Monthly Archives: March 2013

Foto Friday: Alligators!

Foto Friday: Living with alligators in Florida

long gator shot web

This alligator is not in a zoo. He is free to roam around the La Chua Trail in Gainesville, Florida.

multi gators webAnd that gator is not alone.

There are usually several gators on the trail…some are pretty large. And sometimes you can see them moving around on the trail.

Living in Florida, you get to know your wild neighbors pretty quickly. So it’s best to keep some important tips in mind, especially when it comes to alligators.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reminds us:

  • Alligators may be in or near fresh or brackish water in any Florida county. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not swim in waters where there may be gators.
  • Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.
  • Dogs and cats are about the size of the natural prey of alligators. Keep an eye on pets and don’t let dogs swim in water that may contain gators.
  • Leave alligators alone and do not feed them!
  • Keep your distance…that means photographers, too.

gator eye in water webThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission also points out that gators play an important role in the ecology of Florida’s wetlands.

Admire them from a safe distance!


Wise Words Wednesdays: Flowers

Wise Words about flowers

Flowers have different meanings in different  cultures. We associate flowers with various occasions and sentiments. Much symbolism is attached to flowers. They elicit smiles, tears, and sneezing for some of us.

Camellia in the sun

Camellia in the sun

So let’s celebrate flowers with some eloquent and clever wise words. Flowers are lovely to behold…thought-provoking to ponder.

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into. -Henry Beecher

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity. -John Ruskin

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. – Chinese Proverb

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul. -The Koran

In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends. -Kozuko Okakura

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. -Abraham Lincoln

De-stress! Stop and smell the roses this week! Think of all the poetry, prose, and photos flowers inspire. Coming up for your Foto Friday…pictures of some creatures that inspire more panic than poetry and tips on living with these Florida icons.

Foto Friday: Great Blue Heron

Foto Friday: My favorite nature photo of the week is this Great Blue Heron at La Chua Trail

Great Blue Heron at La Chua Trail

Great Blue Heron at La Chua Trail

My favorite photo of the week is this magnificent Great Blue Heron I discovered on another trip to La Chua Trail in Gainesville, Florida. This picture lowers my blood pressure. I saw this wonderful creature standing on the rock, the water rushing all about it. I stood silently, watching it for a while…taking in the peaceful surroundings. I snapped other shots that day, too…of massive alligators and some busy little egrets, but this noble bird is my pick of the week.

The Irish love of nature

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to fellow nature lovers, like the Irish

Saucer magnolia under blue sky webMy blog is about celebrating the natural beauty all around us in Florida. Maybe it’s my Irish heritage that strengthens my love of nature. So, for St. Patrick’s Day, I honor the Irish love of nature. They know a lot about natural beauty…and have celebrated nature for centuries in verse.

In the introduction to Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry (1911), author Kuno Meyer writes,

In Nature poetry the Gaelic muse may vie with that of any other nation. Indeed, these poems occupy a unique position in the literature of the world. To seek out and watch and love Nature, in its tiniest phenomena as in its grandest, was given to no people so early and so fully as to the Celt. Many hundreds of Gaelic and Welsh poems testify to this fact (p. xii).

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Foto Friday: My favorite nature photo of the week

Foto Friday: My favorite nature photo of the week is this Anhinga sunning itself

Sunning anhinga

Sunning Anhinga

This beautiful Anhinga caught my attention as I was walking along the LaChua Trail. The trail is a great place to watch wildlife. While I was there, I saw a variety of creatures: Anhingas, Herons, Egrets, and some very large Alligators. Yes, Alligators. Just several feet away from me. I have a great respect for creatures that can make a midday snack out of me, so I was sure to keep the suggested distance.

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Wise Words Wednesday: Great quotes about nature

Quotes about nature

egret in water web

It’s Wise Words Wednesday and I have a great quote about nature to share with you today! Hope your week is moving along nicely. Mine started a bit bumpy…and rainy…but I am optimistic as always.

The wise words this week are from Albert Einstein. I’ll just go ahead and tell you, without shame, that I have a geek crush on Albert Einstein. An Einstein bobblehead is on my desk…one of his quotes is on my office door. Anyway…there is a wonderful quote in H. Eves’ Mathematical Circles Adieu (1977) in which Einstein encourages humans to embrace nature. Eves writes that the context for the quote is a letter written by Einstein in 1950 to a rabbi. The rabbi’s teenage daughter was unconsolable after the death of her sister, the rabbi’s older daughter. He was not able to comfort his daughter with religious theology and was hoping Einstein could give him advice. Here is what the scientist wrote in reply:

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. H Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (1977).

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