Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

Bright seashells on the sand

"The tide recedes, but leaves bright seashells on the sand,
The sun goes down, but leaves its warmth upon the land,
The music stops, but lives on in sweet refrain,
For everything that passes, something beautiful remains. "


Pier'ing into the Sound

In the beginning, it was all about the beach for me. Now that I am a full-time resident of the island, I have discovered the incredible beauty of the Sound. As you can see in this photo, the water is crystal clear on a calm day. The grass beds, which frequently harbor speckled trout, have also been know offer up a stray redfish.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My, oh my, Octopi?

Calamari, anyone?

You know, I love my island paradise, but I've managed to stay fairly oblivious to our denizens of the deep. This little octopus infringed on that state of mind.

Pensacola Beach Surfin'

I admire our local surfers. The water must be in the upper 50's at this point, but they are still up at dawn to greet the day on their long boards; back again in the afternoon trying for those few good waves until the sun sinks into the Gulf.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Luuuuuucy, I'm home!

How fantastic to be back home in Paradise this morning! Here I sit on the 28th day of December with the balcony door wide open, sipping my coffee, and basking in the sunshine of a gorgeous day. There is the sound of the surf and a sea breeze from the south; the paper says we'll have a 70 degree day ... ahhhhh.... life is good.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas in Tennessee

Merry Christmas to all my blog visitors! I will be heading to Tennessee this morning to spend Christmas with my parents. I hope all of you and your loved ones have a wonderful holidays season this year wherever you may be.

Although I've been under the weather for the past few weeks and have not been able to post as much as I like, hopefully, by the time I return on December 28, I'll be back to my old posting schedule. I appreciate all the well-wishes from my blog-friends all across the country.

Ho-ho-ho and a bottle of rum. Or is that Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of eggnog?

See ya next Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cold, golden morning

On this golden December morning, steam rises as a cold north wind blows across the warmer waters of the Gulf. In the distance you can see the sand dredge approaching, ready to pump sand ashore for beach renourishment.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Lonely shore

There is a rapture on the lonely shore . . . By the deep sea, and music in its roar.

-- Lord Byron

Friday, December 16, 2005

Water has no taste, no color, no odor; it cannot be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself. It fills us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "Wind, Sand, and Stars"


The stormy weather of yesterday morning cleared and we had a fabulous afternoon on Pensacola Beach! A cold front and high winds brought 5' - 8' waves and red flag conditions: heaven for surfers and photographers.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Storm warnings

I woke up to 19 e-mails this morning and discovered 18 were My-Cast tornado and storm watches for the Pensacola area! Actually I have my own severe thunderstorm alert. It's a little pee pup trying to bury under the covers beside me.

You can see the beach renourishment project is taking place below me now. Weeks Marine has been working 24/7 with the help of huge flood lights, but were chased away last night due to lightning. Try to visualize these two photos side-by-side and you will get a idea of the view from my balcony.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

'Tis the season

Overheard at Beall's department store:

Man: "I told you, I don't need anything!"

Woman: {{{unintelligible}}}

Man: "Well, okay, just get me a six-pack."

Men, ya gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The weather is here...

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful.
The skies are too clear; life's easy today.
The beer is too cold, the daiquiri's too fruitful,
There's no place like home when it's this far away"

-- Jimmy Buffett, "The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Expanded horizon

What a surprise to see that Via de Luna, or Highway 399, is now open for at least two miles past Portofino!

The beach in this small area was flattened and is littered with thousands of shell fragments and tiny bits of broken asphalt, courtesy of Ivan and Dennis, but the view was awesome as always. There are few places in this country with water this beautiful and clear.


I love living at the water's edge . There's always an unexpected moment to capture, like waking to a north wind which gives us spindrift on top of the waves; unusual cloud formations filtering sunlight; or, like this photo, the sudden appearance of this skywriter dipping his wings. is good.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Tide rises

"The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls...
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wayward gulls

"I dream of wayward gulls and all landless lovers, rare moments of winter sun, peace, privacy for everyone."

