Saturday, December 31, 2011

TAILGATING

If you can read this, you are too close.
~(from a Bumper Sticker)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I'll let this one speak for itself.

Friday, December 30, 2011

LATE VISITOR

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

It's been so warm this fall and winter that many of our butterflies stayed around a little longer than usual. I came across this Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) playing in the grass. Several of them have been visiting my garden for quite some time now. They are welcome to stay as long as they like for they give me many moments of real pleasure watching them flit about.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

CHRISTMAS PAST

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis

The stockings are empty, the boxes unwrapped and my son has returned to Annapolis. Another Christmas has passed and all that is left is the memories of a lovely family holiday. But the tree still stands till the New Year arrives and then that too will be packed away till Christmas Future arrives.







 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

HELLO AGAIN and SEASONS GREETINGS

Hello to all my blog friends. It's been a while since I've posted anything, but my self-imposed hiatus is over and I'm looking forward to posting new pictures, and catching up with all of you. I hope 2012 brings all good things to each of you.

To start the year off, I've created a new blog called Bayside Picture Perfect Moments where I hope to post the best of my 2012 pictures. One of my new year's promises to myself is to clean out my picture files and keep only those really worthy of archiving.  My new blog address is bayside2-PicturePerfect.blogspot.com. I hope to see all of you there at some point this year.

The winter sunsets here can be spectacular and make it hard to do them justice in a picture, but I continue to try.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A MUGGY MORN

Even at 6:00 a.m. the air was heavy with humidity and well, just plain hot. Though the weather was uncomfortable (large understatement!) the shore birds were out and about. Especially the reddish egrets. They pranced and danced and fished and seemed to be having a great time. We didn't venture too far along the sound as many of the birds are nesting right now and as you approach their nesting sites they send up the alarm, warning us to turn around and leave them in peace. I was on the wrong side of the light for most of the morning so these are the best of the bad.


The sea oats are blooming.
Reddish Egret
In flight
 Chasing bait fish
Dancing display
Hopping along the shore
These two went at it for awhile vying for territory
In silhouette

Friday, June 24, 2011

IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING...

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
 ~Langston Hughes



Finally, it rained yesterday. I know, so what, you say. But this was a very big event. We have not had rain since the end of February. I've sat and watched it rain all around me--to the north of us, to the west of us, but never ON us. Well yesterday, the heavens opened right on top of us. Big, drops of liquid sunshine poured down for about 45 minutes followed by a another 30 minutes or so of gentle rain. It was glorious. And yes, I went out into it. It felt wonderful. Then about 5:30 p.m. it happened again. Amazing. The total rainfall was 2"!! I didn't have to water the gardens today. Yay!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

REMAINS


What's left of an old pier sits near the shore at Fort Pickens. Birds love to roost there. The sky was dark with clouds and we were hopeful that finally we would get some rain. Unfortunately, the clouds blew away and not a drop of rain fell.


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Sunday, June 5, 2011

A NEW SEASON

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


Saturday morning, the alarm went off way to early, (4:45 a.m.) but I forced myself out of bed, gabbed my binoculars, Sibley's, and camera, stopped for coffee (you can get a small coffee for free at the Tom Thumb before 10:00 a.m. ) and made my way to Navarre Beach Park Sounside.

It's shorebird counting time again. The same group that did this count for the Audubon Society last year is doing it again this year. Last year's count was to establish a baseline, and this year's count is important to see if the BP oil spill has affected the migratory paths and numbers of shorebirds that normally arrive on our shores. The real count begins in July, but this weekend we took part in a Shorebird Stewardship Program. We walked and investigated certain areas of the beach and sound to see if we could spot nesting sites. Then we report them to our Audubon stewardship leader, and hopefully these sites can be roped off and signed so that people will leave them undisturbed. 

