Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering a Warm Thanksgiving

When the temperature dipped to 40 degrees this morning for the second morning in a row, we just had to go back and remember Thanksgiving two weeks ago when it was warm and lovely.
Hope all the beautiful blooms survive this cold will be back in the 70s by Friday, but new cold wave is threatening us for next this global warming?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August on vacation in Florida

Yes, we live in Florida - on the east coast - Ft. Lauderdale to be exact.   When we vacation in August, we don't want to go too far away, we leave three dogs at home, and it is hurricane season.  Our favorite spot to escape to is on the west coast, and just 2.5 hours away by car.  Captiva Island - just north of Sanibel Island which is off the coast of Ft. Myers.  Another world - just sand and sea and a single lane road runs through it.

The gulf is so gentle and the sand is so white and soft - compared to the Atlantic Ocean and our reclaimed, coral based sand.  We love the contrast and feel like we are in another country!

Shells are abundant, the Sanibel stoop is a well known sight.   I love the constant search for something unusual or whole and usually find many of them! 

The sea oats are reclaiming the coastline, and they are particularly beautiful, as well as being very complex in their structure.

Sunsets are a special event every day - will there be a "green flash" - or just a spectacular show of color?  We have seen two green flashes in past visits, and this time we were rewarded with another one on our last night while dining at the lovely Old Captiva House restaurant with a westward view.

 Taken just seconds before we saw they green flash - you have to carefully watch for it, but do you see the little bit of green just starting to appear on the left of the setting sun? 

The next morning we got up early to check out our sea bird friends  - the large, reallly large, heron that was there every morning to watch my husband's early morning run on the beach.

and to say a final farewell to the very quiet beach, along with a promise that we would definitely be back next summer (if the season is quiet of course!).

    What were they chattering about, anyway??

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Garden Blooms: May through July in White

Been a long time since I wrote anything here, but I can show how busy it has been in the garden - blooms, rain, sun, growth endlessly, and lots of gardening in all of it! 

Shown above in order of blooms - the orchids, the roses, and now finally my tuberoses that I have just planted this year!  Tuberoses are grown from large bulbs and grow primarily in zones 9 through 11.  We are in zone 10b, so I was delighted when a good friend told me about them and urged me to grow them if I could.  I sent for 12 bulbs from and planted them in late April.  Then the weather went crazy - HOT, no rain, then lots of rain, then HOT, etc., etc.  All 12 bulbs sent up shoots, but only 2 of them have actually produced flower stalks, and then we got 3.5 inches of rain just a couple of days ago when they were about to burst open - just after I took the picture above.  Now they are brown around the edges, but I am still hopeful for full blooms.   At any rate, the buds smell heavenly!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Back to (simple) Basics!

Lampwork beads being very simply strung to make bracelets.  I just had to capture them in the sunlight this morning!   

When I was visiting my daughter (and grandson, who helped me stop and smell the roses), I noticed that she was wearing her pearl "stretchy" bracelets exclusively.  And she requested that I make her some more of them with beads she had purchased.  A busy mom, entrepreneur, and home remodeler as well as gardener, my daughter opts for the easiest and most comfortable jewelry in the mornings before she dashes out the door at 7:30 a.m.   

  My grandson Will.

I never considered the stretchy bracelet to be anything but a fad; however, my daughter took me to her favorite Talbot's store and showed me their numerous bracelets made that way, so there must be something to this easy on, easy off style. So, now I have been turning out the simplest of bracelets and having a grand time doing it, too!  

 For me, the lampwork glass beads by Ellen Dooley (left) and Dawn White (right).

For my daughter -  beach glass, silver, and pearls.

 And more pearls.  Hope she likes them!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Garden Visit with my Pals

A few more blooming moments.... this one is part of the border hedge.

A lovely grass plant, female version....

The male plant, luckily right next to the female, so they are both very happy!

Petunias are continuing to bloom from the January plantings, but their time is short now...

and coming a couple of months late ... February is normal bloom time for the gardenias, but we are always delighted when they appear.  We hope the coming hot weather doesn't shorten their two month blooming time to a shorter time for us this year!

The little violet-like plant is continuing to flourish, and has been delighted to be in a large pot with a greatly expanding lavender plant - some shade is necessary for them and hope that the summer won't knock them out.

My constant gardening (pest) helpers - where are all the little lizards anyway?  Brandy (in front) and Lucy (the lizard hunter).   We love Spring in Florida!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring has Come at Last !

and with Spring we finally have some warmer (70s, low 80s occasionally) temperatures!  The foliage is filling out and becoming lush again after our long, cold winter (the coldest on record in south Florida). 

These marigolds popped up in my bougainvillea planter and I was so happy to see them I just let them stay there.

And the Angel Trumpet tree is announcing the return of Spring and beauty to south Florida!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sub-Tropical Climate? Not so far in 2010!

We have just experienced record cold (31 degrees) and 10 days of low 40s/upper 30s.  The result?  Dead fish all along the edges of our ponds, no turtles to be seen, no lizards in our yards.  And the iguanas are falling out of the trees and dying.  It's back up to 75 today, but looks like mid winter in the north east in our yard. So many plants, shrubs, even trees have been damaged or have died.

But as I write these words, I feel grateful to have food, water, shelter and all my loved ones safe.  My husband works with a lovely, gentle man who comes into work every day with tears in his eyes.  He is Haitian, and still has no word if his family is safe or even alive in Haiti.  So many Haitians have made their way to our part of Florida, the sadness hangs very heavy here. Donations are so simple to make, and will help right away.


We have so much to be grateful for.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy, healthy, bright and sunny NEW YEAR 2010

A lovely walk to begin the new year.


Looking to the north toward Ft. Lauderdale.

The four stacks of Port Everglades can be seen in the upper right.

Looking to the south, a fine mist makes the beach condos of Hollywood appear ghostly.


The observation tower of West Lake park has a beautiful view.

Healthy, happy 2010 to all!