Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fadin' with the waves

"Getting stuck sure would be easy,
in this palm tree paradise.
Ambition fades with every wave,
for the finer things in life.
Maybe I'll just hang around here.
Go home later next year..."

~~ Kenny Chesney, "Be As You Are"

Friday, May 30, 2008

View from Hemingway's

A view from the rooftop of Hemingway's Island Grill is spectacular, especially at sunset. Click on the photo to get a real feel of the view.

Evenings in Olde Seville Square

It was another festive night at Evenings in Olde Seville Square, which featured Mr. BIG this week. Let me tell you, that pitcher looked like it was full of something cold and deliciously sweet!

While waiting for the band to start, you can see folks find various things to keep them occupied. Some bring books, some talk to folks around them, and other do crossword puzzles. I'm a Sudoku addict myself.

Having fun in the playground while mom sits nearby.

She's barefoot in the park.

Little Miss Sunshine!

You've seen this couple before! They get my cool couple award.

Ooohh, look at that plate of fruit. Yum!

This cutie was having a blast with her two little friends.

Perfect night for an ice cream cone.

Dance with me, baby, all night long.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Portofino from Range Point

As you can see, it is really a beautiful walk from Portofino east to Range Point where I was standing. It's one of my favorite places.

My photography

I appreciate the kind and complimentary e-mails I've received lately regarding my photography and inquiring about my availability for family portraits on the beach.

As much as I would love to accommodate your requests, I am not a portrait photographer and don't want to make false claims about my ability. In fact, I'm not long out of the gate as any type of photographer, but nature and wildlife is where the magic is for me.

When my husband and I moved here as full-time residents in 2005, I only had a three-year old Olympus Camedia, a 3 mega-pixel point-and-shoot camera, which gobbled up AA batteries. Still, one of favorite shots was taken with that little camera after Hurricane Ivan.

Overwhelmed with the beauty of the island, I started taking photos every day and posting them to my blog, enthusiastic and happy to share my new life on Pensacola Beach. It took about six months before I convinced my husband I needed a new camera with more capability. When I opened my Christmas present that year and saw the Canon Rebel XT he'd bought me, it was love at first sight...sorta like with Pensacola Beach.

I've had discussions with one of the local beach retailers who is favorable about carrying my island photos, so I am hopeful they will be available in his store this year. And, as always, if you see yourself or a member of your family in one of the candid shots I take during Bands on the Beach or Evenings in Old Seville Square, let me know and I'll be glad to e-mail a copy of it to you free of charge. It will be my gift to you, from one island-lover to another.

Sea Nettles

We are seeing quite a number of sea nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha), in the area lately. Last weekend they were heavy in the gulf. This weekend I'm seeing a heavy concentration of them in the sound, especially between Portofino and Range Point.

Sea nettles, a form of jellyfish, will keep swimmers out of the water even when rough surf will not. During times like Memorial Day Weekend when the beach is packed and the surf is high, the presence of jellies can greatly reduce the numbers of rescues. Nice to know these little buggers are good for something.

Click here to read information about what is produced which causes the stinging from sea nettles and what to do if you are stung.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Romeo is a gorgeous blue and gold macaw. If you visit Pensacola Beach for very long, you are sure to see Romeo and his owner, Mike Gammill, biking along Via de Luna or Pensacola Beach Boulevard.

Who knew Romeo would turn out to be such a ham! He loves having his photo taken. Did you know that macaws can live to be 50 years old. There is even a report of one living to be 100!

Calling Hollywood! "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."

Oh no you don't, Romeo. You can't have my hat, but I'll take a (tiny) peck on the cheek.

Sadly, I was so engrossed in photographing Romeo that I neglected to get a photo of him with his owner, Mike Gammill. Click here to see a photo I took of them together in 2006.

Sunset on the Sound

What a beautiful evening for a walk along Santa Rosa Sound.

In the distance you can see a kayaker as the sunlight spills across his path .

Bands on the Beach

We're getting great turn-outs for Bands on the Beach.

Last night Wildwood was the featured band. If you click on their name you can go to their website and check the calendar to find out where they will be playing locally. You can frequently catch them at either Paradise Bar & Grill or The Dock.

Oh the joy of chasing bubbles! Don't you love the look on his face.

And, oh the joy of sitting next to your special someone at a concert on the beach.

Wildwood is one of my favorite bands and they are locals. Even if you don't get out to Bands on the Beach often, you should try to make sure you catch these guys. They will return on September 30, so mark your calendar.

Love is in the air.

Aren't these the most beautiful big blue eyes you've ever seen! From the sand on her toes, you can tell that little Ava has been on the beach with daddy (who has plenty of that white Pensacola Beach sand on his feet too!).

In style!

