Monday, October 7, 2013


"Shadowed shapes linger by the shore
Watching the glowing "good night"
Silhouettes entwine in the twilight
And drift along the sandy beach."
~Unknown Author


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013


"In the golden light of autumn there is magic in the air"

Saturday, September 21, 2013


"To stand at the edge of the sea ... to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years ... is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be."
~Rachel Carson
Under the Sea-Wind.


Thursday, September 12, 2013


Hermit crabs are anything but hermits. They're called hermit crabs because each one carries his shelter with him. In reality, hermit crabs are social animals that thrive in the company of other hermit crabs. They'll climb over each other for fun and sleep in piles. In the wild, they live in large networks that facilitate the trading -- and sometimes outright stealing -- of shells. I came across this stump loaded with hermit crabs during a walk at Ft. McRea.  Actually they were all over the beach too. Must have been a convention.  :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


"No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea."
— Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer
It was a beautiful, clear morning at Opal Beach this morning, made even more special by the release of a young green sea turtle by The Gulfarium Sea Turtle C.A.R.E. Program (Conserve, Act, Rehabilitate, Educate) folks. Loggerhead turtles are the most common turtles to make it to our shores to lay their eggs with an occasional Kemps Ridley finding her way to our beaches. Green sea turtles are a rarity here, so you can imagine the excitement for an opportunity to see a Juvenile (about 5 years old) up close and personal.

 The back story on this little turtle is that it was brought to Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park just a few weeks ago after inadvertently swallowing a fisherman's line while angling off the pier beneath Brooks Bridge. Fortunately, for the 12-lb turtle, the fisherman wisely contacted the authorities for assistance. The turtle, named Aaliyah, after the fisherman's daughter, was transported to the park and given a full evaluation from veterinarians. After a successful procedure to remove the fishing hook, Aaliyah was thriving and demonstrated the skills required for release, such as diving and eating without assistance. Because she was found in the Sound that is where she was released. It will be up to her to find her way to the Gulf of Mexico over the next year or so. She took to the water immediately, raised her little head once as if to say "so long" and then began her long journey to the Gulf.
Part of the crowd waiting to see the Green Sea Turtle

The arrival

Just prior to release.

Isn't she beautiful. The markings on her shell are gorgeous. The crowd was pretty thick by the time the release came, and I found myself at the back of the audience, so I was unable to get a photo of her entering the water. But I was happy to be part of sending her on her way back to the sea and actually seeing this beautiful creature in person.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


"Blue, green, grey, white or black; smooth, ruffled or mountainous, that ocean is not silent.
~H. P. Lovecraft


Sunday, September 8, 2013


"Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second."
~Mattie Stepanek
After one of several thunder storms that came through last week, this lovely rainbow appeared. It was brilliant against the dark clouds. As you can see, I tried--not too successfully-- to use the panaorama setting. I'll have to keep practicing.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


"Rivers know this:  there is no hurry. We shall get there some day."
~Winnie the Pooh

We took a slow, lazy cruise up the Blackwater Bay to the Blackwater River last evening. On our way back home, we were treated to a lovely sunset. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me, (though I did remember the margaritas) so I had to snap with my phone camera.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


"If you pass by the color purple in a field and don't notice it, God gets real pissed off."
~Alice Walker


Thursday, August 29, 2013


Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time
~Otis Redding

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


“A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”
Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Yesterday was a day of dark clouds and a little rain. Didn't have much hope for a lovely sunset, but Mother Nature can always surprise us. The water was almost like glass and as we slowly sliced through the water, the sky put on quite a show.

 Pelican in silhouette
Pretty reflections 
 Clouds in the water
Fire and water

Friday, August 23, 2013


Nest sat a loggerhead sea turtle nest last night hoping for a hatching. Unfortunately, no turtles peaked their heads through the sand, but the evening sky was lovely.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


No one knows. Fires burn, the sky is blue and mullet jump.”

One of the most popular and interesting fish here in northwest Florida is the mullet. Fishermen throw their cast nets from every available surface from bridges, docks, boats and even while wading in shallow waters. Mullet can be identified by their propensity to leap out of the water, sometimes jumping five or six times before they make their final splash down--not unlike skipping stones. Why you may ask do they jump out of the water? Well there are an infinite number of theories, but the one that seems to ring with the sound of truth is simply because they can. They may be escaping predators, or grabbing some air to breathe easier or as I read from one young person, they leap so they can see where they are going. :) Regardless of why, I have to admit to sitting by the water waiting for the familiar splash of a mullet landing after its brief time in the air. It's part of the sights and sounds of the bay. Not only are they entertaining, but the fish are pretty tasty too. Mullet can be fried, blackened, smoked and baked. I've had mullet blacked and I have to say it was very good. But my heart belongs to the staid, non-jumping red snapper. Yum.

