Saturday, June 24, 2017

Florida Scenes

My walks have been short this week. It's been too hot to stay outside for long. But I can always stop at the Library Pond to see what's happenin'!

The flowers in the water have been gorgeous this year.

And when zoomed in on these Cattle Egrets, I got a surprise.

There was a Little Blue Heron alongside them. He looked like a dark stick from where I was standing. (he's near the water just to the left of the white egret)

And my walks at Sholom have been short too. But I always take the time to walk around to the fence line to look out over the farm.

Don't these cows look mournful? I guess cows get hot too!

But there's beauty everywhere and after a few light showers the grass is pretty and green.

 I used an Antique Photo frame in Photoscape. I'm pretending to live out West...where it's COOL! haha!

Have you been able to get out and walk or enjoy the parks near you this week?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE
and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fun at Home...going WILD!!!

We play with dolls....there I've said it! 
Are you happy now? hahaha!

Our favorite 'play' doll is Wendy of course. The other dolls may have to sit on shelves but Wendy is usually on the sofa or in her very own little red rocking chair.

Well...unless someone is playing with her! When I got home from shopping she had the headphones on and was listening to Josh Groban! 

I thought that seemed very nice but since I had shopped at the thrift store, I had other ideas.

I bought this Ricky Martin tape for 10 cents so Wendy was ready to plug it in and liven things up!

She was 'livin la vida loca'!!!

Rockin' to the beat!

 Having FUN and going WILD! hahaha!

A little late for Wednesday Wee Ones 

but right on time for Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pine Needle Baskets

It was a beautiful day at Sholom Park when I walked last Thursday morning.

And imagine my surprise when I met two lovely ladies, picking pine needles out of the shrubs. 

 I knew immediately what they were doing because we've bought some of the Pine Needle Baskets at Art Fairs here in Florida. I stopped and talked to them both and took a few pics of them gathering their supplies.

I came home and did a little research on the history of Pine Needle Baskets.

According to the website HERE

"A pine needle is the leaf off the pine tree. The technique of creating crafts from pine needles is called coiling. It is one of the oldest forms of basket weaving in the world.
The Seminoles were needle basket weavers. They would use their baskets to carry and store goods in. Their baskets were woven so tightly they would even hold water. The Seminoles utilized a sea shell as a sewing needle to sew bundles of pine needles together with sisal or swamp grass.

Sadly pine needle art is another example of an early American craft being lost to time. It can take up to 20 hours just to create a small bowl. Today pine needle baskets and trays are considered works of art and you are most likely to see them in museums or collections." 

I'm so happy to have a few of these baskets and would love to find more. 

They look pretty on display with any number of things in them. 

I have seashells in one and my husband's little turtle collection in another one.

Have you seen anything out of the ordinary this week?

I’m joining Mosaic Monday HERE.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Babies at the Blue!

Blue Run Park in Dunnellon, FL is the best place to see critters of every description, especially birds!

We saw this Juvenile Little Blue Heron last weekend.

We weren't sure what he was. We knew he was a Heron but was confused when we saw his mottled colors. 

Thanks Anni for helping us with the positive ID! 

Anni wrote, 'if the bird had a BLUE BILL/BEAK with a black tip, it's always a little blue heron.' 

 And our baby Red Shouldered Hawks are hopping out of the nest.

They are both still there, hopping from the nest out onto the branches of the tree. He hopped out to say HI !!!

I know I'll be sad when we go back and they are gone. We first saw them on May 14th, when they were just little fuzzy chicks. See post HERE!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE
and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Our Founding Fathers

Have you watched this DVD or read the book? I read the book, John Adams by David McCullough a few years ago and watched the shows too. A week ago we decided to watch them again. We like to watch TV for about an hour in the evenings so this worked out perfectly. Each show is about an hour and there are 3 DVDs (7 shows). 

If you haven't seen it I would highly recommend it. 

