Trees Are Good - The difference in temperature between our Pasture and Yard that we fondly call the Tunnel of Trees beginning July 29, 2014

Noticing a difference in temperature between the Pasture and the Tunnel of Trees we put a thermometer in both places to record exactly how different the temperatures are in each... we'll just let the pictures tell the story.
Where we live in Central Florida is a Pine Sandhill we call it The Tunnel of Trees. It's loaded with Laurel Oaks, Longleaf (long needle) Pines and a few Live Oak and Hickory Trees. We also have the pasture where a few Laurel Oaks, Scrub Live Oaks and Turkey Oaks live. 

An intro video to the Tunnel of Trees and The Pasture.

Scroll down to see the thermometers. 

The Tunnel of Trees

The Pasture
Trees are good! 
He who plants a Tree plants a hope. - Lucy Larcom

AQHA Cajun Kid Flower 1976-2012
ApHC Miss Thinkin 1983-2014

These 2 horses loved on us and lived with us from 1995 until the day they passed.
They absolutely loved every minute of Life!

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Jungle Den and the Old Ice House ~ St. Johns River, Astor, FL


This is the old Ice House August 9th, 2020. It's where the Crabbers and Fishermen brought their fresh catches of the day to be iced down and shipped back out by boat. We think it was possibly built in the 1930's or 40's.

July 30, 2022

September 5, 2022

 September 5, 2022, it's starting to look a bit rough.


This is Jungle Den August 9, 2020. It had a thriving restaurant until 2004 when Hurricanes Charlie, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne hit. The St Johns River flooded into the restaurant and it never reopened. The hotel and boat ramp continued to be used for several years after that though.

April 2021

July 30, 2022 and all that is left are the trees!

Trees are Good April 24, 2023 ~ Earth Day Weedend

It's 11:40 am on Sunday April 24th, 2023. The Tunnel of Trees is showing 84 degrees... not too shabby.

We celebrated Earth Day yesterday on the boat. 

We think we might have turned 2 newbies into birders :-)

 The Pasture is a whopping 95 degrees... that's too warm for April :-(

Trees Are Good on April 11th and 12th 2023 ~ so is Rain

The temperatures in March were in the high 80's and even the 90's and that's no fun! We maybe got 1/4 inch of rain all month but things are looking up in April! 

So for fun... we took pics last night April 11th at 9:30 pm. 

 The Tunnel of Oak and Pine Trees was 68 degrees

The Pasture was a surprising 62 degrees, 6 degrees cooler than the Tunnel of Trees? We learn something new and fascinating each time we do this.

This morning at 9:30 on April 12th, we took pictures of the thermometers again...

The Pasture was 68 degrees and the Tunnel of Trees was 71. 
The major difference between the two?
The shaded Tunnel of Trees continues to collect and drop bits of water. 
 The pasture is dry as a bone.

Monday April 10, 2023 we got about 1/2 inch of MUCH NEEDED rain and the temps are in the high 70's ~ right where they should be.

This is the ST479 or Tiger, she's a WWII Tug. She was anchored along the StJohns River during her voyage from Jacksonville back home to Deland, FL. The water receded and she's stuck 
in Astor for right now. 

It's Hot as Blue Blazes in Central Florida!! ~ Trees Are Good February 25, 2023

At 3:00pm on Saturday Feb 25th 2023 it was 90 degrees in the Tunnel of Trees. Because these trees shade the pasture until about noon, it was close to the same in the Pasture. 

The Laurel Oaks in the Tunnel of Trees have lost most of their leaves and are putting out new ones as well as flower nodules. It's unseasonably warm for February but sure is a pretty sight!

 One week later (March 4th) and the trees have popped!

Trees Are Good January 21, 2023 Celebrating Arbor Day in Florida

Florida's Arbor Day was January 20th, 2023 but in Tavares we celebrated #ArborDay in Florida one day afterwards at Wooton Park. It was awesome to see so many families come out and learn the benefits of trees, I learned several things myself. Our utility company SECO actually has Arborists on staff! 
We brought home 2 Live Oaks and a Redbud Tree. One Live Oak went with a friend to Paisley to be planted in their pasture and the other to Scott and Val. They are planting it in their pasture. 
The Redbud is going in our front yard. ~ We planted it Feb 11th, 2023. 

The Avian Reconditioning Center had a presentation with a Red-tailed Hawk and a Barred Own additionally they had a female Kestrel and a Barn Owl. 
It was quite the morning for this tree and bird lover :-).
This is the thermometer in our pasture today at 3:15pm. It's right at 60 degrees. An overcast day it's been and the pasture is loosing heat. 

