Monday, July 20, 2009


"Strong winds buffet the sea oats and tall dune grasses, tossing sand and seabirds where it
will, ... "
~Karen White (The Memory of Water)

Our first visit to Ft. Pickens since the road reopened. We bought our season's pass and walked through the Fort and along the shore and beaches. This is really one of the most beautiful places.

Ivan has left its mark at Ft. Pickens. This tree stands as a stark reminder of the force of nature. Though dead, the tree still stands and has been silvered by wind, sand and salt. It stands as a monument to survival.

Bone yard

Ivan may have left damage, but the seashore is as beautiful as ever. After almost 6 years I still marvel at the colors of the water and the sand every time I look out onto the Gulf.

The sea oats are blooming and the sun turns them golden as they sway in the late afternoon light.

It's a wonderful place for a day at the beach with family, or...

For quiet contemplation.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


" A summer night is like a perfection of thought." ~Wallace Stevens

Last night was a soft warm evening full of warm breezes, dry air and a sky lit by the setting sun.
It was too lovely to stay indoors, so we brought our wine out to the dock, lit a fire and watched the sun set and the stars peek through high clouds. We talked a while about the events in our day and then fell into a companionable silence, absorbing the feel of the wind and the loveliness of the night. It was nice to just be...with each other.

A lovely sunset

A crackling fire


“ Every cloud engenders not a storm." ~William Shakespeare

Last Thursday a storm came out of the northwest. Clouds dark as night began to roll in as the wind picked up and roiled the water to crashing surf. I sat with Dakota and waited patiently for the storm to hit. We love watching summer storms. I could see rain falling across the Bay and to the north and was glad for the much needed moisture that would be here soon. But, alas, we were on the wrong side of the clouds. While thunder roared and wind whipped, we saw not one drop of rain fall on our parched lawn or dry flower beds. It's weird how I can see rain all around us, and yet the clouds seem to part when they pass over us. Oh well, maybe next time. For now I guess I'll have to get out the hose and make up for what Mother Nature withheld.

The edge of the storm.

White caps building...

Surf crashing...

Wind blowing...

And still no rain!

ZOOTOGRAPHY 3 (Click for link)

Behold the hippopotamus! We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.
Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.

— Ogden Nash, "The Hippopotamus"

I took another class at The Zoo Northwest Florida yesterday and had the good fortune to get up close and personal with one of the resident hippos. This guy was all about lunch, which gave us photographers a great view of those amazing teeth and his very large mouth.

Here he comes answering the call to lunch.

Open wide...

Here comes a juicy green apple. Nice catch. Yum!

More please.

A carrot! Is that the best you can do.

If that's all that's on the menu, I'm outta here!

While watching the hippo's antics, I almost missed several dragonflies resting on the duckweed. Their coloring and the transparency of their wings provide them with awesome camoflage.

Sharing the pond with our hungry Hippo, was a small flock of these lovely Egyptian geese.

Here are a few of the other residents at the Zoo, who made great subjects for my camera.

Of course I had to visit my favorite little friends--the lemurs. Don't you just love the attitude?

Are you lookin at me?

These black swans swim gracefully in their ponds and look so serene. But signs caution you to keep you hands away because these lovely creatures like to BITE!

Meet Patrick. His brother Zeke was relaxing up in the tree. Poor Pat--he seems to have an itch he can't reach.

I don't remember the name of this fine feathered fellow, but he looked a little rumpled--sort of like a bad case of bed head.

And finally, there is lovely flora at the Zoo as well as the amazing fauna. It's a great place to take a camera, or just to walk around with your own thoughts and commune with nature.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


"Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints are gone."