Monday, November 19, 2018

Hiking in Florida!

I know most people don’t plan their vacation to Florida around ‘hiking’! But it’s what I love best right now!

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There are so many great hiking trails near my house and right now the weather is perfect!

It’s exactly 3 miles from my driveway to the entrance of one of my favorite trails, the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.

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It goes for miles so I have to make myself turn around and head back to my car at some point! I usually limit these hikes to 1 1/2 hours and now that I am going more often, I’m trying to shorten them just a bit. I don’t want to ‘wear out’! lol

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And you just NEVER know what you’ll see! I came across something on a grassy trail and thought I was seeing a tombstone! WHOA!!!

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But then I remembered seeing the sign for a bike race in October.

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Then I saw even more ‘grave markers’ and moved one with my shoe. They were plastic!

I see something ‘out of the ordinary’ every time I hike!

Makes life interesting!

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I’m pretty sure I heard this Pileated Woodpecker say I could pull this pinecone out of his ear and maybe make a craft project out of it! hahahahaha

Have you seen anything ‘out of the ordinary’ this week?

I’m joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

LaLaLaLaLa….

Want to go hiking with me?

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We’ll park at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve, the SR 200 trailhead and take a little walk. Oh, look…no one else is here!

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Lalalalala….

that’s what my hubby says about the way I hike!

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Oh look….a pretty bird! The Florida Scrubjay!

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Do you see the sweet yellow flowers next to the trail!

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Oooohhh…look how pretty it makes the trail look!

TURN AROUND!

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YIKES….is that a MACK truck behind me?

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Ah….the dangers of hiking in the preserve! hahahaha!

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But they gave me friendly waves and just stirred up the dust.

No harm done! He was bringing equipment in to clear the fire break road. He opened a locked gate to drive in. It’s RARE to see a vehicle in the Preserve. (it’s CLOSED to traffic)

And what was the most exciting siting of the day?

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A deer crossed the trail in front of me.

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He slowed down enough for 2 photos! How nice of him.

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(no hikers were harmed in the making of this post!)

Lalalalala….

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

*Treat Yourself*

We probably shouldn’t need to be told to be good to ourselves but sometimes we get so busy doing for others that we neglect ourselves. Don’t worry, I’m not that bad about this now that I’m ‘older’!

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But I HAVE worked really hard decluttering my house this Fall. I’ve taken 4 loads of stuff to the thrift stores. I know someone will be able to use the things I no longer need or want.

So I treated myself!

I’ve always wanted the Autumn book by Susan Branch.

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So I went online and found it at alibris and I’m thrilled with it!

Just like new and a great price! My blog friend Sam from Farm Girl Sam and I had been talking about it. We both love Susan Branch…oh and BOOKS!

Then I placed an order with Amazon and got this!

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Do you know what it is?

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A colored pencil cloth roll up. I can get all my colored pencils organized!

And guess who mentioned this on their blog. My blog buddy at Cranberry Morning!

(can you believe I FINALLY got one, Judy!!!)

I also got Retro Clean to soak old linens thanks to my sweet cousin Cindy. This will really come in handy for linens and lace I already have.

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So the next time you clean out and donate to a good cause,

TREAT YOURSELF!

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Let’s go Pine Cone Huntin’!

Doesn’t that sound like fun? And doesn’t it sound ‘Southern’?

Here’s my inspiration!

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I bought this precious little pine cone ornament at an Arts and Crafts show right here in my own community.

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So off I went to hunt for pine cones at Florida Trails.

That doesn’t make for a very fast hike. But as it turned out, there were pine cones near the trailhead, so I hiked first and then picked up pinecones at the end of my hike.

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I think the best ones are in the tip top of that tree though, don’t you? teehee

So now I’ve gathered my supplies…

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pinecones, felt, baker’s twine, wooden balls, a black marker and my handy dandy glue gun.

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I didn’t use a pattern or template for the hat. I just wrapped some felt around the head and cut it in a cone shape. You could sew the little hat but the glue gun was hot and ready so I glued everything.

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Hubby said he wants a green one. I need more wooden balls! lol You can see these have a hole so they fit right onto the top of a pine cone.

