| - #5, Jan-Feb 2020
and Wading Birds
| - #4, Dec 2019
click or tap to enlarge
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.
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
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.
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
| - #3, Nov 2019
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
(All photos were
taken in Oak Run or within a
5 mile radius. Credit: Lavender
| - #2, Oct 2019
|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
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
Credit: Data provided by
Marion County Utilities and Oak Run Associates,
Photos: Ron K.
| - #1, Sep 2019
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.
|Answer: Pocket Gopher
|click or tap to enlarge
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
|"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.
Harold was the first ORHA President to serve a
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
*dinner with trophy presentation
*ice cream social
*nurses stationed along parade route in case
of overheated marchers
- Sit Down dinner with a local Church's "Yuletide
- Fashion Show
- Ceramics with paid resident to take care of
- 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 -
- 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
- 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,
- 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
|"Volunteers", a Poem
by Richard Zinck
Read at the ORHA General Meeting, October 8, 2008.
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.