Thursday, July 30, 2020

Praise for the Florida Native Plant Society

I mention hiking the Florida Trails all the time! But the full name of the trail I hike most often is Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, HERE. I have a favorite section of this trail that is nearby and a great source of wildlife....flora and fauna! It's where I've seen a Bobcat, an Owl, White tailed Deer, Gopher Tortoises, Fox Squirrels and hundreds of wildflowers, among other things! And I've named different areas accordingly.

A couple of years ago a man stopped on his bike to tell me there was a rare plant growing along the trail that I might be interested in.


It turned out to be Sky Blue Lupine,
and it was in Bobcat Holler.

Thanks to the Native Plant Society for helping me with identification.

Which brings me to the Florida Native Plant Society HERE.

I was so excited to see these signs show up a couple of months ago. One in Deer Meadows and one on Bluebird of Happiness Hill.

Deer Meadows

And then last week I hiked up the hill and got to meet some of the volunteers that were there planting the native plants.

I appreciate SO much their hard work. Their blog is HERE.

So thanks to the Native Plant Society and to Duke Energy that gave a grant to make it possible.

What a beautiful place to hike and bike! 

Something to be thankful for today and for the future as well.

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Surprise Flowers - Updated at the end of post!

We hiked at Blue Run a couple of weeks ago and looked down from the bridge and saw one flower.

Water Hyacinth

But it was one of the most beautiful flowers we've ever seen.

Is it a wildflower or did a seed drop among the rocks near the water and grow to be this beautiful bloom?

I used a watercolor effect for this photo....

and then made it into a 3D object.

I haven't been able to identify it yet so if you have any ideas, I can update my post later. Updated below!

And then a couple of days ago when we hiked from the Pruitt Trailhead, we saw a vine growing through the plants with these gorgeous flowers.

I did know what it was though!

Passion Flower

Just one vine but it had several blooms.

I love flowers, don't you? Oh and Mosaics!

Thanks Pamela for helping me identify this beautiful flower! It's a Water Hyacinth. Pamela gave me a link to ID info HERE and I found a good article about it HERE

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

I'm linking with All Seasons at the Jesh Studio too!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Hiking in the Sunshine State

You really hasn't been that bad this summer. I always tell myself if I get too hot, I can just turn around and go back home. I've tried to hike in the evenings but the wind dies down and it feels 'close' and even more humid. I would rather be out in the sunshine and the trails I hike have shady areas along the way too. I've hiked 3 times this week. I keep a hiking journal and I use my Apple Watch for some of the info and then fill in what I've seen along the way. This week Hike #89 was 82 degrees with 81% humidity, Hike #90 was 83 degrees with 86% humidity, Hike #91 was 81 degrees with 89% humidity. The humidity is what makes it feel HOT but I had a nice breeze on 2 of these hikes. And there's always so much to see that it beats staying at home by a long shot!

We started our hike at Pruitt Trailhead by seeing this beautiful Blue Grosbeak.

He has been a regular in this area this summer.

When we got near a big live oak tree we heard quite a chatter in the branches.

I got a couple of close ups and determined it was full of Grackles.

A bird we've only seen once before at Pruitt.

And while we stood near the tree,

they started to fly....


until we were seeing hundreds of them in the sky! 

Felt a little like the old Alfred Hitchcock movie, 'The Birds' with all the chatter!

No, this isn't a bird! But when we were looking in the sky we saw a hang glider too!

We ended the hike with 2 of the most beautiful Sandhill Cranes.

Have you seen lots of birds this week too? 

Enjoy your weekend!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Summertime Meals

I eat a lot of salads for lunch in the summer. There are so many fresh ingredients available and I always add grilled meats left over from our dinners and all kinds of extra veggies and cheese. But I think I've shown the salads before, so I'll jump to the BLT we made this week. We grill our bacon! You have to watch it carefully because it doesn't take long on the grill but it comes out crispy and smokey. There's a side salad on the plate too!

And this might not seem like a summer meal but we made lasagna this week. We made a BIG pan of it, enough to share some with Aunt Helen and freeze several meals too.

Here's the way we made it...


Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups of Ricotta cheese
1 package lasagna pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or a little more)
1 1/2 packages of mozzarella cheese

Cook your favorite spaghetti sauce. Hubby cooked ours with ground meat, onion and garlic and lots of Italian seasonings, tomato sauce, 1/2 can of petite tomatoes and a can of tomato paste. You can use a jar of sauce as a start and add tomato paste to make it thicker. 