 It's not easy to be reminded of the hardships our country endured to ensure our freedoms but we can all be very thankful for our Founding Fathers and the sacrifices they made.

A quote from John Adams on Wikiquote, 

 Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.
  • Letter to Abigail Adams (27 April 1777), published as Letter CXI in Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife (1841) edited by Charles Francis Adams, p. 218 
I’m joining Thankful Thursdays
God Bless America!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Early Summer Blooms Updated

We've had a nice shower this past week and the flowers (and grass) love the moisture!

I wanted to crop some photos and then put them in a mosaic...something a little more creative!

 And when I was playing around with my photos in Picassa, I ended up with one big bloom so I made a note card out of it.

 I saw this flower blooming in Sholom Park this week and tried to get an id online. I think it may be a powderpuff but most of the info on the powderpuff said it was a shrub and this was growing out of a single stem. Have you ever seen it before?

I loved seeing the water droplets when I zoomed in. And doesn't it look a little like the 'pink snowballs' that our Mothers added to our lunch bags...years ago? My sister and I both got a packed lunch and my Mother split the '2 pack' so that we each got one. (or sometimes a chocolate cupcake or Twinkie...but just one! hahaha)

I was looking online for a Snowball pic (all other photos my own!!!) and found this Lavender Snowball on Wikipedia HERE! lol  Who knew? 

I’m joining Mosaic Monday HERE.

Sylvia from SMD Paper Arts helped me with the ID of the mystery flower! Thanks Sylvia!

It's a type of Lily, a Blood Lily or Football Lily. I found several names for it. Lots of great info once you know what to look for. For more info, the link HERE that Sylvia sent and Wikipedia HERE. Very interesting, strongly toxic and used for arrow poisons and fishing poison! Oh my!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Let's look in the backyard!

Living in Florida is always full of surprises!

Look at this squirrel we saw in the backyard this week!

We called him a bunny squirrel with the end of his tail pure white and his chest a bright white too!

And we see crows or ravens here every day!

But we don't see the American White Ibis in the backyard very often!

That was a fun surprise.

Hope he ate lots of bugs and comes back soon!

Did you see anything surprising at your house this week?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE
and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Florida Fences

We have a lot of nice homes here in Florida with decorative fences. But here in North Central Florida we also have horse farms and cow pastures.

This is the street I take between the library and Lowe's (and grocery stores, Farmer's Mkt and Sholom Park) It's a nice 4 lane road and the traffic is usually light.

I got out and walked on the sidewalk to get most of these photos.

 YIKES...was that a log truck that just barreled past?!! 

But of course once I was back in my car, I saw the herd of cows! 

And rolled my window down and took these. (I looked in my rear view mirror first to make sure no one was coming! lol)

The huge trees are Live Oak trees and they grace the pastures in this area, in yards and on the Golf Courses.

It was a cloudy day when I took these and I'm happy to say the clouds finally gave us a little rain yesterday! We NEEDED it!

 I'm thankful for the beauty that surrounds us and for RAIN! 

How's your weather?

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fried Okry!

Yes, you read that right! 

Straight from my 'Southern roots' we have fried okry!

 I'm sure there are healthier ways to cook okra but there's no better taste than the early crop of okra, cut in small rounds, rinsed and shaken in a bag filled with a mixture of yellow corn meal and white flour...with salt and pepper. And then fried in canola oil until crispy. (and eaten with your fingers! hahahaha)

I couldn't believe it when I found it at the Farmer's Market last week. The first Florida crop of tender okra.

 The tomatoes have been amazing. I made BLTs this week and had a glass of iced tea in a vintage glass.

 I even found Swiss Chard which is one of our favorites. You cook Swiss Chard just like Spinach in a very small amount of boiling water just a couple of minutes. (no pics...we ate it)

  Corn on the cob is delicious and I cut it off the cob one day just for the fun of it!

I’m joining Mosaic Monday HERE
and the 100th Cooking and Crafting with J & J HERE !

What are you looking forward to finding 'in season' this week?