Saturday, October 31, 2009


“Everybody loves the cackle of the rooster, the colors, the long tail.”  ~ Keith Gilbertson

The Zoo of Northwest Florida has closed, another victim of the poor economy and a shrinking pool of grant dollars and contributions. What a great loss to Northwest Florida. One of the breeds of animals I grew especially fond of on my many visits were these roosters. We would cross paths often during a visit and I like to think they came to know me. (I have a vivid imagination!) Aren't they beautiful? I'm missing my visits to the Zoo and all of the critters, large and small, that called that place home.  I wonder where they all went and if they all found new homes, especially this pretty boy. Hope he's strutting around somewhere lovely.

He is a Welsummer Rooster, a Dutch breed that takes it's name from the small village of Welsum in The Netherlands.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


You got to take the crookeds with the straights. ~August Wilson

A broken sand fence at Seaside frames the aqua waters of the Gulf. I'm sure the recent winds have much to do with its crookedness. But I'm not sure I'd like it as much were it straight and whole.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


On a trip to DeFuniak Springs to attend the Chautauqua Wine Festival, we disturbed this turkey vulture from his "middle-of-the-road" meal.  It was quite the look he gave us as he waited for us to move on so he could continue dining.  I love birds, but this is one feathered fellow I have a hard time liking. Maybe its all those westerns I watched as a kid knowing that if the sky was full of circling vultures, someone had a very bad day.

Friday, October 23, 2009


“When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.”   ~Ramakrishna

Didn't even know this little guy was in the picture until I enlarged the photo. Sometimes you just get lucky.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Come watch with me the shaft of fire that glows
In yonder West: the fair, frail palaces,
The fading Alps and archipelagoes,
And great cloud-continents of sunset-seas.
-Thomas Bailey Aldrich,

Last night's sunset started out prettily, but ended as a spectacular display. I am looking forward to another sunset tonight--except the sky is full of rainclouds!



Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind.

- Carly Simon

Posted by PicasaThis little house finch worked this seed for several minutes and seemed determined not to give up. Her persistence paid off.

And then she sat, looking very pleased with herself.

I was distracted by the sounds of a woodpecker and went in search of the noisy little creature. High in the live oak was a pretty little downy woodpecker.


Such a slender moon, going up and up,
Waxing so fast from night to night...

~ Jean Ingelow

As a little girl, the crescent moon always reminded me of a toe nail and to this daly (many moons later) I still look up and say, "Oh look. A toe nail moon."

Last night the waters were still, reflecting both the moon and the lights of Pensacola.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~Anais Nin


“Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem.” ~Annonymous


Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing ... Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying.   ~Langston Hughes

It's been a while since I posted a sunset, but last night I had no choice but to grab my camera and try to capture the beautiful glow of this sunset.

A glowing orb


The colors of approaching night

Just for fun

Sunday, October 18, 2009


When summer gathers up her robes of glory,

And, like a dream, glides away.
~ Sarah Helen Whitman

Autumn has finally come to Northwest Florida. The wind has been howling out of the North for several days and with it has come the cooler, humidless days of Fall. The temps have dropped into the 40s at night and have struggled to reach 70 during the day. A welcome relief from the heat and humidity of summer. Though I am sure that soon we shall be complaining about the cold and wishing for summer's heat. I took a walk around my garden and snapped some of the last flowers standing.

Pretty Guara

The last of the white star hibiscus

A few brave blooms have survived the wind on the encore azalea bush.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy senseless merchandise.
~ Oscar Wilde

The Mums at Bellingrath Gardens reach their peak in November, but they are still pretty spectacular in October.

Bellingrath's Cascading Mums hanging from the bridge are reflected on the waters of the lake.

Ground plantings and hanging baskets

A Gulf Fritillary among the mums

Thursday, October 15, 2009


!This praying mantis paid a visit to our screened porch. Talk about alien eyes!


A Spider Lily Study

Monday, October 12, 2009


"The beauteous pansies rise
In purple, gold, and blue,
With tints of rainbow hue Mocking the sunset skies."
 ~ Thomas John Ouseley


Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Saturday, October 10, 2009


"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." ~ Anonymous

Yesterday I volunteered at the 3rd Annual Butterfly Festival at the Panhandle Butterfly House in Navarre. My station was the second stop in the Life Cycle of a butterfly; namely, the caterpillar. We had three different caterpillars on display--the  black swallowtail, the orange barred sulphur and the Monarch caterpillars, like the two below.

These two Monarch caterpillars are hungrily munching away on a Milkweed plant, their host plant. The job of the caterpillar is to eat and eat and eat. As the caterpillar grows it splits its skin and sheds it about 4 or 5 times. Food eaten at this time is stored and used later as an adult. Caterpillars can grow 100 times their size during this stage. For example, a monarch butterfly egg is the size of a pinhead and the caterpillar that hatches from this tiny egg isn't much bigger. But it will grow up to 2 inches long in several weeks.

Monarch egg on leaf

Newly hatched caterpillar

Looking for more food. Soon this caterpillar will be ready for the next stage of its life--the chrysalis stage. Then it will emerge from the chrysalis as a lovely Monarch Butterfly.

Monarch Chrysalis

The last three pictures are not mine, but were included from reference sources for visual clarity.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” ~Michelangelo

I don't know if this hunk of marble would inspire Michelangelo, but it was a surprising find in the sand at Ft. McRee. It looks as if it may have been part of some sort of sea wall or jetty. It is so unusual to see any kind of rock or boulder here, let alone marble, that this was quite a find. Too bad it was so heavy, it would look great in my garden. But then, I would hate to move something that most likely has been in the landscape a very long time.


The Pelicans flew past me in single file. They took me by surprise, but luckily I was camera ready!

Monday, October 5, 2009


On a recent visit to Ft. McRee, I came upon another lovely blue heron. I never tire of photographing them, so I hope y'all are not too tired of seeing them.

There were other birds that caught my eye on this visit.

Like this handsome gull protecting the opening to the island.

And this little sandling who was rushing to the water's edge.

In all the times that I've been to Ft. McRee, I had never seen this lovely lagoon hidden behind the sand dunes. I found it quite by accident as I was following three egrets as they flew over the dunes and disappeared. What a lovely surprise to come upon such an idyllic landscape.

Not only did I find the lagoon, but straight across from where I was standing I could see part of the ruins of the old Fort. I was pretty excited.

Especially when I saw the three egrets that led me to my discovery.

It was a great day for the birds and a wonderful day to be out on the water in your vessel of choice.

Even the jets from NAS Pensacola were out prowling the skies!!