from Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas. While it rarely kills the host tree, it can occasionally become so thick that it shades the tree's leaves and lowers its growth rate.

Spanish Moss has been used for building insulation, mulch, packing material, mattress stuffing, early 1900s car seat padding, in arts and crafts and the manufacture of evaporative coolers. In 1939 over 10,000 tons of processed Spanish Moss was produced.

(click or tap any image to enlarge)





(Text: Wikipedia  Photos: Lavender Dreams)
 

- #3, Nov 2019
Answer: Birds of Prey

We are often asked about the birds seen flying around or perching in and near Oak Run. Here's a few photos of some birds of prey, with the exception of the Turkey Vulture, who is more like a bird of opportunity. These are large birds with wingspans of almost 3 feet to over 6 feet, with the exception of the Kestrel, whose wings are just under 2 feet across.

(click or tap any image to enlarge)




Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Swallow-tailed Kite
Red-shouldered Hawk




Mississippi Kite
Osprey
American Kestrel
Turkey Vulture
 
(All photos were taken
in Oak Run or within a 5 mile radius. Credit: Lavender Dreams)
  

- #2, Oct 2019
Answer: Water Tower

This massive structure towers over SW 108th St in Nbhd 12 (appropriately named Tower Heights). It's our water tower, built with a more aesthetically pleasing design than the usual fare.

DECCA contracted with PDM Hydrostorage to build the tower in 1990. Marion County Utilities acquired the water tower and the waste water treatment facility in 2001.

The tower is a hydropillar / fluted column design with a capacity of 650,000 gallons. The height is 113 feet, the bowl diameter is 64 feet, the column diameter is 42 feet and the low water level height is 77 feet.
(click or tap any image to enlarge)


Credit: Data provided by Marion County Utilities and Oak Run Associates, Ltd.  |  Photos: Ron K.
  

- #1, Sep 2019
Answer: Pocket Gopher
click or tap to enlarge
If you have recently moved to North Central Florida or have lived here for many years you may have wondered about all the little mounds of dirt along various roadways and across some yards as you drive around the area. Most people think they're ant hills but usually they're not. It's the work of a little tunneling rodent, the Pocket Gopher.

The "pocket" in their name refers to two fur-lined cheek pockets or pouches, which have external openings on either side of the mouth. The pouches are used to transport food and nest material. At only 10-12 inches long from nose to tip of tail they are capable of digging tunnel systems that may extend for 500 feet, although 145 feet is the norm, with dirt mounds every 6 feet or so.

As they dig, they push piles of loose dirt above ground. Their shallow tunnels run parallel to the surface providing access to their diet of roots and tubers. Nest and food storage tunnels are deeper. They will plug tunnel openings to prevent snakes and other predators from entering. Pocket gophers are solitary animals and do not share a tunnel system.
More info, photos and videos HERE and HERE.



Video Credit: Lavender Dreams
  
  
  

Document Archive
"A Letter From Oak Run" by Dale Wurzburger

This song was written (and sung) by Oak Run resident Dale Wurzburger at

the December 2007 ORHA General Meeting. It's a take-off on the song by
Allan Sherman "A Letter From Camp" (Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!).

A LETTER FROM OAK RUN

Hello Daughter, Hello Son,
Here we are in beautiful Oak Run.
Years of working is in the past,
adjusting to retirement so very fast.

Our home is roomy and very bright;
we count our blessings every night.
The house is neat; so is the yard;
great neighborhoods flank the boulevard.

Activities abound if you so choose;
play some games or take a snooze.
There are clubs, heaven knows,
much local talent and Ambassador shows.

Swimming pools and hot tubs,
Palm Grove, Island and Orchid Clubs.
Golfers are happy with grass and knolls,
beautiful courses, twenty seven holes.

We wear shorts, not Versace.
Play some tennis and some bocce.
Have sore knees and a bad back,
but still play horseshoes and Pad-Rac.

Go to Doctors, but we have mettle,
also thrive on the Early-Bird Special.
There is shuffleboard, dance or song,
checkers, table tennis or Mah Jong.

Water exercise, yoga and Tai Chi,
or lounge about with cable TV.
We play Bingo, shoot some pool,
take 55 alive, the drivers' school.

Use the Travel Club for our vacation,
trips both local and across the nation.
There is lightning and heavy rains,
sinkholes, lovebugs and hurricanes.

Volunteers make this place glow;
crime is almost as rare as snow.
Board of Directors and Neighborhood Reps
guide our destiny; we hope for the best.

Mr. Ghumman's dream is achieved,
many of us have always believed.
Problems arise and may evolve,
but working together they can be solved.

So dear children in Northern climes,
please be assured we have good times.
For through laughter and some tears,
our lives are blessed in these glorious years.

A choice to be happy is the way,
for each of us to love our stay.
For in this place we don't have to prove,
from Oak Run to Heaven is a lateral move.


