Oakland Nature Preserve

Getting to be a frequent destination – limited choices while travel remains unavailable, and the search for not-busy places is the main criterion! So, some more views of the beautiful boardwalk down to Lake Apopka, including a small Alligator and a Great Egret …

Here also is a short video of the Great Egret very patiently approaching a small snack!

A “smart” Christmas Tree

Recently we watched a “Techmoan” video on YouTube showing a smart / configurable Christmas Tree from Twinkly. We got our own! The tree connects via bluetooth and then wifi with an app (for iPad/iPhone or Android) and then there’s a LOOOONG time “mapping” the tree which involves pointing the device camera at the tree from many angles while the app flashes and identifies every individual LED. Worse, we had to do it multiple times because the app is rather “buggy”!

Eventually though we succeeded and were then able to move on to the useful part of the app, which is running supplied LED lighting sequences on the tree – or even creating our own. More app bugs here meant more than one attempt to set up a “playlist” of separate lighting patterns but once again we eventually achieved something close to desired (and then left well alone since then!)

Right now our new “smart” tree is set up to auto turn on around sunset and run till 10pm, going through a playlist of 30 second sequences “waves”, “snow”, “USA wind”, “Christmas Sparkles” (which I created on the app), “Chroma Falls”, and “bright twinkle” … here’s a video of a few seconds of each sequence:

It’s amazing what technology can do these days!