Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Short break

I'm going to be taking a short break from my blog-- hopefully just a few days. I'm heading out the door at the end of this post for Andrews Institute to have my knee 'scoped.

I scheduled the procedure for after turtle patrol season and a couple weeks of company and travel. The physician's assistant said they've had patients who requested waiting until after deer season or turkey season, but 'turtle season' was a first. :-)

A note to friends and family, I won't have access to my computer and e-mails for a while since I'll be separated from the office by a flight of stairs. That alone will inspire me to rehab quickly...or get a laptop!

Wish me luck!

Dance in the sun

"Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair..."

~~Susan Polis Shutz

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Incredible sunset

Wow! What an incredible sunset tonight. After heavy rain overnight and all morning long, we were rewarded with exquisite colors.

American Redstart

Poor little thing, it crashed into a glass door on our deck and was stunned.

It finally became more alert and flew away after about three hours. I contacted Lucy and Bob Duncan, my 'go-to' people when I need help identifying birds and they informed me this beautiful little fellow is an American Redstart. They also informed me how to help an injured bird such as this in the future -- but hopefully it will never happen again.

Crabs - We Got 'Em

I've been hearing from my blog followers that I've been absent of late! Ha! Actually I have either had company or been traveling since October 7th. Today is my first day at home in my regular routine...and it is pouring rain.

So here are a few photos I took Sunday afternoon when my son was visiting and we stopped by Crabs-We Got 'Em for an appetizer.

The surf was flat and the sky was overcast, but it was a beautiful day to sit outside and enjoy the view.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Under the influence

"The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life."

~~ Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964)

The willet

Another one of my favorite shorebirds is the willet which is in the sandpiper family.

Next spring and summer when I start sea turtle patroling again, I hope to get a photo of a willet in flight to share with you. The change is very dramatic from the soft color above to the bold pattern which is displayed in flight.

You may see an example by clicking HERE or HERE.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brown Pelican

Here are a couple of our Brown Pelicans that I frequently see near Pensacola Pass. I sometimes sometimes where they have all gone. Before the road to Ft. Pickens reopened I would hike a few miles into the Ft. Pickens area of Gulf Islands National Park and see hundreds of them along the shore, plunging head first into the Gulf for fish.

They are sometimes a bit difficult to photograph unless you have a good telephoto lens, although a few overcome their shyness and hang out near fishing piers and docks.

A bit of happiness

If you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness.

~~ Julie de Lespinasse (1732 - 1776)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ft. Pickens portion of the Florida Trail

Not far from the Ft. Pickens Visitors Information Center inside the fort there is a small white building that folks frequently overlook. Next time you are there, check it out more closely and you will notice a path where the northern terminus of the Florida Trail begins.

This small section was mentioned in Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Treasure of the Gulf Coast as the path of a railroad which ran from Langdon Beach to the Fort with supplies.

Now it is just a path for people to enjoy hiking through the wetlands, across the canals and on toward the beautiful white sands of the the beach.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What's a person to do...

When the wind is gusting near 30 mph, sand sweeping across the road, and the temps are dropping low, what is a photo blogger to do? Although the rain we saw earlier in the week passed on through, the wind continues to howl.

On the plus side, the beach will be absolutely beautiful and swept clean of footprints when things calm down.

In the do you like my orchids?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fronts passing through

Thunderboomers rolled over the island between 3 - 5 a.m., but by mid-morning it had cleared enough for a nice walk on the beach.

The surf was a bit higher than normal, but dramatic and interesting.

Shan Kishi!

My husband and I took mother and her neighbors to Shan Kishi Sushi Hibachi one evening for dinner. We had been there a few times, but it was the first for her. We all loved the food and the performance. If you look closely you can see the heart of rice our chef created. Ahhhhh...

Absolutely love the veggies and meats prepared on the hibachi.

Volcanic onion!

Shan Kishi is located in the Sea Shells Collection Shopping Center -- which most of the locals refer to as the Publix Shopping Center.

Ft. Pickens afternoon

My mother has been here for a week and this afternoon we drove out to Ft. Pickens so that she could see it for the first time in five and a half years. The last time she was able to visit was in the spring of 2004, the year Hurricane Ivan destroyed the road.

A storm was beginning to move across the area and the sky darkened over NAS in the distance, but it was still beautiful at the fort.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gulf Fritillaries

There were still plenty of Gulf Fritillaries flitting their way around wildflowers in the wetlands between Range Point and Big Sabine this morning. How beautiful!

