Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Scenery: Williamsburg

Today's Sunday Scenery is of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia:

This was taken in February 2008. MJ and I wandered down one of the back roads on the perimeter of the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg.

Did you know that many of the smaller homes in the historic area - the ones that aren't part of the tour - are lived in? Colonial Williamsburg rents many of the properties to people who work there and average people, too. In return, they keep the properties maintained so that you and I can enjoy the scenery! Can you imagine living there?

Click here for more Sunday Scenery!

Friday, January 23, 2009

PhotoHunt: Chipped

The PhotoHunt theme this week is "Chipped"

MJ and I went to a landscaping place awhile back to get ideas and started looking at the rocks. Can you imagine the size of the boulder these might have been "chipped" from?

As always, please click on the photo to see all the details and "feel" the textures!

Oh! And thanks to everyone who gave me pocket camera advice, last week. I finally went with the Canon Powershot SD1100 IS Digital Elph. I'm still playing, but so far, I'm pretty happy with it. If you scroll down to my posts of the "Back Forty" and the Monarch butterfly chrysalis, I took those with that camera. I love being able to shove it in my pocket and walk around with it at the ready!

Let's see if Mister Linky's with us properly this week, shall we?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fruit & Feathers

This is my first post for SkyWatch. I hope y'all don't mind that I combined it with my Friday's Feathers post.

Today's Friday's Feathers belong to the Bluegray Gnatcatcher:

If you subscribe to Friday's Feathers, you've seen this little guy before, from a different angle. The Bluegray Gnatcatcher is a bug-eater. He spends most of his time in trees and shrubs hawking for insects. He's a really good neighbor, fun to watch, and hard to photograph. :-) This time he silhouetted himself against the brilliant blue South Florida winter sky, perched on the large mango tree in my backyard.

For reference, the mango trees generally start blooming in January, but this year, they got started several weeks early. It also seems that, for some reason, all of the mango trees in the area have been blooming much more heavily than in recent years. No one knows if this will result in heavier crops of fruit, since they still have to survive the winds of March and the rains of April, or even the recent Arctic cold snap (and future ones). Personally, I haven't had a single piece of fruit off of them in 3 years - but the bees have been particularly busy and it could happen!

Please click on the photo for a way better look.

Don't forget to check out more SkyWatch images here. And for more Friday's Feathers, click here.

Happy Weekend!


We can now buy and grow citrus trees in our backyards again, just like the olden days! I'll tell you a little secret, though: I've planted them in big pots. Just in case the Citrus Canker Nazis rear their ugly heads again. I figure I can hide the little beggars till the revenooers go away. Shhh! Don't tell anybody...

This is my Ponderosa Lemon. It's supposed to make lemons the size of something between a baseball and a softball. So far, it's given us one. But it's in bloom again, and maybe we'll start getting them regularly. I hope. Have you seen the price of lemons at the store?!?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Back Forty

Here in South Florida, we grow in the reverse of you all up North - Winter is the best planting and gardening season. It's cool enough to grow things like lettuce, up till April or May when it becomes too hot and humid for that sort of thing. That tall, grassy stuff around the edges is lemon grass, not neglect. :-)

Now that Arctic blast is coming our way tonight. Crap.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monarch Mania

Check it out!

A Monarch butterfly chrysalis has appeared around the side of my house on some scraggly lantana that a mockingbird probably planted for me.

I don't "garden" on that side, particularly. Mostly, we just keep a path mowed from the gate to the yard. I've planted asclepias and other stuff there before, but have pretty much let both sides of the "path" go wild, since there's just the a/c over there and we don't use it for anything. How cool is that? I'll keep an eye on it...

Habitat in your backyard, people! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Scenery: Biscayne Bay

Today's Sunday Scenery is of Biscayne Bay:

This photo was taken just before Christmas from a hotel on the City of Miami side of Biscayne Bay. That bridge is the MacArthur Causeway, connecting the City of Miami and Miami Beach (at the famous South Beach end of the island). Just behind the causeway is the Port of Miami, where you can just make out some of the cruise ships waiting to go out on their fantasy journeys...

This shot was taken from the same spot, but looking over to the South Beach side of the Bay. Clicking on the photos will make some of these details easier to see. I took these with my iPhone (original flavor).

This time of year is what makes living here worthwhile. Looking out over Biscayne Bay, you can almost forget the traffic and noise lurking just behind you. :-)

Thanks for visiting, and have a great Sunday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

PhotoHunt: Hat

The PhotoHunt theme this week is "Hat"

A parting shot from the aforementioned Mango Strut Parade. I don't think further explanation is needed... :-)

Have a great weekend!

P.S. - I forgot! I wanted to ask your advice: MJ wants to get me a little pocket-sized digital camera for my birthday (something I want), but said I should pick out what I want.... But I don't know what I want! Any suggestions? It needs to be pretty easy and have a zoom. After that, I'm open....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday's Feathers: Male Cardinal

Today's Friday's Feathers belong to a male Northern Cardinal:

In my last Friday's Feathers post, I put up a picture of a female Northern Cardinal. This is a male. The Cardinal, as I wrote before, is a fairly common bird all over the U.S., and his brilliant red plumage and head crest make him one of the most instantly recognizable.

As mating season approaches, he'll fly to the top of the highest tree in the yard, and instead of the usual cheek! cheek! sounds, he will sing gloriously to attract a female. He will feed his mate in his courting behavior, and instead of running her off from the feeders, he will call her to the choicest morsels.

The babies aren't nearly as attractive, but at late spring and summer, they will bring the young ones around, and I'll try to get you some shots of them...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mango Strut - Bubbles

This year's Mango Strut parade through Downtown Coconut Grove was a throw-back to the parades as they were when they first started up over 25 years ago. I thought I'd show you something totally non-political: A clown making giant bubbles.

Here's a little secret: I don't like clowns. Not Ronald McDonald, not even Bozo when I was a kid. They're kind of creepy and scary. Of course, I felt the same way about Santa Claus, but that's another issue.

But I love bubbles, and if I disregard the fact that this guy is made up like a clown, I can appreciate that he made some very cool ones that day. Can you see it? No? Then you should definitely click on the picture to make it bigger.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

JJ's New Toy

MJ got JJ a new toy for Christmas - a Flingamastring. It's a battery-operated um, string-flinger. You attach it to a doorknob, turn it on (fast or slow), and it basically teases your cat for you by dangling a string in her (his) face and yanking it back!

"Ooo. Pretty colored string..."

"Maybe if I sneak up on it...."

"Hey! Where's it going?"

"Gotcha! Hey! No! You can't have it back!"

Even when she catches it - and she's pretty strong - she can't pull it completely off of the toy, so when she loosens her "grip", it'll just suck it right back up again and start the game all over again! Great entertainment for humans, too... :-)

One word though - it eats AA batteries like crazy, so if you get one of these, do the environment a favor and get the rechargeable kind!

No, this is not a sponsored or paid-in-any-way post. I just thought I'd share with you how nuts my husband is... :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

PhotoHunt: Aftermath

I'm baaaack! And I really missed you guys!

So Happy New Year to one and all!

The PhotoHunt theme this week is "Aftermath"

This is one of the entries in the most recent edition of the Mango Strut, Coconut Grove's satirical send-up of the Orange Bowl Parade. Of course, the Orange Bowl Parade has been dead for several years, now, but the Mango Strut lives on!

This year's theme - for the most part - couldn't help but be a brief retrospective of the Bush years and the Aftermath. Appropriate, no?

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