Monday, May 30, 2016

“Who Sows Virtue Reaps Honor”

Thanks to all of the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom.


(The title quote is by Leonardo da Vinci.)

We are blessed to live in this beautiful country.


(a little red white and blue around my house.)

I’m joining Beautiful Sunday and

Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday.

BD-HFII -12mod 

Give thanks and enjoy your day everyone!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summertime Hiking at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve

It's too HOT! lol But we have managed to work a few hikes in lately. We walked at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve on Mother's Day. (#30) It was in the 70s when we started but when we finished an hour and a half later, the clouds had parted and the sun had warmed us into the 80s! TOO HOT!!!


But of course it's always wonderful to get out in nature and enjoy the sights and see the beauty of the Preserve.


We got a good view of this Rufous Sided Towhee. He was way up in a tree but at least he stayed put long enough to get a few photos.


These are common in the mountains of NC so it was nice to find them here in central Florida too. They have a distinctive song and we spot them on the ground under the trees quite often at the Preserve.


You can see that the trail is getting quite grown up already. 


And aren't the wildflowers along the trail pretty.


Let's look back up one more time to see this amazing bird.


Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Florida Horse Farms

 We need to drive back by this horse farm...I've forgotten the name of it.


But it really is beautiful, isn't it?


And the horses are gorgeous!


A little closer nice of them to pose for me!

Love the fence


and the details on the gate!


It's important to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. And to appreciate our friends. Thank you to ALL of my wonderful blog buddies that take time to visit and leave such sweet comments. It makes blogging so much fun!

I'm joining Tex for Good Fences!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Raindrops on Roses

These are a few of my favorite things!


Did you see Debby's post, 'Playing with Light' on her blog My Favorite Things HERE? She always inspires me with her beautiful photos!


So after a nice little rain shower, I took my little Nikon Coolpix outside to capture some raindrops on my new flowers.


The roses are my favorites!


And how pretty are these Vinca flowers with raindrops and sunbeams?


I hope your day is filled with favorite things and sweet friendships too! Thanks Debby for both! Lots of HUGS to you all today!

I'm joining the Garden Party HERE!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Now I've seen EVERYTHING!!! Updated and comments closed

Well, I'm sure that's not true! 

But I've HEARD quite a bit today. If you know me or you've followed my blog for very long, you know that I don't do posts that are in any way controversial. And I meant this post to be lighthearted and FUN. But I've received several negative comments. At first I just didn't publish them but then I still had to read them. So now they are closed and I can get on with my day. I hope you enjoy my photos....if not....I hope you'll come back another day. I'm leaving my post here goes....


But I DID see a man with a REAL parrot on his shoulder at the grocery store this week.


Give me your best pirate look, please!


And I have seen a woman at the thrift store with a monkey around her neck.


Very cute but a little 'out of the ordinary!


And I did park next to this vehicle a few days ago!


Love those white fluffy clouds in the reflection of the sky!


Just a few things to make life more interesting, don't you think?

Did you see anything fun this week when you were out shopping?
Come on down to Florida and I'll take you shopping with ME!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

It's a Pine Warbler on the finch feeder! Updated!

I studied The Sibley Guide to Birds but I'm still not sure what this warbler is, specifically. 


We see a lot of warblers here in Florida and have identified many.


But this one flew in to the finch feeder all by his lonesome and he had so much more color throughout his body and head. I can also see the bands of white on his wings. But that still hasn't helped me narrow it down. 


He only came one day but I happened to be outside with my little Nikon Coolpix P310. It doesn't have much of a zoom so I cropped some of the photos to give you a better look.


Any of your birders know which warbler he is? I'll update this post if we can ID him! We have lots of birds that migrate through Florida at this time of year so he might have been headed to far away lands!

Eileen identified this sweet bird. I looked up both of the birds she mentioned and decided this must be a Male Pine Warbler. We've seen Pine Warblers on our hikes in the pine forest here in Florida but they were never this brightly colored. It closely resembles the Palm Warbler that Ann mentioned too! But according to this photo and the website All About Birds HERE, he must be a brightly colored Pine Warbler!


 Thanks everyone for your help and especially Eileen and Ann! I knew you could do it!

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Big Ole Barn...and Fences!

This barn was huge and looked from a distance like it was a roof setting right on the ground.


But when you get out of the car to take pics, you can see it has sides.


And it is full of huge rolls of hay.


The gate to this farm was nice.


And I loved the way the fence curved.


These were taken right here in Marion County, Florida. 
Have a beautiful day.


I'm joining Tex for Good Fences!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Don't you want to know how I'm doing with my new resolve to walk every day? 


I've walked every day except one for 3 weeks now! YAY! 


And I really do feel so much better. I've worked on improving my diet too and that has helped. 


We live in a beautiful gated community and almost everyone here leads an 'active lifestyle' so there are lots of walkers out in the evenings. (and a few critters)


(amaryllis in a neighbor's flower bed)
 I took my camera the first few days but now I just carry my phone with me. 


(a neat looking mushroom)
And the landscaping is coming along. I think hubby is just about finished with it. He has planted lots of new shrubs and flowers and a total of 20 rose bushes! They are SO beautiful and do really well here in Florida. (they even grow in Subaru's!!! hahaha)


I worked on a new profile pic for Casa Viola. I'll update it again when everything starts to grow and fill in.

So that's keeping us busy. Are you accomplishing things around your house this Spring too?

We finally got a nice rain shower yesterday and this beautiful rainbow!

Monday, May 16, 2016

"The Church in the Wildwood"

We drove past this old church again on one of our drives. When we saw it awhile back, we wondered if it had been a church. 


It's in pretty rough shape.


But this time, someone had done some work around the building and cleared the stone marker in front.


It says,  United Evangelical 
Church 1916 now
The United Church
of Christ 1957  

I remember my mother playing the song 'The Church in the Wildwood' on the piano when I was growing up and it is still a favorite of mine. (I'm sure she can still sit down and play it by memory)  I looked it up online and saw that a lot of people have recorded it over the years, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Charlie Pride and Andy Griffith. I think of all of those, I love Andy Griffith's voice for this old timey song.


Do you remember this song?