Friday, September 30, 2022

Storm Update!

 We didn't have any major damage here in North Central Florida. There are some trees down here and there but not anything like they've had on the coast. 

It was a stressful week with all the preparations and waiting on the unknown and then two days of rain and wind.

Blue Jay

We moved some of the furniture out of our lanai to be ready. It has windows but they are not glass, they are acrylic and there are windows on three sides of the room. We walk into this room through French doors from the kitchen. It's not technically a lanai, it's a Florida room but we called it the lanai when we moved here and the name stuck.

Anyway, we spent the day yesterday cleaning and getting things back in order. At least we have lots of good food cooked that will last us a few more days. We have a generator so we could have heated meals so we wanted things precooked. We made a roast in the crock pot and a big pot of spaghetti sauce, broccoli cheese soup, boiled some eggs and baked muffins and biscuits. 

Great Blue Heron

I'm anxious to get back on the Florida trails but I'll wait a couple of days. I'm sure the roads are busy with people getting out. Our stores were closed for 2 days so there will be those needing groceries.

Gulf Fritillary 

We are praying for our fellow Floridians that are suffering from the damage from Hurricane Ian. I've talked to some of them but I'm waiting to hear from others. There was damage to both coasts so it is widespread! 

I hope you have a beautiful weekend. The weather is gorgeous here now.

These aren't my dogs but they sure are cute!

And they are probably wanting to take some walks too!

Photos from the Florida Trails taken last week.

I appreciate your prayers!  Sweet hugs, Diane

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

"Batten down the hatches!"

 Our plans to take some fun day trips were put on hold. Hubby did get a lot of his garage clean out done, just in time!

We are strapping things down outside today and cooking some yummy food to eat as leftovers.

Lots of water stored, extra food and supplies on hand just in case.

Zebra Longwing - the state butterfly of Florida

Our prayers are for those on the coast of Florida. We are in Ocala for those keeping up with the track of Hurricane Ian. Please keep us in your prayers too and when this is over, I'll give you an update.

I hiked on Monday at the 49th Ave Trailhead....hike #120! I'll be anxious to get back out after this blows through! I'll miss my regulars that walk and bike the Florida trails! 

Take care and be safe!

Sweet hugs, Diane

Friday, September 23, 2022

A really FUN post with a message at the end!

It's not exactly Fall weather here in Florida but there is a change in the air. The temps are 'less hot' and it's a little drier. I even had a breeze on one of my hikes this week! 

So it's time! (message at the end)

I've had some really fun sightings this week.

As much as I love just being out in nature, it sure makes it better when I see something out of the ordinary.

Don't you love this turtle?

He was at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve at the Pruitt trailhead.

I think it's a box turtle. It was about 6 or 7 inches long and had the most intricate markings on it's shell.

I actually talked to it. The sun had come out and it was getting HOT so I told it to wait up and let me get in the shade of the tree to take some pics.

How nice to have a turtle that will wait on you! lol

This deer was eating tender leaves on the plants near the trail and it stopped to look at me.

It didn't really talk to me but I used my imagination. 

I don't often get a good photo of a Swallow in flight either but this one was right over my head.

Tree swallow

 (I got a new frame for my license plate. I put red smileys to hide the info)

And for my message....I'm going to step away from the computer for a couple of weeks. I have things I need to do and places I want to go. Hopefully I'll get more 'mud on the tars' and visit some trails I haven't been to in awhile.

I'll take lots of photos and have some stories to share when I get back. 

Have some FUN while I'm gone and get out in nature when you can!

See you later alligator! Be back in a bit!

Adventure Awaits! 🚗

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

Monday, September 19, 2022

I'm not THAT tough!

I'm braver than I used to be. I've learned that I can get out in the forest and feel very comfortable in nature. I am still alert when I get off the beaten track but I feel excited too. You just never know what you'll see when you go deep in the woods...

be quiet...go slow....follow me.

Use your imagination! 

Forest creatures!

So would I throw a sleeping bag on the ground and sleep at this primitive campsite?


I walked outside into my courtyard last night to listen to two Great Horned Owls calling each other. I know there would be all kinds of interesting sounds in the woods. I've hiked and backpacked and camped when I was younger. My boys grew up loving time spent in the forest.

But I like walking in the woods and then going home to shower, have lunch and look at the photos I've taken on my hike. I'm spoiled to all of my creature comforts.

And then too....what if a wild animal peeked out from behind a tree while I was camping?

Gray Squirrel

It could happen!!!

Do you love the outdoors as much as I do?

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

and I like Thursdays HERE !  

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Queen Butterfly

The beholders eye sees the beauty.

A little twist to the usual quote.

But I'm going to start with beauty that we all agree on and end with what I think was the most beautiful sighting I had this week. This is not a butterfly we see often so it seemed fitting to see it this week in honor of Queen Elizabeth 11.

Queen Butterfly

We've had a lot of pop up showers lately and the wildflowers are blooming like crazy!

Long-Tailed Skipper

This Skipper was missing a bit of one of his tails but I loved the way the sunshine came onto him.

I don't remember ever seeing the Morning Glory on this trail but it was blooming when I hiked this week.

And I walked 'off trail' to get this wonderful photo of a Mockingbird! 

I thought it was a Cuckoo and walked through the tall wet grass to get a really good photo. Thank you very much! lol

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

And now onto what I thought was my most beautiful sighting this week.

The Yellow Orb Spider

I don't usually like spiders but this one is amazing!

A rainbow over the Gulf of Mexico this week.

And please keep leaving comments even when it gives an error message. It seems like they are all coming through so I don't understand why the message comes up.
Thank you SO much for your sweet comments! They really do make my day. And I won't even fuss if you tell me my amazing spider is not beautiful! hahaha!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

Monday, September 12, 2022

Holiday Colors at the end of summer!

We'll hang on to the summer season for awhile longer here in Florida.

But there have been some pretty holiday colors this week.

Halloween colors in these mushrooms.

And wildflowers are blooming all over the forest after the afternoon showers we've had.

The showers keep things moist for the mushrooms to thrive too.

Most of these photos were taken at the 49th Ave trailhead which is less than 4 miles from my house.

But I've driven to a lot of those trailheads and made one big trip to the mountains of NC and guess what?

I turned over 5,000 miles on my Jeep this week. My boys tease me that I should get out and drive more. But so many of the trailheads I enjoy are very near my house. And yes, I was driving 20 mph on a quiet road and taking a photo! lol

I'll end this post with a Florida Christmas card!

It will still be nice and green when December rolls around and I thought this looked perfect for a Christmas card. It's a big buck that walked across the trail in front of me. (I was walking on a firebreak road that has grown up with grass. They'll till it up soon so I wanted to walk on it before they did)

Tom sent me some beautiful mosaics that he made from my simple mosaic from last week. Thank you, Tom! Here's one of them to share.

I've had a good week of hiking, working on junk journals and baking. 

How was your week?

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

and I like Thursdays HERE !