The week following Christmas, my event calender was empty. I had to get out of the house. I took my sketching supplies and just started walking north. I stopped when I saw a sign that said, "Sidewalk Closed". A large piece of land, on the corner of Conroy and Apopka Vineland, once covered with trees and foliage had been stripped bare. Ironically the name of this development moonscape was, "The Grove". When Terry and I moved into this neighborhood fifteen plus years ago, we used to bike on the rural side roads. There were orange groves everywhere. Today groves are rare.
I pulled my art supplies out of my bag to start sketching. My watercolor palette landed on a large ant hill causing a sudden surge of activity as hundreds of ants started moving grains of sand, changing the landscape. On the construction site there were a dozen or so bulldozers, escalators cranes, graders, and continuous tracked earth movers. An escalator's claw scraped and grabbed at the sand. One truck was used to moisten the sand so it wouldn't blow away causing sand storms. C&C Silt Fencing was tacked down all around the scared lot. The construction company was JR Davis Construction from Kissimmee Florida.
A sign of the corner at the stop lights announced the wonders that were to come. There would be retail stores, restaurants, and office space. Specifically there would be a Panera, an LA Fitness and Windermere Village Dentistry. Ironically there are several deserted store fronts in the strip mall adjacent to "The Groves."
On the walk back home, palmetto leaves rustled in the wind sounding like rain striking a tent. The horizon was a dark steely blue. I heard the distant rumbling of thunder. A snow man made of white metal mesh had blown over, his head separated a few feet away. In an inflatable nativity, Mary's veil had blown down over her face and all the wise men and animals vibrated in the wind. When I got home, Terry was in the driveway scrubbing rich green moss off of rocks I had used to build a waterfall in the garden. I rather liked the moss, it made the waterfall look overgrown and ancient. Oh well, it will all grow back in time. As I relaxed on the back patio it began to rain.