We found a site that seemed to be a nesting site for Wilson's Plovers. Once the location is reported, the site can then, hopefully, be roped off and signed so that people will leave the area undisturbed during nesting season. Already chicks are all over the Island and drivers have to be alert for these little cuties as they sometimes want to cross the road. 

In addition to the new nesting site, we also saw a great many shorebirds, some new, some old friends. 

Sunrise over the Sound

 Black Skimmer--so named because of the way they skim the water to fish. The lower bill is longer than the upper which helps them scoop up food.

An old friend. This is a Reddish Egret. These birds are fun to watch as they forage for food. Their behavior is almost comical as they run, spin, flap their wings as they literally chase fish through the shallow water. 

Semi-palmated Plover

 Adult Male Breeding Ruddy Turnstone
Sandling

Adult Wilson's Plover standing guard at nesting site. The adult plovers were sending up quite a racket as we walked along, convincing us that we had indeed found their nesting area. So as not to upset the birds, we left after making note of the location.


Friday, June 3, 2011

RED

"...It is a blood-red flower, with the color of sin;
but there is always the scent of a god about it."
~Olive Schreiner

Texas Star Hibiscus

Red Canna

Bee Balm

Knockout Rose

Thursday, June 2, 2011

MERMAID

"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living."
~Anais Nin

If you walk in a seaside garden just before dawn, you may come upon this bewitching lady enjoying a quiet moment before returning to the sea. 


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SUN'S FLOWER

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do.
~Helen Keller

A friend brought me sunflowers and yesterday I noticed how lovely they looked back-lit by the sun coming in from the window. 



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

TIMING

Sometimes you just get lucky and are in the right place at the right time. And have your camera at hand!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NESTING SEASON

The shorebirds are nesting and together with the Audubon Society, I'll be surveying various areas of the beach to identify nest sites so that they can be marked for protection. Santa Rosa Island is the nesting location for several shorebird species.

Snowy Plovers

Snowy Plover

Monday, May 16, 2011

BLOOMING

"Coffee.  Garden.  Coffee.  Does a good morning need anything else?  
~Betsy Cañas Garmon


The garden is starting to bloom!!

Blanket Flower

Verbena

Guara

Hibiscus

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BEACH SUNSET

Some things need explanation, others speak for themselves.



Monday, May 9, 2011

SEA ROSES

Love's Garden

Love Planted a rose,
And the world turned sweet,
Where the wheatfield blows
Love planted a rose.
Up the mill-wheel's prose
Ran a music beat.
Love planted a rose,
And the world turned sweet.
~Katharine Lee Bates



The Rosa rugosa are blooming and perfuming the air with their lovely scent. This year they are blooming profusely and you want to just stick your nose in and breathe their fragrance in deeply. However, be warned, these roses are full of tiny, but lethal thorns. To be appreciated from afar.



I see a cucumber beetle on my rose. Must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. My cucumbers are in the side garden!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

FOR PAULA

The red-wing blackbirds have been around in great numbers this spring. But this is the first I've seen them at the bird feeder! The house sparrows are surprisingly receptive to their presence. Though they are a little too big for the feeder and most of the seed ends up on the ground when they are done.



P.S. Sadly I had to remove the feeders. There is a nasty !@$%# cat next door that viewed my feeders as his personal hunting ground. After finding a pile of feathers one day and a dead bird the next, I decided I needed to take the feeder down before any more birds were harmed. The cat's owner wanted to know if they were my own personal birds, otherwise, don't bother him. 
Gotta love (NOT) people.

Friday, May 6, 2011

CATTLE EGRETS

"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love ... and then we return home."
~Australian Aboriginal Proverb

I've seen Cattle Egrets before, but none have ever visited my yard before. Their stay was short, but I loved watching them until they left for their next destination.

Coming in for a landing.

Strutting around the yard. Such pretty coloring.

Checking out the landscape.

On to the next place. Sometimes I wish I had the freedom to flit from one place to another without the worry of travel plans, without packing a bag, just taking wing when the urge came upon me.