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).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

How to make a simple bird feeder in fifteen minutes

Make a simple bird feeder fast using an orange

Orange bird feeder

I am seeing and hearing so many wonderful birds lately here in North Florida! It got me thinking about bird feeders. I wanted to make a simple feeder that wouldn’t cost a lot of money but was also attractive and environmentally friendly.

I searched the internet for some tips and found a great idea on the National Audubon Society webpage.

For me, two of the big selling points of the citrus bird feeder are that it’s easy and it uses an orange, which looks right at home in my trees.

Here’s how to make a citrus bird feeder in just a few minutes. It’s really easy!

What you’ll need:

  1. An orange or grapefruit (I used a navel orange)
  2. Bird seed (I used a bag of wild bird seed from a grocery store)
  3. Twine, yarn, or some type of heavy string
  4. Knife
  5. Scissors
  6. Wooden skewer (can use a nail for this, too)
  7. Spoon (to scoop out the fruit)
  8. Plate or bowl (put the fruit here to enjoy eating it!)

Continue reading

Watch manatees, eagles, other wildlife from home

Manatees, eagles and Florida wildlife webcams: watch live from home

It was one of those weekends. It was cold here (non-Floridians always laugh when I say I was cold at around 55 degrees). I had so much work to do inside and I didn’t get a chance to get out and enjoy nature.

This is as wild as it got for me.

Frog reflection

Frog reflection

While I am pretty sure this frog was not admiring its reflecting…more likely trying to get away from the lady with the camera…it made me think about watching wildlife. If I couldn’t get out and do it in person, I could do the next best thing.

Wildlife webcams

Live webcams can be a great way to get your nature fix if you can’t get out and do it yourself.

Continue reading