Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From the beach

"Love the sea? I dote upon it--from the beach."

~~ Douglas William Jerrold, (1803 - 1857)

Spurred Butterfly Pea

It's fairly easy to find a lovely Spurred Butterfly Pea blooming now, especially on walks around Range Point.

The Spurred Butterfly Pea and Slender Rose Gentian are my two favorite wildflowers which grow on the island and I've been delighted to discover both of them growing in my yard in the last month!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Splash of color

I enjoy the splashes of vivid color which oleander gives a yard. This particular oleander bush is one of about three bright pink oleander plants which were already in place when we bought our home.

Last summer we planted twenty-five red ones just inside the white picket fence. If the old saying is true - and indeed we only saw them sleep last year and begin to creep this year-- I'm looking forward to next year when they should finally leap!

There were a few deep red blooms on the new oleander this year and I noticed that they are quite a bit more fragrant than the pink ones in our yard. I'm hoping this will draw in more butterflies and hummingbirds.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pensacola Beach paradise

"Paradise is a state of mind...

"Where Mother Nature nurtures and man is kind..."

~~ The Beach Boys, "Summer in Paradise"

Saturday, July 28, 2007

End of July on Pensacola Beach

It's a beautiful day on Pensacola Beach, though humid. Slow, rolling waves are just perfect for body-surfing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lifeguard station

An empty station on a rainy day at the beach.

Bands on the Beach, July 24

"I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high
They nearly reach the sky..."

~~Jann Kenbrovin, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

"We'll forever bust your bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.
They fly so high,
But never reach the sky
When we chase them in the sand."

~~ Barrier Island Girl

"I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like."

~~ Queen, "Bicycle"

First on the dance floor.

"...Hang with the locals at the Quiet Mon
Where you can be a tourist, a beach bum, or a star
And be as you are..."

~~ Kenny Chesney, "Be As You Are"

"...Look around and see all of my friends.
Oh, friends, that's right, friends, friends..."

~~ Bette Midler, "Friends"

Ahhh, little Ricky just woke up from his nap.

If there was one special ability I'd like to have it would be to read the mind of small children and animals. Sometimes I catch the greatest expressions and would give anything to know what's going on inside their little head. In this case Lauren's tiny fist may hold a clue.

A table for one?

Enjoying Bands on the Beach.

Twilight is falling over Pensacola Beach

Time for the Cat to start prowling.

Uh oh...looks like Lauren may be developing a case of Felinophobia!

Feed thy soul


"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."

(Attributed to the Gulistan of Moslih Eddin Saadi,a Muslim sheik and Persian poet who lived about 1184-1291)

Shifting winds

We had an inch of much-need rain on the island last night.

When I started my walk this morning the wind was coming out of the southeast, blowing the last of the storm clouds toward the mainland. By the end of the walk the wind had shifted direction and dark clouds were moving back over the island. Time to 'hoof it'!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stormy weather

Some of the most dramatic photos of the island are taken immediately before or after a storm. In this case there were thunderclouds over both the Gulf of Mexico and the Sound, but this small portion of Ft. Pickens Road was bathed in sunlight.

There was a steady breeze making the sea oats dance in the sunlight and sparkle like gold. Then a stern rumble of thunder warned it was time to go home.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Red, White and Blues

The Blue Angels were spectacular as always with precision and amazing maneuvers. They were so close you can identify the jets.

The crowds on the beach cheered -- and covered their ears -- as the Blue Angels made the sand shiver!

One pass around Portofino brings residents to their balconies.

This beautiful young couple made special memories today as they watched the Blue Angels in the distance. It's the beginning of their own family tradition.

"I'm ready for my close-up."

Another pass for the east-end crowd.

Into the wild, blue yonder.

A final pass over Portofino.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blue Angels dress rehearsal

At exactly 1:50 p.m. this afternoon we saw the arrival of "Fat Albert" over Pensacola Beach.

Look around and there's no doubt how much we love the Blue Angels on Pensacola Beach.

We could barely believe our eyes when #2 went into this steep climb!

So close I could almost reach out and touch #4!

Beautiful formation!

Friends enjoy the show and the nice breeze off the Gulf of Mexico.

This adorable beach baby is not intimidated by the noise at all. She must be a future Blue Angel pilot.

The Blue Angels slow their speed in this maneuver so we have a chance to admire them.

Keep your fingers crossed that the rain moves through tonight so we can enjoy these magnificent pilots in the real show tomorrow. If by chance they are forced to cancel tomorrow's show due to storms, it will be rescheduled for Sunday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Evenings in Olde Seville Square

I had the pleasure of watching the Duncan McCall Pipe Band perform this evening in Olde Seville Square.

Not only their performance, but the whole presentation was captivating. You'd have to see them to understand. Their rendition of "Amazing Grace" brought tears to my eyes.

Friends and family enjoy the concert in the park.

"...They come runnin just as fast as they can
Cuz every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man..."

The beautiful Old Christ Church in the historic district of Pensacola is right across the street from Olde Seville Square. What a lovely backdrop to the concerts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Flying low!

Low enough to rattle your dishes and make your heart pound!

Blue Angels over Pensacola Beach

The Blue Angels kicked off their "Red, White and Blues Week" at Pensacola Beach this morning as they practiced their Circle and Arrival maneuvers over the beach. Aren't they amazing!

Due to the huge influx of people to view this annual event (last year we had over 100,000 in attendance), residents of the island generally prepare for this weekend the way we used to for a snowstorm in Tennessee. We fill up the gas tank, stock up on bread and milk and bottled water, then hunker down 'til Sunday morning. Traffic to the island is generally backed up bumper-to-bumper all the way over the Bob Sikes Bridge and into Gulf Breeze, especially Saturday morning, as people try to get here early enough to claim a good seat.

Blue Angels fly the F/A-18 Hornet which can reach speeds just under Mach 2 -- almost twice the speed of sound or about 1,400 mph and the maximum rate of climb is 30,000 feet per minute.

Join us for this spectacular show where up to 30 different maneuvers are performed. But please remember, leave only your footprints behind when you head back home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bands on the Beach night!

After tonight I've decided my favorite group is Wildwood. What a terrific performance and great sound these guys have.

Meet 'Texas' (Jared)! Just look at his face. Something about him tells me we'll be seeing more of him in the years ahead.

Lovely little Emma is totally entralled and focused on the music!

Meet baby Addison. She's the youngest person in attendance tonight - three weeks old. Mom and Nana can't take their eyes off her. Grandpa is so proud he could have lit up Casino Beach with his smile. Meanwhile, Addison is smiling her approval of Wildwood.

You can stay home and read OR you can bring your blanket and enjoy the music while you read.

The little ones were totally into Wildwood tonight.

Okay, we've all heard of playing an air-guitar, but singing into an air-microphone??

He may be a macho man, covered in tats, but his heart belongs to his little girl.

This is Cat Country, y'all!

Beautiful, happy, glowing!