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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Trees are a great thing to have and so are Red-headed Woodpeckers! October 25, 2023

Today is Wednesday October 25, 2023 and it's 3:30 pm. After 6 years in the weather and brutal summers of Central Florida it was time to buy a new thermometer for our pasture photos. Don't worry, I compared it with the tunnel of trees thermometer for a few days and they were identical so it passed the Trees Are Good test :-). 

So today in the tunnel of trees it was 83 degrees at 3:30 while in the pasture...

It's 86 degrees and this thermometer is actually being shaded by the fence post.

On a side note, Sunday October 8, 2023 we heard unfamiliar birds in our yard. After letting the Merlin app listen we've identified there are 4 Red-headed Woodpeckers living here for the first time since 1990 when Kenny built the house! It's so exciting!! We know we have Red-bellied, Pileated and Downey Woodpeckers but to have this group show up is a welcome sight! 

photo credit to 


Trees are Good on September 24, 2023 and the temperatures are cooling down in Central Florida!

 Our Tunnel of Trees is such a great place to spend time!

Today it's 80 degrees at 10:45 am and what a pleasant day it is!

The Pasture got a much needed bush hogging today and was only 86 degrees at 10:45 am. 

Life is Good! 

It's August 8th 2023 and We Couldn't Be More Thankful for Our Trees!!

We all know it's been a hot summer throughout the entire US and maybe the world! My jaw hit the ground this morning when I went out to check the thermometers though. 
Our Tunnel of Trees at 9:15 am was already at 88 degrees...
But it was the Pasture that really floored me ~ 104 degrees at 9:15 am?
 #PleasePlantTrees #LearnMoreAboutThem #TreesAreGood #ArborDayFoundation #HereToHelp  


Trees Are a Good Thing ~ June 15, 2023

You'd better believe trees are a good thing. 
If we didn't have our tree covered yard we'd be burning up in the Florida sun! 
2023 has been brutally dry with just a few rain showers here and there and those that hit have been freaky in nature. Last night we had a storm blow through at 12:30 am with 60 mph winds... sounded like a hurricane. In May we got 4 inches of rain in about 1.5  hours! The rest of the year so far has been hot with only sparse bits of rain that don't really penetrate the ground. 
Our weather is becoming more and more strange.

It's 10:15 am on June 15, 2023 and the sun, being so far in the northern sky, has been baking this thermometer in our yard. Right now it reads 89 degrees but in another hour it will hold it's own or even go down with the shade provided by our Oak, Pine hammock. 

The trees from the yard are keeping the temps in the pasture at bay... it's only 86 degrees

When the sun gets a little higher it's game on!

The Cattle Crossing, Lighthouse, Jungle Den and Old Ice House ~ St. Johns River, Astor, FL

The St Johns River and Lake George, Astor, FL


Located at the South end of Lake George, at the mouth of the St Johns River, is what we locals call the "Cattle Crossing". It's where the channel is located and was used by the Paddlewheel Boats of the late 1800s that brought goods to and from Central Florida. The old Tug Boats that brought oil to the DeBary Power Plant, before it was powered by natural gas, used it until the mid 1990s.

To the West of the Cattle Crossing is what's left of the old Post Office. It was also a lighthouse to show boaters the way to the channel.


This is the old Fish House in Astor, FL. 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. It was also called the Astor Ice House, Fish Camp and Dance Hall.

December 1949 

August 9th, 2020

July 30, 2022

September 5, 2022

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


This is Jungle Den in Astor, FL. 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.

August 9, 2020

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.