Cook the lasagna noodles.

And now layer it all in a big rectangular pan.

1st layer Spaghetti sauce with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top
2nd layer Lasagna noodles
3rd layer Ricotta cheese
4th layer Mozzarella cheese
Then again...
Spaghetti sauce with Parm on top,  lasagna noodles, ricotta, mozzarella cheese and then top it with Spaghetti sauce and Parmesan on top. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes (I turned it down to 350 for the last 15 minutes)

I know we all have our favorite recipes for our favorite dishes. My hubby and I put this one together and it was delicious!

Have you cooked something special this week? 

It's so hot here now, we might as well stay inside and eat!

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hike #88 and 3D Objects

It's so hot the birds and critters were in hiding this weekend.

But the bicyclists were out enjoying the trails.

I didn't see any other hikers! But the bicyclists are all really friendly to me. I see some of the same people when I hike the Florida Trails. 

And yes there are long hills on this section of trail. It's not hard for a hiker but it's hard for the bikes to get enough speed to get all the way up. Most of them are in great shape though! And I can lengthen my strides and go as slow as I want. 

Even though it was only 83 degrees, the humidity was 85%. I can see my summary on my Apple Watch. The sun was bright but a nice breeze helped.

And most of you know by now that I am using Photoscape to make 3D Objects....

and most of you probably think I'm addicted.....

and some of you might wonder if I'm having fun....

and ALL of you know I go a little crazy from time to time.
(mosaics from Mondays past that were made into 3D cubes)

And speaking of 'crazy'! I am SO proud of my new haircut that I will show you photos taken with NO make up on! I never thought I would even be SEEN without makeup and here I am taking photos and showing the world. But I had hiked, taken a shower and sat down in the lanai for a much needed haircut! My sweet hubby cut about an inch off the ends of my hair and now it's turning under again instead of flipping up! And YES...I know it is 'glow in the dark' silver!

I love it! Thanks sweet hubby!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

I'm linking with All Seasons at the Jesh Studio too!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Red-Shouldered Hawk and a little 3D Fun!

We hiked at Blue Run Park! Yes it was hot and humid even in the morning but we saw so many beautiful birds and critters. It was worth it.

This Red-Shouldered Hawk was fun to photograph.

Maybe it was a young one?

Or maybe it was just reacting to the heat and humidity.

It can make your hair do wild and crazy things. 

Think what it could do to your feathers! heehee!

And since I introduced you to the 3D Objects on my last post HERE,

I thought you might like to see the other 'critter' we saw that day. Looks neat, don't you think?

Oh, it's a Ribbon Snake. Not harmful but I don't consider them 'friendly' either! 

And just one more from that day. The Green Heron peeking out from between the trees.

I'm using the free photo editing program Photoscape and having a ball! Be careful! I might make YOU into something 3D!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Questions and Answers and 3D Objects!

I get questions in my comments that I never answer. Why is that? I have no please forgive me!

So I'll start with how I did the photos on this post! I use Photoscape for photo editing. I just have the free version but I was working playing around this week and found under the editing button a group of edits called Transformations. And then at the very bottom of that list was 3D Objects!

OH MY! I wanted to make every photo I've ever taken 3D! 

I just thought they looked SO very cool! 

Oh but that doesn't answer your questions!

What color is my house and roof? My house is lavender gray and my roof is pewter.

What would I do if I saw an alligator on the trail when I hike? Turn around or give it a wide berth. Alligators aren't roaming around everywhere here in FL. We only see them in the swamps and rivers. Most of the trails we hike or high and dry and we have a better chance of seeing a bear. (there was a sighting last week on the very trail I hike most)

Is the Earthstar mushroom only here in Florida? I think it is in several Southern states.

Have I read the book Love, Ruby Lavender? I'm reading it right now! Thanks!

Do I have a screen door on my garage door? YES! It slides over enough to drive one car in at a time. And then we have a regular garage door that comes down. But during the day, we leave the screens pulled close to allow air in the garage. We also have a ceiling fan in our garage that we turn on during hot summer now!

What do we call ceiling fans here in the South? Florida Chandeliers! (that's a bonus question)

Do we still travel to NC every year? We usually do! Right now everything seems to be on hold.

What am I missing?

In the comments today ask me anything! I'll answer soon! Really I will!

I live in North Central Florida! Keep those questions coming!

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!