Just Another Day in Paradise

Glassy lake    

 When I took my cup of Mocha-Mint coffee to the patio the lake was like glass.  There were no birds, again, but I knew patience might turn up something.  An occasional large fish jumped and disturbed the surface of the lake. When a wind ripples the lake we can’t see such activity.



See what I mean?  Mirror with an occasional disturbance


I took a moment to admire the banana grove.

This is the time, when nothing seems to be happening, when I can most appreciate the variety of tropical plants.

This reminds me of my Japanese Brush Painting class in the 60s.  I love bamboo.
Now WHAT was that?


The lone ibis

 All the while I was outside I had the company of one lone male ibis.  I believe the black tail is mating plumage. He would shove that long beak down into the sandy lawn and often come up with something long and wiggly.  It could have been small lizards or something else but I have never seen earthworms here like we have up North. 

I watched little ripples start in the lake and wondered since there was no disturbance on the surface of the swimming pool.  But, slowly, the rain made its way to us and just made the warm coffee better.  The Ibis retreated to the shelter of the hibiscus tree at the corner of the screen house where he has been off and on for days.  In the winter the “herd” of Ibises count between 12 and 20.  Maybe the mating feathers are a clue to this lone bird not running with a crowd…yet.

The starfruit is ready to pick…but not in the rain.

 The only sounds were the rain and the serenade of a mockingbird.  This one has a totally different song than the fellow around here the last two years.  DO they learn different arrangements of song?

This fellow has a very pleasing arrangements of “Mocking” songs.

The rain is getting harder and it is time to go inside.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early Return of the Osprey

Every winter since our first in 2003, we have watched a pair of Osprey.  In February of 2003 they built their first nest (as far as we could tell).  They both spent days and days bringing large twigs and pieces of plant life weaving a huge nest VERY high on the cell tower across the bay from us. 


In 2004 they raised their second family in the same nest while we watched through binoculars. 


In January 2005, after the hurricanes of September 2004, they rebuilt the nest and raised another family. 


In 2006, a pair of Great Horned Owls grabbed the nest before the osprey could defend it and we watched a family of owls hatch, grow and fledge from the nest.  The owls never returned and in 2007 through 2012 the Osprey successfully raised two young each winter. 


The Osprey have been here and nesting every year before we arrive (in January),  This year a family situation has us in Florida in October…a whole new ball game.  The first week we saw NO BIRDS!  None at all!!!  In the second week we started to see an occasional early migratory bird or three.  This included ONE Osprey.  The one Osprey flew once or twice near the nest but seemed busy fishing in our lake. 


Osprey Pair at the Nest-can you see both birds?

Finally, today, I saw both birds flying together and “screaming” (not as annoying as it sounds).  I took a few photos but it was hard to focus on them.  They went to the nest and flew around it.  Then I saw the female flip over and sort-of fly upside-down under the male and I knew they were mating.  I assume when we return in January there will be a nest of babies for us to watch again.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2012-09-04 Hummingbird Photos AT LAST




















I have tried for years to get a photo or two of these elusive little critters.  I am usually sitting out when they come around and before I can grab a camera, they are gone.  Today this fellow and his partner stuck around until I had over 70 pictures.  These are the ones I liked the best.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday, August 12, 2012 – The Garden in August

With the horrid 90 degree temps and precious little rain the garden was more of a weed patch.  I am not going out in 90+ degrees and I won’t ask anyone else to.  Finally there was a break in the temps and I called the friend who weeds with me.  NOW, I decided, I can take a photo or two (or 20).

Spartan Rose

Artemesia with a little decoration gift from a friend

Moss Roses in the fairy garden


Spider Plant

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower




Persian Carpet Zennia




Spider Plant

Posted in Flowers, Michigan, MidWest, Photography, Snowbirds | 1 Comment

Sunday, August 12, 2012 – A Gathering of Grannies

At The Digital Scrapbook Place there is a forum started years ago with a poem about the love of a grandmother.  From that beginning has sprung one of the most active forums on the web.  No, they aren’t all Grandmothers …some are “grannies-in-training”, grannies of fur babies, and whoever wants to jump in and get acquainted.  The Grannies are from coast to coast in the United States, Australia, and a few other places like South Africa, Iceland, Holland, England, and one from Oman in the Mid-East.