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Easy Peasy and FUN! Cute for Fall AND Christmas decorating!

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Have you picked up pine cones this week? Or pretty colorful leaves?

Have you started holiday crafting?

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I’m joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE

and Cooking and Crafting with J & J HERE.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Exciting sighting! A Northern Harrier! Updated at the end!

When God closes one door he opens ‘a new trailhead’! That’s not the way it goes? It sure felt like it to me this week. One of my favorite trailheads to Florida Trails has ‘no parking’ signs at the gate. So my hubby told me that there was another gate even closer to our house. So off I went to find it and it was ‘easy peasy’!

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An easy place to park….

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and after just a short distance, the trail is PAVED! YAY!

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It was a beautiful day and I talked to the people that blow the leaves off the trail.

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No, I didn’t get a ride!

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It was 80 degrees by the time I had finished my 1 hr 40 minute hike at 11 am but it was shady for most of the hike.

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And I saw flocks of pretty warblers and this beautiful Eastern Bluebird.

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When I got back to my car, I took one more look around….

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and saw an Eagle overhead!

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That was exciting! He was flying straight into the glare of the sun so I only got a couple of photos.

But what do I need help with IDing? I took ONE photo of this bird. It was flying high overhead and I never saw it again. I knew it wasn’t a hawk or Osprey. I thought maybe it was a Mississippi Kite.

But when I showed the photo to my hubby, he said I think you finally saw your first OWL in the WILD!

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What do you think? Do you see the rather flat face? I looked in my ID books AND online. I think it’s an owl!

I can’t wait to go back and hike the Florida Trails!

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Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway

It’s not an owl….boo hoo…or hoo hoo!

I think now it’s an American Kestrel. Thanks Lea! I have seen a Kestrel in this general area before and I think the angle of it was making it’s face look more rounded. I looked up Northern Harrier, Anni and that’s a possibility. But…since I’ve seen a Kestrel near this spot, it must be a Kestrel. I’ll see an owl one of these days…I hope…I hope!

OK! Update #2!

The experts have spoken! Phil and Anni say it looks like a Female or young Northern Harrier. Which is very exciting because it’s a bird I’ve never seen. Thanks to everyone that weighed in. I appreciate the comments….wish you could all join me in a Florida hike today! It’s supposed to be in the mid 70s with plenty of sunshine. We’re off to Blue Run Park, camera at the ready!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Being thankful for the little things!

It’s been wonderful to have a blog to share my life and I am surrounded by blog buddies that are kind and caring…..

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and thankful! (don’t worry, that’s NOT snow, it’s SAND!)

I hiked at Halapata Tastanaki Preserve a few days ago (again) and tried to keep my hike at about 1 hour.

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We had plans for a longer hike the next day so I didn’t want to over do it.

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So when I drove by Ross Prairie State Park…

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I couldn’t resist pulling in for a ‘short hike’ there too.

And look what I found!

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A painted rock! Isn’t it pretty?

According to Ocala Style Magazine

“If you find a rock, you can keep it or give it away—immediately or whenever the mood strikes.”

“Once you put your rocks out there, you don’t own them anymore,” says Cindy Lynn, who routinely keeps a painted rock in her pocket so she always has one to leave.

“We really just want to spread joy and inspire creativity. It’s a way of paying it forward, giving freely without the expectation of anything in return,” she adds. “You’re randomly leaving something for someone else to find and make their day.”

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I took a photo of it and then walked down the trail and left it there.

So I was glad I made that extra stop, something unexpected to smile about!

But when I saw this tree in the forest…..

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I thought it was time to make like a tree and leaf! hahahaha

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Fall in Florida

We don’t get the brilliant colors in the trees at this time of year.

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But we do see changes!

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End of summer grasses, green and white

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and seed pods that look red.

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 You can see it’s prolific here at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve.

I think it’s a Partridge Pea that has yellow blooms on it during the summer.

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I love the contrast of weeds, grasses, plants and trees in these views!

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The beauty of Fall in Florida!

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The white sand looks a little like snow, doesn’t it?

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red sumac berries

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With cooler temps, it’s the perfect time to hike!

Joining Angie @ Letting Go of the Bay Leaf
as she hosts
Mosaic Monday
for the first time today.