Thursday, May 31, 2007


"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Evening shadows

"I want to do the right thing, but often I don't know just what the right thing is. Every day I know I have come short of what I would like to have done. Yet as the years pass and I see the very world itself, with its oceans and mountains and plains, as something unfinished, a peculiar little satisfaction hunts out the corners of my heart. Sunsets and evening shadows find me regretful at tasks undone, but sleep and the dawn and the air of the morning touch me with freshening hopes. Strange things blow in through my window on the wings of the night wind and I don't worry about my destiny."

~~ Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day in Pensacola

Barrancas National Cemetery encompasses over 94 acres within the U.S. Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida. At the end of 2006, more than 33,000 veterans and spouses had been laid to rest within the grounds of the cemetery.

I hope on this Memorial Day my blog visitors pause to remember all the heroic men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Let us pause "to put the 'memorial' back into Memorial Day."

"...gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime....let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan."

--General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868

"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame's eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead...

"For many a mother's breath has swept
O'er Angostura's plain
--And long the pitying sky has wept
Above its moldered slain.
The raven's scream, or eagle's flight,
Or shepherd's pensive lay,
Alone awakes each sullen height
That frowned o'er that dread fray.

"Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground
Ye must not slumber there,
Where stranger steps and tongues resound
Along the heedless air.
Your own proud land's heroic soil
Shall be your fitter grave;
She claims from war his richest spoil
--The ashes of her brave...

"Rest on embalmed and sainted dead!
Dear as the blood ye gave;
No impious footstep shall here tread
The herbage of your grave;
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her records keeps,
Or Honor points the hallowed spot
Where Valor proudly sleeps.

"Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished ago has flown,
The story how ye fell;
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor Time's remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your deathless tomb."

~~ Theodore O'Hara, "Bivouac of the Dead"

Fair flower

"Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful. It is God's handwriting ~ a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, every fair sky, every fair flower.

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 25, 2007

The crabber

"The seashore is a sort of neutral ground, a most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world. It is even a trivial place. The waves forever rolling to the land are too far-travelled and untamable to be familiar. Creeping along the endless beach amid the sun-squall and the foam..."

~~ Henry David Thoreau

Blue bird, bye-bye!

"Did you ever see a bird that had the blues?

"...One reason why birds...are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds..."

~~ Dale Carnegie

Bye, bye, birdie! {{{sigh}}}

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Home, Home on the Beach

[Sing to the tune of Home, Home on the Range]

Oh give me a home, where a hammock swings low;
Watching sand crabs and dolphin at play.
My drink within reach, and waves lapping the beach,
While a breeze sweeps the island all day.

Home, home on the beach
Where the air is so balmy and light
Oh I'd never trade, not a single beach day,
For all of your cities so bright.

~~ Barrier Island Girl

My apologies to an old unknown cowboy and his original lyrics

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cosmic equilibrium

"Although I know that it is heresy to suggest such an idea in the midst of an age of progress, it may be that ultimate truth lies in the spiritual attitude of the southerners who are always going fishing. A person who has achieved an immunity from the everlasting inner demand that he improve upon his earthly position must possess an unusual degree of cosmic equilibrium. He must have learned in some way that composure of the human spirit is all that actually matters. He has attained, without conscious effort, the serenity for which all men strive."

~~Clarence Cason (1898-1935)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A fine thing

"We must certainly acknowledge that solitude is a fine thing; but it is a pleasure to have some one who can answer, and to whom we can say, from time to time, that solitude is a fine thing."

~~ Honore de Balzac

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gator bait!

This startling piece of driftwood made me jump halfway into Santa Rosa County, thinking I'd stumbled upon a young alligator.

But upon only slightly closer inspection I realized it wasn't a 'gator at all, just Mother Nature playing a trick on me! No need for a cardio work-out after my walk today! My heart was pounding for half an hour!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Doing the Stingray Shuffle

The dance that will keep you from being stung by a stingray is
a. the rumba
b. the tango
c. the twist
d. the stingray shuffle

I couldn't decide if this ray was the winner or loser, but he'd been in a tussle with something. It definitely reminded me to do the Stingray Shuffle while wading along the shore on morning walks!

Red Cardinal

In this case it is not a bird, but a wildflower by the name of Red Cardinal. It is also known as Coral Bean or Cherokee Bean.

Harsh reminders

A swath of white in our still-recovering wetlands is stark reminder of past hurricanes.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Red flag days

Red flags are posted all along the beach lately, but local surfers have been enjoying the high surf, as have I. More often than not the Gulf of Mexico along the panhandle region of Florida is relatively calm. In warm weather the water along Pensacola Beach resembles intertwining ribbons of emerald, turquoise, and dark sapphire.

Gaillardia Fanfare

This beautiful flower is a new Gaillardia cultivar called Fanfare. It does well in our sandy soil and certainly adds color to your yard.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sandcastle at high tide

This sandcastle won't survive high tide, but it's nice to know we can start over tomorrow.

"Each day truly is a new day...if you faltered yesterday, you can start anew today. Your dreams are not over, just merely delayed. Embrace the moment, it can change your life."

~~Jennifer Avalon

The grass

"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."

~~ Robert Fulghum

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Leave only your footprints behind

Please remember, when you visit the beach, leave only your footprints behind. Small items such as pop-tops, plastic, or small bands like the one this gull found can be fatal to sea birds.

I was unable to wave him away long enough to grab the object. {{{sigh}}}

First butterflfy

I saw my first butterfly of the season this morning. Obviously they are enjoying all the new oleander we planted last year.

I'm not knowledgeable about butterflies, so please e-mail me if you can identify it. We see hundreds of this particular type all summer long on the island.