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Interesting Facts about one of our Neighbors, the Alligator

Alligators are nesting, and we are at the end of alligator mating season. Alligator courtship begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June. You might have heard some sounds you are unfamiliar with, and it could have been the alligators mating, as they are noisy. Males are the showiest of the species and they interest their mate by head slapping, vibrating their torso, bellowing, and jaw slapping. The females join in by making a sound more like a growl, but without the fanfare of the showy male. In the animal world, alligator courtship is lengthy, often extending 6-8 weeks with copulation occurring underwater quite a few times during courtship. Interesting fact: males and females may have multiple partners during a courting season and a single clutch of eggs may have multiple paternities. By June, the female seeks the right location to build her nest. The female piles vegetation and compresses the materials she has gathered and diligently builds her nest. It can take a few days, or upwards of a month for the nest mound to be built. Once the female is satisfied with the nest, she climbs on to the mound and spends several hours slowly turning to make a depression on the top. She then deposits 20 to 50 oval eggs. The female returns to the water's edge numerous times to gather muddy vegetation to pile on the depression. The incubation period is 65 days. As the alligator embryos develop, it is the heat in the nest that will determine the sex of a baby gator. A temperature of 91 degrees or higher produces a male, a temperature of 86 or below produces a female, and in between the two temps there is a 50-50 chance of either a male or female being born. Lee and I always enjoy getting to know our neighbors; and some facts about the local wildlife too.
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Central Florida Has Beautiful Lakes, Enjoy the Ride!

June is the perfect time to take a boat ride on the Chain of Lakes. Bring your hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and your spirit of adventure. Living Waters offers fun tours of the Chain of Lakes. We enjoyed a great day and best of all the Chain of Lakes is only a short drive from Solivita. We parked our car at Harborside Restaurant in Winter Haven where we boarded the Living Waters Pontoon Boat for a two-hour tour. The tour was interesting, the captain was entertaining, and the water was crystal blue and shimmering in the sunlight. We sat back and enjoyed the ride while sharing a cooler packed with refreshments. We relaxed on the comfortable couch seating on board, and our captain put the Bimini top up to provide us with extra shade. After a relaxing afternoon on the lake we were dropped off at the Harborside Restaurant and shared a delicious dinner. A pleasant way to spend the day, wind in our hair, fresh air in our lungs, and a nice afternoon on the water, plus a delicious fish dinner at Harborside. If you would like to take a ride with Living Waters on the Chain of Lakes you can find them on the web at: www.livingwatercruises.com
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Flag Day Celebration

A salute goes out to all veterans plus a special thank you to the Solivita Veterans who have erected the American Flag on our lawns in celebration of the great country we live in. Flag Day is a day to commemorate the adoption of the US flag in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Thank you for helping to remind each of us to observe Flag Day, and the freedom, democracy, and unity the flag represents to all US Residents.
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Make a Big Impact with a Small Investment

Want to freshen up the look of a room, but don’t want to spend lots of cash?  Add texture and style to your Central Florida home by adding a few beautiful pillows to your den, living room or lanai. If you have a solid sofa or solid chairs, add a delightful flower print with tassels. Pillows are available in a gorgeous array of colors. If flowers are not “your thing”, add luxurious velvet monochrome geometric design pillows to your look, or add bold black and white pillows, and make a real statement in your room. Our Central Florida discount stores have a large assortment of rich looking pillows at reasonable prices on their shelves and the right pillows really can change the look of a room. Shop around some of the discount stores for a look you love. If your furniture has a print, look for some pillows with a solid pop of color to change up your look. Experiment, because you can always return any pillow you purchase if you are not thrilled with the look.
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Summer Time Is Soup Time; Chilled That Is.

Chilled Mango Chipotle Soup Easy, Delicious and High in Antioxidants.
  • 2 Mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • ½ Tsp Ginger Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp. Chipotle Powder
  • 2 Cups Vegetable broth
Puree all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. More spices can be added to taste. Serve Chilled and Enjoy.
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Enjoying a Solivita Summer

Summer weather is upon us. A bit hot, a bit sticky, but still a great time to kick back and enjoy all that Florida has to offer. Florida fresh watermelon is in season. Watermelon is the perfect fruit for cooling off - it makes a delicious smoothie in the morning with yogurt, a refreshing salad with mint, feta, and a few black olives in the afternoon, and a delicious martini at cocktail time. Florida watermelon is a gift to Florida residents. We can grow it, pick it up in the market, or pick a watermelon at the farm-stand. Our watermelon is as good as it gets: sweet, juicy, and flavorful. A very big summer benefit.

Tomatoes are in season in Florida as well and our Solivita Garden is brimming. I came from NJ, and to me there was nothing better than a NJ tomato, but I also subscribe to the “when in Rome” philosophy. Once I overcame my NJ tomato fixation, I found the tomatoes grown in Florida to be delicious, juicy, sweet when ripened, and wonderful. Tomatoes make a great dinner when paired with a few slices of fresh mozzarella, some fresh basil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a loaf of Italian bread.

What I love most about Florida summer weather is the ease of dining as most of our meals in the warm weather are chilled. When we feel the need for meat or fish we just fire up the BBQ. No need to add any heat to the house.

Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy a Solivita Summer:

  1. Walk the Solivita indoor walking track. It's temperature controlled!
  2. Break Out The Blender. It's time to enjoy a frozen favorite.
  3. Enjoy Some Indoor Activities. Stay cool in the AC and kick back with a good book.
  4. Take a Swim. Solivita has 14 pools to choose from, and they are all refreshing.