A sad sight

In February of this year, my husband and I hiked from our house to Big Sabine Bay, a beautiful area on the north shore of the island about a mile or two east of Park East. It was along the way we discovered the old fish hatchery and a brand new wilderness campsite that had been built as an Eagle Scout project just the month before. Since then it has become a favorite spot for us and we have visited it several times.

A sign nearby states that this is a 'Leave No Trace' campsite, but no matter how hard we work to keep the shores clean, there always seem to be those who have no respect for our beautiful island.

Yesterday when my husband hiked back to the hatchery and wilderness campsite to show it to a friend who was visiting, a sad surprise greeted them:

The wilderness campsite had been trashed. Luckily rain in the past few days had weighted down the newspaper which was strewn around.

A relatively new chair had been left behind.

Plastic bottles, shards of glass bottles, and aluminum cans had been tossed around. Food tins had been thrown into a campfire and lay scorched.

A recent paper was dated October 1.

A partially burned plastic bag of trash...

This was rather blatantly symbolic of the disrespect. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see that someone left behind two cents on the broken bench. This special little campsite is definitely worth more than two cents to most of us.

Plastic food wrappers were caught in the tall grass.

My husband and I hiked back down to the wilderness site with garbage bags to clean it up this morning, but there wasn't anything we could do about the broken bench.

We would like to thank all the people who took their time and funds to initially create this beautiful, peaceful wilderness campsite for us to enjoy. It's sad and disheartening to see some people will completely trash special places like this, but please know that there are many of us who will do our best to keep it clean and care for it.

Friday, October 09, 2009


I explored Ft. Pickens with out-of-town guests yesterday morning and discovered something I've missed before: stalactites!

Perhaps because of the high humidity and heavy rain we had this past weekend, but the the drip...drip...drip of water from the old fort walls surrounded us just like in some caves. It drew my eyes upward to the stalactites and ribbons of calcium carbonate forming on the old brick walls. How cool is that!

You can always learn something new.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Come alive

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

~~ Howard Thurman (1899 - 1981)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Colorful flowers

It gives me so much pleasure to watch these tiny colorful flowers, a type of Portulaca, that spread out in the sand of my yard.

Hot one!

At 10:30 a.m. it is 83 degrees on Pensacola Beach, but at least the humidity is 83%! Weather Net stations across the sound on Gulf Breeze are showing their humidity at 93%! We, at least, have a slight southwesterly breeze. About the only thing to do is find a swimming pool or head to the beach...

Or at least a spot of shade...whew!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Enjoying its beauty

"Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy."

~~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897 - 1981)

The Willet

Thank goodness the rain has finally stopped so we can get outside again, although the humidity doesn't help my camera lens! It seems to take forever before the glass unfogs.

This graceful shorebird is a Willet and can frequently be seen on our beaches. You may learn more about them by clicking HERE.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Gulf Islands National Seashore

I'm heading out for our second day of the Art & Wine Weekend event. Hopefully the rain will hold off a few hours and we'll have another great day.

I wanted to remind our local viewers that tonight at 7:00 p.m. is the premiere of WSRE-TV's new documentary, Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Treasure of the Gulf Coast. It is a companion piece to Ken Burns wonderful series, The National Parks: America's Greatest Idea and will be narrated by Mr. Burns himself.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Pensacola Beach weekend events

What a weekend we have lined up on Pensacola Beach!

The Pensacola Beach 1st Annual Songwriters Festival, October 2 - 4.

The Santa Rosa Island Triathlon on October 3.

And the Pensacola Beach Art & Wine Weekend, October 3 & 4.

You may click on any of the links above to see a bit more about the individual events. Or just come on out and have a great time.

Don't forget that the trolley will be running this weekend. Find a place to park and hop on the trolley at any of its stops - maps are available at the Visitors Information Center and on the trolley. It will be running from Peg Leg Pete's on the west side, through the core area and east to the Via de Luna Shopping Center, free as usual, so you can visit all the artists and wine-tasting venues.

See ya soon!


"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising.

"Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

~~ John Muir (1838 - 1914)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Shades of blue

Another perfect day with so many shades of blue! I love Pensacola Beach!


I was very excited to see my bronze fennel covered with caterpillars this morning. I planted it in hopes of attracting butterflies, now I only hope there's enough fennel and dill to sustain them, because they are chowing down!

Click HERE to see what they will turn into!

Appearance of things

"The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves."

~~ Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)