Tuesday, June 30, 2009


"Who is more responsible than a gull who finds and follows meaning, a higher purpose for life? For a thousand years we have scrabbled after fish heads, but now we have a reason to live--to learn, to discover, to be free!" Jonathan, from Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.


"May I never miss a sunset or rainbow because I am looking down." Author: Sara June Parker

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I remember just lying in the grass, staring at the clouds, wondering where they drifted off to after they floated over Texas. ~~Renee Zellweger

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I love sea oats. They turn that golden color when the sun hits them just right and then they gracefully bend with the wind.


“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” --Jacques Cousteau

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Saturday, June 20, 2009


A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
~Dixon Lanier Merritt

Some of our neighborhood feathered friends. I never get tired of watching for them. They usually appear when I'm far away from my camera, but sometimes I get lucky!

This guy almost looked like he was posing for me. He let me get pretty close. I think he's done this before. If you click on the picture to make it larger, you'll see that the pelican has toenails! I never knew that.

Caught these immature herons on a walk.

I wonder if they are siblings?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


"There are too many other high-quality trees in this cruel world to warrant planting this tree." - U.S. Forest Service in Fact Sheet ST68

Albizia julibrissin Mimosa or Silk Tree
Non-Native in Florida

No one will argue that the Mimosa Tree isn't beautiful. With it's pink "powder puff" crown atop fern like leaves, it is an eye catcher in the landscape

Originally from China, Mimosa or Silk tree was introduced to the United States in 1745 and cultivated since the 18th century primarily for use as an ornamental. Mimosa remains a popular ornamental because of its fragrant and showy flowers. Due to its ability to grow and reproduce along roadways and disturbed areas, and its tendency to readily establish after escaping from cultivation, mimosa is considered a Category II invasive by Florida’s Exotic Pest Plant Council and should not be planted in residential landscapes.

Invasive non-native plants can outgrow, replace, and otherwise destroy our native plants. That's because non-native plants usually do not have their natural enemies -- the diseases, insects and other environmental stresses -- that keep them in check in their native ranges. The destruction and replacement of our native plants has several significant consequences:
  • Our natural biodiversity is destroyed;
  • Our native plants can be eliminated;
  • Our wildlife have evolved to use native plants are not able to make use of non-native plants. As a result, they leave the area or die off.
You'll see many of these trees which have already escaped cultivation along the roadside and in the forests. Please keep them out of your home landscapes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"Someone told me its all happening at the zoo." ~Paul Simon

Yesterday I took my second Zootography class at The Zoo Northwest Florida, and like the first, I came away with new knowledge and technique. We concentrated on shooting the animals through a chain link fence and have the image of the fence disappear. Not magic, but a few tricks. I did pretty good, though not perfect. Need some more practice. I got to try out my new lens and I was happy with the results. Here are some of the residents I photographed. Enjoy!

The lemurs were a little reluctant to leave the shade of their shelters until our guide offered them some food. That drew them out and we all happily snapped away.

However, once the food was gone, so were they. Bye Bye.

The feathered guys seemed to find shade and shelter from the heat under shrubs and trees or better yet in the water.

I almost missed this lovely white peacock. She was tucked off the path in a patch greenery.

This wood duck was swimming along in one of the ponds. The water, though rippled, was fairly still and the mirror image I thought was interesting.

This colorful trio was behind a grated cage and while I was able to make the cage bars disappear, the focus leaves a little to be desired.


and Tigers...

As you can see, all of the lions and tigers were shot through fences. Had some success, but not perfect yet. Need to keep practicing. With this guy, I didn't even try. He was just way to close to the fence and I'm not a brave soul.

...and Orangutans!?!
Mom and baby were huddled under an eave taking advantage of the shade. I think the heat was making them sleepy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Juan Sebastian de Elcano

A goodly vessel did I then espy Come like a giant from a haven broad; And lustily along the bay she strode, Her tackling rich, and of apparel high. From"With Ships the Sea was Sprinkled Far and Nigh"~~ William Wordsworth

Juan Sebastian de Elcano

This graceful and beautiful tall ship arrived in the Port of Pensacola as part of the 450th Anniversary celebration of the settlement of Pensacola. The Elcano sails under the flag of Spain, one of the Five Flags that have flown over Pensacola in her long history. The visit of the ship resonated with the people of this fine town and they came out in record numbers to see the ship and wait in long lines to board her. It was an amazing sight to see her sitting in our harbor for the four or five days she was here. George and I went out to see her on her last full day here, but the lines were long--a five hour wait. Not willing to stand in the sun for that long, we satisfied ourselves with admiring her from afar. A truly beautiful tall ship. Reminded me of all of those Parades of Tall Ships we saw come to Newport, RI and parade into Narragansett Bay.

Mast and Rigging. Seemed like it could touch the sky.

Ship's Maiden Head

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Saturday, June 6, 2009


"A thunderstorm is God's way of saying you spend too much time in front of the computer."~~Anonymous

These clouds were the precursors of an afternoon thunderstorm. I couldn't take my eyes off them so I had to stop my car and snap a couple of pictures. I'm a big fan of both the impressive cloud formations and the thunderstorms.

Friday, June 5, 2009


May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

-- Irish Blessing

It was a dark and stormy Memorial Day with rain stopping and starting, teasing revelers to venture out and then having them scurry back out of the cloudbursts. But then in late afternoon, Mother Nature rewarded us with a present of color and beauty.

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