 Up and away

Splash down.

Monday, August 19, 2013


The sea oats are in full bloom and are swaying and bending with the breeze. On sunny days they catch the light and turn a lovely golden color as they dig deeply into the sand. Their massive root system is capable of holding sand in place during extreme weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms and is an important plant for shoreline protection. It also captures blowing sand and builds dunes, another layer of protection for the coastline.


Sunday, August 18, 2013


"Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much...the wheel, New York, wars and so on.. while all the dolphins had ever done was much about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than...for precisely the same reason."
~Douglas Adams

It's been raining for days. Yesterday, a neighbor called and told me six pods of dolphins were making their way down to my end of the bay. So I donned my rain slicker, grabbed my golf umbrella and slung my camera around my neck and made my way down to the dock to wait for these rainy day visitors. It wasn't long before I saw the familiar dark triangles of fins slicing through the water. Unfortunately, they stayed a little farther offshore than my camera was capable of capturing clearly. But here are a few shots. They were following schools of fish and occasionally put on quite a show of rising and splashing in the water. Finally, the rain began to come down too hard and I had to abandon the dock. Still it was worth getting a little soggy to watch these graceful beings frolicking and splashing around. It was their summer picnic!

Monday, August 12, 2013


"You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. ...
~Bill Watterson

This has been a summer of projects. All those things we have been talking about doing for ages are finally getting done. Well some of them anyway. One project that has just been completed was building a couple of Adirondack chairs for the dock. We needed something heavy enough not to blow away in our heavy winds, though we still tethered them and the table to the dock. Not to brag, but I think we did a pretty good job. I'll take credit for the easy stuff--design, color choice and painting and my dear husband gets credit for the construction--you know, the really hard, talented part. With the addition of an umbrella, we now have a comfortable place to enjoy our morning coffee and sunset cocktails without lugging folding chairs back and forth. It feels so good to check something off the to-do list. :)
Colorful shade.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday was a hot, humid day and we decided to take our chances--despite dark, threatening clouds to our north--and boat over to Ft. McRea for a little swimming, reading, napping and just generally enjoying a relaxing day. Those kinds of days are few and far between of late and it was just wonderful to float in the warm waters and enjoy the sea breezes. 

Cardinal flowers and sea oats.

Clouds continued to build all day, but the sun prevailed.

Meet Bella, the paddle boarding wonder. She and her owner paddled by several times and finally I had to ask to take her picture. A real cutie. 

All that exercise was exhausting!

And then we heard the calliope music and the Ice Cream Man appeared! In addition to cool treats he also was serving up hot peanuts, aka boiled peanuts--a southern delicacy.

It never did rain on us and we returned home much relaxed. Heading north again, we noticed that those dark clouds we left in the morning were still on the horizon. When we docked at home, it was evident that while we were gone, the garden got a good drenching. :) Looks like out decision to take a chance on the weather out on the Gulf was a good one. 

Monday, June 10, 2013


Birdsong and rustling wind. Hard to believe this space is in the middle of a busy city.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I love old architecture and I'm a big fan of long windows and balconies. Add flowers and flags and pretty green awnings and I'm drooling over this wonderful building in downtown Annapolis. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I guess I did take a picture of Daddy. He seemed a little aloof. But he did stay within a short distance of the family. :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Momma and ducklings out for a swim.


I just love blue pots. They make every plant look special.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Below is a 1890 photo from the Mystic Seaport Museum collection  of the sandbagger Annie.  These boats were the extreme sailboats of their day. Like most sandbaggers, Annie's sail plan was twice as long as her 28-foot hull. These wide, shallow boats needed crews of more than 10 to handle their huge sails and shift the 50-pound bags of sand ballast that helped keep the boats upright and gave them their name. Because they were so shallow, sandbaggers had a large centerboard, which could be lowered to prevent the boat from sideslipping downwind.

From the 1860s to the 1890s, sandbagger racing was a very popular sport from New York to New Orleans to San Francisco. With few rules, sandbagger racing was exciting, but it died out in the 1890s after yacht clubs developed "Corinthian"-amateur-regulations and measurement rules for handicapping racing yachts.

Today in Annapolis harbor are two sandbaggers, one called Bear and the other Bull. (Stockbrokers mayhap?) They are beautiful boats and use water jugs instead of 50 lb sandbags for ballast.