12-Jan-2011 -- We don't make it a habit of visiting confluences more than once, although we have done it twice before this. However, since we were passing by, we stopped again. This time we hoped to add more information on the surrounding area than we did in July 2006. It was extremely hot then. By Florida standards, it was cool today. At noon it was only 54°F.
This confluence is just inside Lakeland City Limits. We exited the toll road, which is a bypass around Lakeland, and paid our 50 cents to do so. Before turning under the overpass to reach the confluence on the other side, we explored the region for a mile or so in each direction. We found it to be an agricultural and manufacturing area with a few homes situated along the streets. At the first corner we reached, we saw a fenced field containing goats while across the street there was a large business complex. Just down the street were other business interests and across from them a field with cows. These cows were only a third of a mile from the confluence but because of the built up toll road between confluence and cows, they were not visible from the spot.
After driving under the highway ramp, we turned west and almost immediately pulled over to park on a cement pull off next to the road. A short walk along the fence still surrounding the confluence pond and we were standing on 82°W, about 24 meters from the spot. The lens of my camera fit through the spaces on the chain link fence so I was able to get shots without the fence in the way. An overview photo of the area shows the fence.
Trees on the other side of the marsh had Spanish Moss growing on them - it hung down quite heavily and swung in the breeze. Turkey Vultures soared on the breezes overhead. The sounds of traffic whizzing by on the Toll Road above or the Toll Road access road next to the confluence fence was steady. There seemed to be less water in the marsh this time. The grass looked brown and dry. It is winter this visit and there has been a lack of rain.
We left via the Toll Road again, paying our $1 toll every few miles. Soon after leaving the confluence area, we were able to photograph some lovely orange groves.