-- William F. Claire

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dreaming of a white Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
though not like one I've ever known.
Where the sand dunes glisten
and I can listen
to waves crashing on the shore.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
with every Christmas card I write,
all my days are happy and bright
in my paradise with sand snow white.

(apology to Irving Berlin)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Goodbye girl

What a beautiful way to end the day. I think the sun was saying, "Goodbye, girl". I'm flying to Las Vegas tomorrow and leaving my beautiful island behind for a few days.

I've discovered, as much as I love to travel, that it is very difficult for me to tear myself away from my home on Pensacola Beach. It doesn't help that I will be staying with someone who does not even have a computer, much less access to the Internet! How is that possible in this day and age?

Another thing I regret is that I cannot capture the beach renourishment process which is going on close to me at this point. Late into the night, heavy equipment is working even now to give us back our beautiful beach and the process is fascinating! Unfortunately I do not have the appropriate equipment or expertise to take photographs at night.

I am very appreciative to all the people who are making it possible for us to have our beach back again after the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.

[Thank you, Matt, Michael and the entire beach renourishment team.]

Pamela Anderson commemorative beach

Hundreds of virile men have been seen flocking to the newly created Pamela Anderson commemorative beach on Santa Rosa Island.

Wait! You mean it's just part of the Pensacola Beach renourishment program?


Nature beckoned

"Nature beckoned and I followed
Circumventing the perimeter of beaches and shorelines of snarled roots.
Down crevices and through channels
Sometimes swimming, other times wading
Looking and wandering, where I was being led
An opsrey cried to its mate
Its nest nestled above in the arms of an ancient mangrove
Littered below my feet algae, broken shells, coral and sponges
Overhead a crown pigeon rode the wind.
Now the currents picked up pulling me along.
As if to say, don't tarry here too long.
So much more to see, still undisturbed by man
So little time!
A nurse shark lurked nearby, in the roots, waiting and watching.
A searay raced by, starfish floated into my open hands
Below crabs danced and above gulls sailed
Then I knew! Nature beckoned me home
and I followed back to the Florida of my childhood!

-- Milancie Adams, 1993

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The art of peace

"Know that we all have access to four treasures:
the energy of the sun and moon,
the breath of heaven,
the breath of earth,
and the ebb and flow of the tide."

The Art of Peace (#11) -
Morihei Ueshiba

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just clouds

What a glorious sunrise!

My favorite days are those with scattered clouds. Sometimes the sunrise bathes the Gulf in shimmering gold like this and at other times it sets the water on fire with shades of crimson.

This morning there were about 20 surfers already out in the line in their fullsuits, watching the sunrise and waiting for a wave! Oh for a telephoto lens to catch some action shots for you.

Beautiful cloud formations which we frequently see here on the island.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ft. Pickens hike

What started out as a short walk into Ft. Pickens for a few photographs last week turned into a five hour hike. Heading west toward the fort, I suddenly had a desire to walk until all other footprints fell away. Though woefully unprepared, I did have the essentials: my cell phone, my camera, a bottle of water, and lip gloss.

About four miles inside the park I came upon the ranger station. As you can see, I was able to stand there and see nothing but sand stretching over the old road bed, nary a footprint in sight, just a few ghostly tracks.

It was a unique experience to stand there alone, no sound but the wind and the surf.

Remnants of Ft. Pickens Road.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gray day

It's raining, it's pouring
the pee pup is snoring.
Curl up in bed, all sleepy-heads,
cause we can't go out this morning.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving at the beach

My first Thanksgiving at the beach!

"Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away."

-- unknown

Thursday, November 24, 2005

No fishing from pier

The sign says "No fishing from pier," but this fisherman can't resist checking out the possibilities.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I love it when I catch a wave-splash!

Irish jellyfish

Come on, everybody, sing along!!!

Oh, I'm looking over a four-leaf jelly
that I overstepped before.
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain,
Third is the jellies that grow in the bay.
No need explaining, the one here remaining
Is something that I abhor
Oh, I'm looking over a four-leaf jelly
that I overstepped before.