Just the Grannies

The family from Oman was taking a month-long vacation in the US, this year.  They were staying with another Granny in Indiana so coming a few hours to where I live was natural.  They would stay with me for a week to soak up the Automobile atmosphere of the area.

Soon other Grannies were asking if they could visit, too, and meet our dear friend.  Some of us had met them several winters ago in a Salt Lake City gathering.  Soon a Great Granny Get-Together was planned and there were RVs, guest rooms, and a nearby motel all being utilized.

There were 11 “Grannies” and a total family count of 20.

The Grannies and their families

For that whole week, I never heard ONE negative word.  When one husband who was not there asked whatever we DID, his wife answered “Sat around and adored each other.”  That about sums up the whole week, although there were treks to local restaurants, boat rides, and a bonfire introducing the gang to the neighbors.

Posted in Michigan, MidWest, Scrapbooking, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sunday, August 12, 2012 – A Field of Gold

What do you do when you see a field of gold?  Why, pull off the highway and take a couple of photos, of course!

 There wasn’t really time for me to climb the fence (even if I COULD at 74 years of age) so I had to settle for these photos and no close-up of a single flower.

No, this photo is NOT sideways.  The flowers seem to follow the sun and at this time the sun wasn’t overhead yet.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Friday, June 29, 2012 – What HE does

The granddaughters with their uncle on Grandpa’s car…so far.

While I am scrapbooking and gardening, and taking photos, what is HE doing, I am asked.  Well, here it is.  In his garage is a 1929 Ford Highboy hotrod he and his son have been redoing for, oh, let’s just say years…not worry about how many.

Polishing SOMEthing…who knows what but every screw and bolt has been cleaned, polished and, many, chromed.
With the body on…temporarily, so they tell me.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Friday, June 29, 2012 – A Growing Fairy Garden

The back of the garden is supposed to be wetlands theme, with cranes, frog, and iris.  The left side will be Bells of Ireland and one “fairy door” leading into the bells.  
Both of the granddaughters went to a childrens’ gardening workshop at a town near their lakehouse.  They were delighted when the craft was a “fairy door” for dish gardens the shop had.  They were proud to say their grandma already HAD a fairy garden for them.
This is the second door.
These rocks lead into the little worm’s home.  Others are seeing them as eggs.  Well, ok, whatever you see.
Here is a view of just the fairy garden.  Temps have been in the 90s for days and I am wishing the garden was somewhere in the shade.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sunday, June 10, 2012 – The Fairy Garden Grows

Like tablescaping, a fairy garden sets you about searching through things you already have.  I have found various tiny things to use in the garden.  Last week I added plants, a big snail shell for a mail box, and a small flower pot for a “house”.

This week I added a few more things.

This frog waterer was my mother’s.  I love him at the flower pot house.


My neighbor added two fairies with globes that gently glow in the night.  One is Abby and one is Gabby, my granddaughters


This little watering can came with some little houseplant tools.  I like it better here for a fairy house.

Here is the pebble walk to the frog house, and the pebble pond nearby.


This rock urges you to “BELIEVE”.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday, June 3, 2012 – Fairy Garden Started

Here is the very beginnings of my “Fairy Garden” in the center of the annual, perennial, and vegetable gardens accented by a fountain in the middle.
My whimsical frog with his guitar watches over the fairies from among the Siberian Iris.
An overturned flower pot makes the fairy home.  This little shell is slated to be a fairy mailbox.
This little pond may one day be replaced with a well but for now it is a spot of water next to the “house”.
This lizard “Believe” seemed extraordinarily appropriate to watch over the little garden.
Irish Moss will, hopefully, fill in around the elements of the garden instead of regular moss, which might not grow out in the sun.
12 Portulaca plants will stay low, spread, be colorful, flower all summer and reseed for next year.
Artemisia is such a soft, lovely scented accent I hope it spreads well.
This little English Daisy in pink called out to me.  It is a little large for the fairies, but will add a touch.
Posted in Flowers, Michigan, MidWest, Photography, Snowbirds | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments