Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." 
 ~Hans Christian Anderson

Monday, April 19, 2010


"Home is home, be it ever so humble."
~Proverb quote

Along Florida's Forgotten Coast you can find every kind of architecture from the sublime to the ridiculous. Some big, some small, some short some tall. But all threads that make up the fabric of this scenic area.

A tiny beach playhouse on St.George Island

Houseboats in Appalachicola

The smallest Police Station in the world in Carabelle
The small Post Office in Seaside

And the "unassuming beach cottage" in Mexico Beach

Friday, April 16, 2010


"...I've got bills to pay and children to feed
I know there's fish out there but where God only knows
They say these waters aren't what they used to be 
But I've got people back on land who count on me

So if you see my Downeaster "Alexa"
And if you work with the rod and the reel
Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis
and I still have my hands on the wheel..."
Billy Joel Lyrics - The Downeaster 'Alexa'

Making a living fishing is such a difficult job. Yet there are those for whom being out on the sea is as imporant as breathing. They are the ones who leave family for weeks at a time chasing fish, hoping the catch will be large enough to give a good payday. They endure storms, high seas and frigid temperatures and always the risk they will not return. So every time I eat a peice of fish or enjoy a platter of oysters or peel a shrimp, I'll say a little prayer for the hard working fisherman who farmed the sea to feed his family--and me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The Lighthouse
by Becky Jennings

The mighty lighthouse stands secure,
Undaunted by the restless sea;
Ravaged by the changing tides
And buffeted by winds blown free.

Yet, it sheds its beacon straight and true,
Unfaltering in the bleakest night,
Guiding every passing ship
Uncertain of the course that's right.

May we be diligent and true,
Dedicated to the right
And like the stalwart lighthouse stand
A beacon in the darkest night.

Built 1833 at West Pass (#1)
Rebuilt at Cape St. George in 1848 (#2)
Fell during hurricane in 1851
Rebuilt 1852 (#3)
Automated in 1949
Deactivated in 1994
Collapsed 2005
Rebuilt in 2008 at the center of St. George Island
92 stairs to the top

Remnants of the historic structure (bricks) were used in the construction of all three lighthouses including the present structure. Over 22,000 original bricks were cleaned of old mortar by volunteers.

Built in 1895 (Replaced Dog Island Lighthouse destroyed in a hurricane.)
Automated in 1933
Decommissioned in 1995
Restored and relighted 2007
138 steps to the top

Despite being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Coast Guard planned to surplus the lighthouse and sell it to the highest bidder. The Carrabelle Lighthouse Assoc. was formed  in 1999 and after years of effort, the Assoc. obtained ownership of the cast iron skeletal tower. The lighthouse was restored, relighted and a new park was opened to the public in 2007.

Built at Cape San Blas in 1849; an 85-foot conical brick tower (#1)
oot Destroyed by Storm in 1851
Replaced in 1856 with similar brick tower (#2)
Destroyed by Storm a few months later
Rebuilt in1857 (#3)
Damaged during Civil War
Toppled by beach erosion in 1882
Replaced in 1883 with a 98 foot cast iron skeletal lighthouse (#4)
Damaged by Storm in 1894 and left standing in water due to erosion
Moved 1/4 mile in 1918
Relighted 1919

The lighthouse is still operational and now stands on Eglin Air Force property.

Needless to say, I'm a fan of lighthouses and love their stories. There is romance in knowing that a beacon of light will guide you safely home. Even though with today's technology, that beacon probably is not what brings 
travelers safely to harbor, it is reassuring to still see them in the landscape. Hurray for all those volunteers and foundations that work so hard to allow them to remain as storytellers of a time when light keepers kept vigil and ships were warned away from dangerous reefs and rocks. 

There is one more lighthouse along the road of  Forgotten Florida, the St. Marks Lighthouse. But visiting there will have to wait for another trip.


The Forgotten Coast of Florida lies along Routes 98 and 30-A in the Panhandle and is bounded on the West by Mexico Beach and on the East by St. Marks Lighthouse and nature preserve. In between lie small towns and beach communities offering the traveler, forests, beautiful beaches and a glimpse into life as it once was in this part of Florida. Our destination was the fishing town of Appalachicola or 'Appalach,' as it is known to the locals. Our first stop was the Coombs House Inn, our home away from home for a few days.

When the Coombs house was built in 1905, it was generally referred to as the most "elegant house in Appalachicola." Built by James N. Coombs, a successful entrepeneur who owned three saw mills, the First National Bank of Appalachicola, and the Coombs Company, exporter of pine and cypress lumber to destinations around the world. The house is filled with antiques, black cypress wall paneling and ornate light fixtures.

photo of Coombs House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Apalachicola, Florida
I can't believe that I took not one photo of the interior of this beautiful Inn. Guess I was really relaxed. These images I found on line and they are straight on accurate. Below is our room (the "Heron") That bed was plenty comfy.


Okay, back to my photos.

Our room  was on the second floor and led out to the veranda that overlooked the courtyard.

There is just something so elegant and cozy about a southern veranda.

Never did find out if this statue had a name. Children, fish and turtles. There must be a story here.

Next installment - the fishing fleet, main street and lighthouses. But for now, the yard is calling me to work and the weeds are laughing at me. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Leaving for a few days of R and R in Appalachicola, a little fishing village in an area know as "The Forgotten Florida." Hopefully, I'll get some good photos. In the meantime, I leave you with a sunset that I took at the end of a recent cold and very windy day. I'd been out most of the day and had just gotten warm. I really didn't want to go outside again, so I took the photo from my nice warm living room through the porch doors. (I know, I know. How lazy is that?)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


"People who claim they don't let little things bother them, have never slept in a room with a single mosquito."

I don't know which bother me more, the no-see-ums or the  mosquitos. Actually I do know. The no-see-ums win hands down. But mosquitos are right behind them. So I was not all that happy to see this fellow on my sliding glass door. A harbinger of what's to come.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


"I don't want anybody to stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest--you alone are enough to face the sunrise."  ~Bhgwan Shree Rajneesh

I'm more of a sunset type of person, but this morning, the sky was lovely and I couldn't resist going out and taking a few pictures.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Once across the bridge our adventure began.

I've often heard the mewing cry of the catbird, but I've never seen one. This day luck was with me and this little fellow flew within feet of us. 

You've already met the smaller red sliders sunning on tree limbs. Well, here's their cousin the yellow slider. You can see how fittingt it's name is, what with those lovely yellow stripes and underside.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Earlier this week, the moon rose full, illuminating the landscape in its silvery light. After a sleepless night I finally gave up and got out of bed. When I came into the living room I saw the moon setting. The orange glow to the moon against the dawning sky was striking. For once insomnia paid off!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


More pictures from my morning at Ft. Pickens. It's such a peaceful place.

This Yaupon was holding on to its berries. I'm sure the birds appreciate it.

A river runs through it.

A second river. Or are they creeks?

Red sliders out enjoying the sun.