Friday, June 24, 2011


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


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


“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

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


"...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


"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.