Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Almost New Year

Greetings!  We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Our holiday in the park with Mom and stepdad was lovely.  Latona captured  a few of the decorations that might be a bit different from any we might see in Maine.

On our daily visit to the state park, we have discovered a few new plants to share.  This one is identified as Beauty Bush.  (we are using the National Audubon Society Field Guide for Florida)

The clumps of magenta berries are quite unique.

Water Primrose according to a helpful plant sign,
but called Common Primrose Willow in the book.

One of the walking pathways, with Live Oaks overhead, and lined with the Saw Palmettos that create a solid underbrush.

This small piece of wetland (in spite of the trash) draws some of the local birdlife, like this Great Egret.  In this one spot, the day before the Egret shot was taken, we saw a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Sandhills, a Wood Stork, a Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron and several White Ibises all at the same time.  Of course, we didn't have the camera in the van to capture that feathered gathering. (smile)

One final image! Latona is a wonderful photographer and she captured this "self-portrait". I title it "Her Inside the Nature She Loves!"  With that we are wishing a happy, healthy and hopeful year ahead to all.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry and Happy with Peace and Joy

Whoa!!  While out and about searching for holiday decorations in nature, we were sure we saw a moose walking away from us in the woods... of course, it was just one of those tricky roots.

        The "garland" was everywhere,

         and the plants of red and green were plentiful!

                                 As the years have gone by, I feel like the gifts have mounted
                            up  in my heart.  Each year, I feel like I have been given more
                            and more, and each gift has a name attached to it. If you are
                            reading this message, know that YOU are one of those
                            blessings in my heart.
                                 Latona and I have been blessed with the gracious love of
                           the Lord who has kept us and provided for us.  We wish to send you a
                           holiday greeting and prayer for hope and health in the New Year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wildwood, Walking and Wonderful News for Mom

December 10, 2011

Three miles from Mom's is Lake Okahumpka State Park.  Three paved walkways, of different mileage, makes it a fun place, and provides a convenient place for some daily exercise.  The Live Oaks draped with the Spanish Moss provide homes for Northern Parulas and Cardinals.  The lake is home to many Coots, and the shore to White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Limpkin, and the air above to Black Vultures and Red-Tailed Hawks. We have also had a sighting of a Wood Stork, and have spotted Sandhill Cranes almost everyday.

Daytime temperatures have been very comfortable - 70-80's - during the day. The best thing about our first ten days in Florida has been the chance to be with my mother and stepdad.  She told us we were her "angels" as we approached the day for her knee surgery.  Yesterday, we had to report to the hospital by 5:45 am,  and by 8:30 am the repair was complete. When she woke up, her surgeon asked her if she was ready to go bowling!  That made her feel great.  I am sure it won't be too long...and it will be recorded here when it happens.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dinner with Azure

November 29, 2011

After a late afternoon drive through a white-out snowstorm in the mountains of North Carolina. we met with Azure and her mom.  It was so much fun to see how much she has matured, to hear about her success and happiness in school, and to simply enjoy her sharing with us about her life.

It was quite late when dinner ended, so we decided on a night in a motel. Early the next morning we headed along, had an easy driving day, and landed in Wildwood, Florida by early evening.  We are getting settled in and getting ready for the surgery on Dec. 9.  Good to be with Mom!!