(Apologies to the late Mort Dixon)

Monday, November 21, 2005

The changing sea

"I ’m on the sea! I ’m on the sea!
I am where I would ever be,
With the blue above and the blue below,
And silence wheresoe’er I go. "

- Barry (Bryan W. Procter) Cornwall (1787 - 1874)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The double rainbow

Without a doubt, this is the most incredible sight I've witnessed since moving to Pensacola Beach. The fog and rain, which moved in earlier today, lifted momentarily and the sun came through just enough to set the island aglow.

I ran for my camera as a rainbow suddenly grew out of the Sound, arched the island, and ended on the beach below me. I watched in awe as an exquisite double rainbow began to form, then realized I was standing there, mouth agape, camera at my side, nearly missing a change to capture it.

Slowly the sun faded and the rainbow lifted from both sides, back into the sky, like the end of a shimmering, magical hologram .

Soundside Sunday

The high winds out of the north that we experienced for several days have finally calmed. The Sound is smooth as glass and the water is crystal clear.

Although there are times when I know a shot is pretty good, there are others when it definitely does not translate from what I see in my mind's eye. This photo was meant to show the viewer a close-up of delicate grasses in crystal clear water of the Sound. Unfortunately the final effect looks more like the back of an Italian guy my former roommate dated several years ago.

A day in the city

If you can tear yourself away from the island -- and I know it's difficult -- try a leisurely walk through downtown Pensacola. Palafox Street is lined with charming little shops and galleries and restaurants. The Christmas decorations are up now and not to be missed.

The architecture in downtown Pensacola is incredible. Even more incredible is that this was once the tallest building in the state of Florida!

As a matter of fact, I am.

I have discovered many wonderful details about Pensacola by simply looking up or looking down. You never know what you may be passing by when you look straight ahead. See if you can find this artful tilework the next time you stroll down Palafox.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit downtown Pensacola during Winterfest! The opening weekend is November 25 and 26.

"The annual Winterfest Celebration is a series of interactive performances along a 2½ mile route in downtown Pensacola, Florida. The idyllic small town setting encompasses a historic residential neighborhood and downtown storefronts along Palafox Place.

Winterfest provides unique experiences for people of all ages. The area comes to life with entertainment provided by residents and business owners and beautiful downtown Pensacola becomes a stage for Winterfest during the holiday season. Organizers for this year's holiday trolley tours in Pensacola, Florida are well on their way to establishing one of the nation's premier holiday events showcasing the scale of a small town atmosphere by using the historic downtown streets as a setting for interactive performances from classic movies. Trolleys act as theaters taking passengers to performances at eleven locations where dozens of local residents bring to life favorite characters of the season.

The overall theme of Winterfest deals with holiday subjects celebrated in our popular cultural heritage, commonly expressed in literature, songs, movies and shared traditions. The focus for the theme is taken from the Frank Capra movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" which will be staged as a movie set on the porch of a Victorian home in Pensacola's Historic Village. Other holiday classics, such as "The Grinch" will be reenacted in similar fashion using historic buildings of the period as backdrops for the action. Cartoon characters are included in the holiday fun. Frosty and Rudolph board each trolley and lead the passengers in song."

Stroll along Palafox and enjoy the Christmas displays.

An elegant fountain in Plaza Ferdinand is still under repair.

On the south side of Plaza Ferdinand stands a monument to Andrew Jackson. This is the site where he formally accepted Florida into the United States in 1821 and was sworn in as territorial governor of Florida.

During the mid-1700's, the British ruled Florida and divided it into East and West Florida, separated by the Apalachicola River. St. Augustine was the capital of East Florida; Pensacola was the capital of West Florida.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Palm trees and proverbs

"It is good to know the truth, but it is better to speak of palm trees. "

-- Arab Proverb


Friday, November 18, 2005

Wind from the north

Strong winds from the north create white caps in the Sound.

Sound-side surf

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The cold front moving through

"Hello, Victoria's Secret? Can I put in a rush order for flannel PJ's? Great! I'll take the w25- pink zebra. Better throw in the matching slippers!"

-- barrier island girl