A Tribute to "The Starters", Harold and Shirley Brown

Oak Run Homeowners Association recognizes Harold and Shirley Brown.


"The Starters"

Harold was the first ORHA President to serve a complete term.

The following are more firsts accomplished by Harold and Shirley working as a team:
  • 4th of July Celebration with parade:
     *golf, tennis, shuffleboard tournaments with trophies
     *dinner with trophy presentation
     *ice cream social
     *nurses stationed along parade route in case of overheated marchers
     *dance
  • Sit Down dinner with a local Church's "Yuletide Bowl" entertainment
  • Fashion Show
  • Ceramics with paid resident to take care of kiln responsibilities
  • Line dancing with paid outside employee
  • Square Dancing
  • Ballroom lessons with outside paid employee Trish Sands, still here
  • AARP - of which we are charter members
  • Name Tags for residents of Oak Run
  • Blood Pressure Program
  • Coffee DoNut
  • Neighborhood Watch Program
  • Emergency Hot Line throughout all of Oak Run
  • Tree Trim Affair
  • Purchased 1st Christmas Tree
  • Fisherman's Club
  • Chorus which developed into Troubadours
  • Contact CFCC/Community Education for art instructors to come to Oak Run
  • Vespers - Sunday services
  • Flea Market Auction
  • Reserved first State Club on Calendar - Wisconsin Club
  • Social Club dissolved, Harold took over and named club Ambassadors
  • Instrumental in convincing DECCA to accept Organ from Roy & Marie Worral
  • In January 1988, rather than have individual Oak Run residents travel to the Homestead Exemption office to apply for their exemption, arranged for the Homestead Exemption representatives to come to Oak Run -- which has become an annual event.
  • Contact with Dee Brown to possibly let us vote with OTOW -- would be different precinct; she would have to set up with Tallahassee
  • Newspaper pick up at owner's home via Savalox truck
  • Welcome Committee with Ed Wilkie in charge of four different groups
  • Set up rules for what could appear on Channel l2
  • Illuminaries at Christmas Eve
In 1987 there were approximately 300+ homesites in Oak Run. Shirley designed a community-wide survey, which was carried out with the help of many volunteers, which asked what activities were of most interest to the residents. Oak Run is now in full swing with the games, trips and activities which were indicated by those who participated in the survey.

In 1987 Harold started the Travel Club with Shirley doing the day trips and Harold the extended. During the years 1987 through 2003, 1,054 trips were offered to residents, with 56,611 residents participating and profits of $122,029 given to ORHA.

In 1991 a number of travel agencies who had failed to register or post $100,000 bond, were shut down in the state of Florida because they "left town" taking with them the monies given to them for future trips by their trusting customers. Harold spoke to a number of people in the Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services office about our travel club and, as a result, on July 2, 1991, a letter was received from Florida State making the Oak Run Travel Club exempt from posting bond and registering with the State of Florida.

In addition to generating much enthusiasm in Oak Run, the Travel Club has, over the years, contributed to both the economic health of the Oak Run Homeowners Association as well as playing a part in influencing people to become Oak Run residents.

Harold and Shirley retired from their Travel Club duties on January 1, 2004.

Shirley:
  • was the first Calendar Scheduler
  • was the first Treasurer (no one else wanted the job) and kept accurate books with receipts and payments. Audited every year.
  • was successful, after approx. 10 months of telephone calls, in convincing the appropriate people in the Internal Revenue District office, to grant the Oak Run Homeowners Association a Federal Income Tax Exemption. On April 19, 1989 we received a letter stating the IRS had determined that ORHA was exempt from Federal Income tax under Section 501 (a.)
  • in 1993, convinced Mr. Ghumman, with the help of Sandra Austin (the DECCA rep at the time), to return the words "Welcome Home" to the sign in front of the development where they had appeared in previous years and continue to this day.
Harold and Shirley, with the assistance of many other volunteers, have helped make Oak Run unique. One wonders whether all of the above things could have been accomplished without their expertise and love for our community. It is doubtful paid social directors could have outperfomed these two energetic, productive volunteers -- our own "Starters".

Thank you, Harold and Shirley, for many jobs well done!


   
"Volunteers", a Poem by Richard Zinck

Read at the ORHA General Meeting, October 8, 2008.


VOLUNTEERS

Many will be shocked to find,
When the day of judgment nears
That there's a special place in Heaven
Set aside for volunteers.
Furnished with big recliners,
Satin couches and foot stools,
Where there are no Committee Chairmen,
No yard sales or rest areas to serve,
No library duty or bulletin assembly,
There will be nothing to print and staple,
Not one thing to fold and mail,
Telephone lists will be outlawed,
But a finger snap will bring
Cool drinks and gourmet dinners
and rare treats fit for a king.
You ask, "Who'll serve these privileged few
and work for all they're worth?"
Why, all those who reaped the benefits,
and not once volunteered on Earth.


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