Monday, April 30, 2007

Society Garlic

Society Garlic -- the name seems almost an oxymoron, though appropriate if you are familiar with the plant. The blooms have a lovely fragrance, but the rhizomes and leaves, if torn or bruised, definitely remind you this plant is in the garlic family.

Beautiful, airy, lavender-colored blooms are a lovely contrast to our sandy soil and the plant is salt tolerant, making it a good selection for landscaping on the island. And if you run short on chives for your baked potato at dinner, this plant will do double duty!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My secret place

Shhhhhhh...don't tell a soul and it will be our secret.

My blog viewers may recognize this place from past shots because it is one of my favorite spots for solitude and to visualize the island as it must have been decades ago.

Most people who visit the island flock to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico, but few venture to the Santa Rosa Sound side. Fewer still take time to walk past/around Range Point to the beautiful stretch of beach which lies beyond.

Be adventurous...explore...try a different path. You may find a special piece of paradise, but we'll just keep it our secret!

Glorious day!

What a beautiful morning on the beach--warm temperatures, cool breezes, low humidity! A perfect day to walk along the shore with a feathered friend.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Raggedy Sand

Ah, the treasures we find on the beach; some are left by Mother Nature and others by creative souls with a sense of humor. We love them all!

"And it all turned out just as Raggedy Ann had said..."

~~ Johnny Gruelle

A secret lying hid

"Oh, there are curious things of which men know
As yet but little! Secrets lying hid
Within all natural objects. Be they shells,
Which ocean flingeth off her billows,
Or the low sand or flowers, or trees, or grasses,
Covering the earth; rich metals or bright ores
Beneath the surface..."

~~ Attributed to Sir J. F. W. Herschel (astronomer)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Reflection II

I've always wanted to believe in karma, but in my heart of hearts I cannot think of any single deserving act which allows me to live in this paradise. As I see the world and our small island changing every day, I hope my photos document its beauty for you and future generations and therefore earn the karma presented.

"I'm getting housemaid's knee kneeling here gulping beauty," is a quote from a logbook of Amelia Earhart in 1928, and it is the quote which most frequently runs through my mind as I try to capture the visual images of Pensacola Beach and Santa Rosa Island day-to-day.

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", Act 2 scene 2

"By any other name..." certainly applies to the ground cover in my yard. I refer to it as moss rose, but it is also called Portulaca Grandiflora, or (at Lowe's) Purslane.

The small blooms are beautiful and delicate, open wide during the day, but close at night or on a cloudy day. Drought tolerant, it is a great selection to help hold our sandy soil in place while giving a splash of color

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Watching waves

"Our fathers water'd with their tears
This sea of time whereon we sail,
Their voices were in all men's ears
Who pass'd within their puissant hail.
Still the same ocean round us raves,
But we stand mute, and watch the waves."

Quote attributed to Matthew Arnold

Look at that sea!

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds."

~~ Lucy Maud Montgomery (from Anne of Green Gables)

Portuguese Man O'War

Beware this beautifully-colored marine life. It is a Portuguese Man O' War.

Several are washed up on the beach today and can be very dangerous if touched.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The sandpiper

"The wild waves reach their hands for it.
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sand-piper and I."

~~ Celia Leighton Thaxter

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The purple pansies

"Take all the sweetness of a gift unsought,
And for the pansies send me back a thought."

~~ Sarah Doudney

Swans a' swimming

She saw sweet swans swimming in the Sound

They are so graceful.

Wading out a bit closer to meet them.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Natural beauty of Pensacola Beach

It is a gorgeous April day on the island.
While this particular photograph is not special in composition, I felt it was a perfect example of the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Beach. A few days of winds from the north have flattened the waves, which allows you to see the spectacular color of our water and the sky.
Now, close your eyes, feel your toes wiggling deep down into the warm sand and the sun on your shoulders, imagine the soft sound of waves lapping at the shore, take a deep breath and let the salt air clear away all the stress. Ahhhhhh... You just took a trip to paradise. It's called Pensacola Beach.

What a Knock Out!

I recently discovered Knockout roses, thanks to the recommendation of a landscaper and my kind next-door neighbor who then tracked some down for us at a nursery in Pensacola.

Introduced in the United Kingdom in 2000, Knockout roses became the 2004 ARS Members' Choice by the American Rose Society. These beautiful floribundas are disease-resistant (including the dreaded blackspot), bloom profusely, tolerate high humidity, and are supposedly salt-tolerant!

My newly-planted Knockouts are already blooming profusely and have caught the attention of hummingbirds. The only problem I've had is getting a good photograph! Their color is so vivid that they almost appear florescent in my shots!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The shell

"Reaching down arm-deep into bright water
I gathered on white sand under waves
Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone
Inhabit a finite world of years and days.
I reached my arm down a myriad years
To gather treasure from the yester-milliennial sea-floor,
Held in my fingers forms shaped on the day of creation..."

~~ Kathleen Raine (1908-2003)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

True Colors

"...But I see your true colors shining through
I see your true colors, and that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show-
Just show your true colors, true colors
Beautiful, like a rainbow..."

"True Colors" ~~ lyrics by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly

Ocean of truth

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
~~Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)

Saturday, April 14, 2007


"And which one of us wouldn't soar if God had thought there was merit in the idea? So, when we see one of those great widespread pirates soaring across the grain of sea winds we thrill, and we long, and, if we are honest, we curse that we must be men every day."

— Roger Caras, 'Birds and Flight,' 1971

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gentle eyes

"The flowers that sleep by night, opened their gentle eyes and turned them to the day. The light, creation's mind, was everywhere, and all things owned its power."
~~ Charles Dickens