In our tree covered yard though the thermometer reads 65 degrees. It's amazing to me that the trees give us a bit of warmth in the Winter and shade in the Summer. What a cool thing hahaha. We love our trees. Trees Are Good to have! 


Trees Are Good - January 7, 2023 1:00 pm and it's a beautiful Central Florida Day!

 Trees Are Good - January 7, 2023 at 1:00 pm and it's a beautiful Central Florida Day! 

The Pasture Thermometer

We had a 3 night Freeze for Christmas 2022. First time we've had that in over 7 years. We're hoping it kills some of the invasive vegetation that has crept into our yard and many other places like Dora Canal. Now our weather is 50's at night and 70's during the day, very pleasant!

Today, January 7th, 2023 it's blue skies! At 1:00 pm The Pasture thermometer is reading a nice 75 degrees and the Tunnel of Trees thermometer at our Oak and Pine shaded house is reading 69 degrees. We're off to find the Red-cockaded Woodpecker in the Ocala National Forest... Fingers Crossed!!

Update: We found the Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers!! It is so exciting to be able to see an endangered species that looks like it is thriving! We found a pair first, then a family of 4 and another pair. We also had White-eyed Vireos, Palm Warblers and Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the same area. It was a banner birding day! 

Thank You to the people that care enough to preserve this Long-needle Pine forest!   

The Tunnel of Trees Thermometer

Trees Are Good on November 22, 2022

This is another time that our trees have held in the night heat. The thermometer in our yard under the Tunnel of Trees is at 66 degrees while the pasture thermometer is at 62 degrees. Since our last post the St Johns River has been over flood stage twice. 

On September 28, 2022 Hurricane Ian hit FL and put a hurting on Sanibel Island along with Ft Myers. It hit landfall there and went out Titusville but gave us a huge wind storm and about 6" of rain. Sanibel is wiped clean of homes but the Lighthouse survived. Hopefully that whole area including their trees will recover soon. 

November 10, 2022 Hurricane Nicole hit Hutchinson Island just South of Vero Beach, went up to the Big Bend, hooked a right and went to Jacksonville and up through coastal GA. We had fewer smalls on the ground and it brought us about 3.5" of rain. The people in Sanford, Deland and Astor along the St Johns River are flooded again. Scary flooded!!

Fun Fact: Hurricanes Charlie and Jeanne hit 43 days apart in 2004.

18 years later Hurricanes Ian and Nicole took almost the same paths as Charlie and Jeanne and were also 43 days apart. 

Florida's trees have taken a beating in the past few months but we are #FloridaStrong and we will bounce back!  

These pics below were taken in Astor, FL on October 20th 2023 between Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. The St Johns River stayed over or near flood stage for about 2.5 months.

Astor Bridge at State Road 40

Looking over at Castaways (the old Hall's Fish Camp)

This is the Northeast corner of Drifters Restaurant (the old Blackwater Inn - our favorite place to have a meal on the river). Their dock is completely under water.

Trees are Good! First day of Fall in Central Florida 9-22-2022

It's September 22nd, 2022 and the first day of Fall so we thought it appropriate to Celebrate our Trees! 

It looks to be about 102 degrees in the pasture at 12:30. The humidity has dropped some since August and the nights are getting cooler! 

The Tunnel of Trees is at 90 degrees, hurray for Trees!! 

Had a Gulf Fritillary in the pasture to brighten our day.

         This beautiful Garden Spider has created a web right next to our thermometer in the pasture. 


Trees Are a Great Thing! August 3rd, 2022 and the Tree Trimmers are here...

It's 8:45 am and the Tunnel of Trees is warm this morning at 82 degrees. Tom's Tree Service is here to limb up some big and small stuff in the yard. They are good guys and understand our love for our trees. Some of these big limbs are right over the house and making Kenny and I a bit nervous.  

The Pasture is much cooler than the Tunnel of Trees today. 73 degrees is comfortable and it's because this part of the pasture gets the morning shade from our giant Laurel Oaks, Live Oaks and Longleaf Pines to the East. 

These are the Before the "Limb Up" pics at 8:45 am...  my heart feels heavy!

Here are some before and after pics - not a true reflection since the after pics were taken at 1:15 pm

Below are more after pics... that is going to be a warm back porch for the next few years! 
Something good is bound to come out of this...

 It's time to look for the Good! The Firecracker Bush is getting a lot more light and the Hummingbirds love it when that bush blooms. If the Firebush, Cross Vine and other flowering plants get more light the Hummingbirds and other pollinators will enjoy that as well.