See ya next week at Bands on the Beach!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

"Here’s to those who paid the price
And stood atop the wall,
Who didn’t call it sacrifice,
But duty to a call.

"Beyond our power to add, detract,
Or honor with parade,
Or praise with words all copper-plaqued,
In public squares displayed,

"They held the line, they took the brunt
Directed at our flank.
From general to lowly grunt
Now “hero” is their rank.

"For some – unknown – the laurel wreaths
Must rest on unnamed graves.
For others still, their God bequeaths
No slabs or architraves.

"For other heroes, living hearts
Still speak aloud their name.
Their daughters, sons, and better-parts –
To memories lay claim.

"Some met the foe with angry eye;
Some trembled at the fray;
Some grieved for wife and family;
Some paused to kneel and pray.

"Yet, as their hour approached its mark
And minutes became rare,
All gazed into the dreaded dark,
And stood – where we weren’t – there.

"We praise with words their bravery,
Their steadfast soldiers’ hands,
That shielded us from slavery
And wrack from foreign lands.

"Now pause awhile, and think on them.
Let recollection stir
To memory, through this artless hymn,
Of those and who they were."

~~ Dean C. Broome MD JD, "Memorial - 2007"

Fish of the day

On the way home from Barrancas National Cemetery this afternoon, my husband and I decided to swing into The Market on the Island for a couple of things. While he went upstairs, I walked over to the cleaning station on the north side of the marina to see if someone had luck on a fishing trip today. As you can see, they did! Just look at the red snapper! Wow!

I'm not very adept at identifying fish in their natural state, but I believe this is a King Mackerel he's filleting.

Check out the area between 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily to see what they're catching in the Gulf. Sometimes people who have been out on a charter are willing to give you a deal on their catch and you can't get any fresher than this!

Sunday is Fun-day

As Mr. Roger's would sing, "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood..." My neighbors, their family, and friends enjoyed an afternoon out by the dock, fishin' and floatin'.

Jonathan chills out on the sound-side beach while I wait for my camera to unfog (hence the soft focus effect).

Beautiful little Madison built sandcastles and enjoyed play time with Jonathan.

Hey, Braxton! Ready to get in the water, little buddy?

Jonathan is fishing for dinner.

Nine-month old Maggie spies the water. She's ready to get her tiny toes in the sand.

Maya does what she loves most...hunt for crabs. She gets her Omega-3 the old-fashioned way.

What a nice way to spend Sunday, creating wonderful family memories.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Firecracker plant

A big thanks to my friend, Lila Cox, for giving me several 'pups' from her firecracker plants (Russelia equisetiformis) this spring. They are a great addition to my yard, attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds. I was surprised that one plant in particular is already blooming profusely.

Hot pink!

Look at this hot pink umbrella! How cool is that? You wouldn't have to spend 10 minutes scanning the beach on a holiday to find your family or friends under one of these.

Alone time

One of the special qualities of Pensacola Beach (and there are many) is that even when thousands of people are visiting the island, you can still find your own little private area in which to read, meditate, or just enjoy the beauty which surrounds you.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend on Pensacola Beach! It has become a tradition for gay men and women to gather on the east end of the beach for some fun in the sun. I've heard about the event and I've read about it, but this time I decided to walk down to Park East and check it out myself.

Hey, wait a minute, that's Betty Boop with Toto! Where's Dorothy?

I had no idea how huge the event is/was/has become. Rows of tents three or four deep paralleled the water for more than a mile. It was a beautiful day and the surf was high. Luckily the presence of jellyfish kept most of the people out of the Gulf and safe from riptides.

I've never seen so many umbrellas and tents! They're packed tight as sardines!

People and set-ups finally thinned out about a quarter of a mile past Park East, but that was at 10:00 a.m. this morning. From the look of traffic later in the day, there were several thousand people on this end of the beach.

Camp Flamingo! What a hoot! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the creative and elaborate set-ups.

This person has more grass than I do!

I can't believe how much time it must take to bring all the stuff in and then get it set up. Whew! I love this white and green-striped tent.

After walking about three miles with no water, skinny dipping isn't sounding like such a bad idea.

The Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church has a large tent set up for services, provides musical entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, and provides water. They also have several collection areas set up for recycling cans. Bravo!

Betty Ford Clinic class reunion? They're pulling my leg, right?

I'm sensing a theme. There are flamingos everywhere and at this spot they were all wearing wigs!

See! I told ya!

A little gnome away from home,
to Pensacola Beach he roamed.

If I didn't live on the east side and see the incredible amount of traffic, I never would have realized so many people were here. Everyone was friendly and happy, enjoying the amazing surf and watching dolphins put on a show. And, very importantly, the beach was being treated with respect as people picked up after themselves.

Everyone have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and please don't forget the true meaning of the holiday.