Monday, October 31, 2005


"And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven."

-- Adlai E. Stevenson

Wind prints

I love a wide expanse of sand which acts as a canvas for the wind.

The road less taken

Ordinarily I would not post photos of the destruction on my beautiful island. Several people have asked how soon they would be able to visit Ft. Pickens again and this is my answer. Once the paved road to the Fort, now crumbled asphalt in a tidal pool.

A gentleman walked past me as I took the photo. "What," he asked, "do you think that is?"

I smiled at him, sighed, and replied, "I think it's the road less taken."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Elberta Sausage Festival

I couldn't resist making the drive to Elberta, Alabama for their famous Sausage Festival. The bi-annual event is held on the last Sunday in March and October. German food, beer and music!

Don't forget your Tums!

"Peanuts! Get your peanuts!"


A Polka tot

"...Mama had a dancing heart"

Monkeying around in Elberta

Even after a foot-long sausage with sauerkraut!?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Barktober(fest) in Pensacola

You gotta love Pensacola! Where else would you find an area that celebrates Octoberfest, Rocktoberfest, Shocktoberfest, Biketoberfest, and (my absolute favorite!) BARKTOBERFEST, "a festival for furry children and the humans who love them."

Below are some of the photos I took today at Barktoberfest IV in Seville Square.


The princesses

Et tu, tutu?

"Just for dogs? Oh yeah? Well, who's gonna throw me outta here?"

"Accessories. It's all about the accessories. I just love faux!"

Awwk' toberfest!

Best friends!

"I told you I wanted Ketchup!"

"Yeah, yeah. Boo, y'all."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Reflection in a tidal pool

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.

-- Loren Eiseley

Wildflowers 'round the dunes

"Just living is not enough... One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

-- Hans Christian Anderson

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sunset stroll

"[I'm] getting housemaid's knee kneeling here gulping beauty."

— Amelia Earhart, comment in logbook, 1928.

The tidal pool

"Worlds can be found by a child and an adult bending down and looking together under the grass stems or at the skittering crabs in a tidal pool. "

Mary Catherine Bateson


The thing I love about overcast days on the island is the beautiful streamers of light that break through the clouds and sparkle on the water.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blended horizon

I love the way the sun peeps over the Gulf of Mexico at sunrise. Outer bands from Hurricane Wilma completed nature's frame in this photo.

Island in the stream

"In every out-thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is a story of the earth."

Rachel Louise Carson

Blues & Greens

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Today I learned a beautiful new word: Spindrift.

Spindrift... the spray on top of a wave. I love the sound of it and I loved the incredible display at the beach today. Here, as waves break, a north wind catches the top of a wave and flings it back in a moment of pure joy (for me).

By the end of the day, a setting sun transformed spindrift into rainbows. If I live to be 101, I will never forget this day.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Take me down to the ocean

Take me down to the ocean.
Take me down to the sea.
That's the place that I long for,
And that's the place I am free.

-- barrier island girl

[Note: Can you tell I really wanted to live here? I was writing my own ballads!]

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The beauty of the beach

It's difficult to walk away from the beach at night, looking at something this beautiful.


Sometimes there are just no words to describe the beauty.

First evidence of Wilma

Although Wilma is probably a thousand miles away from us at this point and not even in Gulf of Mexico yet, we are beginning to see the first effects on our island.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bob Sikes bridge

From where the entrance to Ft. Pickens once stood on the west end of the island, there is an excellent view of the Bob Sikes bridge, although it is a sad reminder of how flat the island is now.

West Santa Rosa Island beach

The beach is flattened on the west end of the island, but there are some patches of sea oats like these which survived the storms. Already small dunes begin to grow here and there as sand builds around them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Road to Ft. Pickens

This particular stretch of road leading into the Gulf Islands National Seashore held up well except for the north edge, which crumbled from the force of the storm surge. The flatten landscape has an eerie beauty.

The Marina

A few evenings ago, I drove down to The Market on the Island to shop for dinner. The sun was setting over the marina, so I paused and watched as it dropped on the horizon.

When I finally went inside to shop, I asked the girl behind the counter, "What is the name of the marina here? I don't think I've ever seen a sign."

She looked at me as though I'd just asked if water was wet and replied, "It's called The Marina."

"Oh," I said, and cocked my head to one side hoping it might help the information trickle far enough down into my brain that it made more sense.

The next morning as I took my shower -- the place and time the light bulb generally goes on over my head -- I finally got it. Life on the island is simple and sweet. I no longer feel the need to cruise through life at 70; I'm cruising down Via de Luna at 35. There is The Market on the Island; there is The Marina on the island; and, by-doggies, I'm just the [barrier island] girl on the island.

Ain't life grand?

Monday, October 17, 2005

When the coast is clear

Okay, so now my secret is out. I'm a Jimmy Buffet fan and that's one of my favorite songs. You can guess what I was hummin' as I walked along an empty stretch of beach tonight.

When The Coast is Clear

They're closin' down the hangout
The air is turnin' cool
They'er shuttin' off the superslide
The kids are back in school.

The tourist traps are empty
Vacancy abounds
Almost like it used to be
Before the circus came to town.

That's when it always happens
Same time every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear

Hello mister other me
It's been a long, long time
We hardly get to have these chats
That in itself's a crime

So tell me all your troubles
I'll surely tell you mine
We'll laugh and smoke and cuss and joke
And have a glass of wine.

That's where it always happens
Same place every year
I come down and talk to me
When the coast is clear.

Isn't he grand, looking out to sea?

The Gold Coast(line)

If I had not taken this photo myself, I would swear it was taken somewhere other than Pensacola Beach. Bathed in the pink and gold hues of a glorious sunset, this small stretch of beach was covered with hundreds of tiny mollusks shells which looked more like gleaming gold nuggets.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Winds out of the north flatten the waves and the water is crystal clear. Standing still, I am surrounded by a school of salt-water minnows.

May I cut in?

The hurricanes of 2004/2005 have caused considerable beach erosion to our beautiful island. Sharp cuts created graceful sandbars, highly visable at low tide.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Moonrise over the Gulf of Mexico

There was such a lovely moonrise over the Gulf of Mexico tonight. Layer upon layer of color which my photo gives no justice. The moon looks so much closer than shown here, but my lasso is simply too short to reel it in.

Cloud formations

I'm discovering that one of the most beautiful things on the island is the cloud formations. I never grow tired of watching them, whether over the Gulf of Mexico or over Santa Rosa Sound.

King Neptune - past his prime

Oh, to be an artist. I'd build sandcastles, or King Neptunes, all day long. Although the next Fiesta Sand Sculpture contest is at least 8 months away, I look forward to attending next year. In the meantime, I enjoy stumbling across a rare treat like this, even though poor ol' King Neptune is past his prime.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My beautiful beach

This is the favorite photo I've taken on the island since living here full time. Consequently, I'm re-posting it. Some people may visit and only see our frayed edges after three hurricanes and a couple of tropical storms, but all the photos in this blog allow you to see the island through my eyes. And I assure you, I love this island with all my heart.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hazy birthday sunset

Yesterday was my birthday and the first one I've celebrated right here on the island. YEHAW! Unfortunately there was only a hazy sunset, not one engulfed in spectacular cloud formations as I requested.

As the sun went down, I sang my little birthday song:

Happy birthday to me,
I'm ecstatic to be
living here on my island,
not 'n Nashville, Tennessee.

And now you see why I never became one of the fifty bazillion incredibly talented songwriters in Nashville.

Shopping for dinner

Monday, October 10, 2005