Monochrome Monday: The yellow rose turned white.

I’m just skidding in at the last moment for Jude’s February ‘Garden Monochrome’ challenge. Just think, if it wasn’t Leap Year I’d have missed it!


This beautiful bright yellow double rose doesn’t look too shabby in B&W, does it?

Happy Leap Day  to you all, especially if it’s your birthday. I wonder how Leap Year people cope with only having a birthday every four years. One advantage is that that they age much slower than the rest of us, but does that outweigh the fact that they only get pressies and cards once every four years?  🙂


New Home, New Neighbours

Today I finally had a few moments to take my camera and venture through the construction site which will one day be my living area,


to see what new neighbours I could find.

At first glance, there didn’t seem to be much going on out back. It just looked like a calm and peaceful scene.

DSCN7253A closer inspection through my lens however, revealed  many inhabitants of those pine trees. How many Pelicans can you spot?


One lazy Peli looked to be sleeping rather late today.


Away to the left, cute Mr. Iggy was on lookout duty in his bright orange waistcoat.


The dainty Miss Limpkin was busy examining the smorgasbord along the water’s edge. I read that Limpkins are particularly partial to apple snails, as well as insects and tadpoles. I hope she found something to her liking.


A couple of days ago, hubby spotted an alligator chatting to a tricolored heron across the water.  If he’s going to be a regular visitor, I guess he’ll have to have a name. I think I’ll called him Mr. AB (for Ali Baba), as there could never be another Mr. A in my life. He will always hold a special place in my heart, and if my friend was correct when I spoke to her at dinner last night, it sounds like he was caught by the trappers shortly after our move. That makes me very sad to think of him having his freedom taken away, and being driven away in the back of a truck with his mouth duct-taped shut.


On that sad note, I’ll wish you all a very happy weekend. My blogging should be back to normal next week.

P.S. Can someone please tell me how I switch my blog buddies’ e-mail notifications on again? I had to switch them off during the move, so I didn’t end up with hundreds of e-mails, but can’t for the life of me find the place to re-tick to reverse it. (Sometimes it’s really such a pain being blonde.)


Goodbye and Good Luck Mr. A.

Well here I am, still in one piece on the right side of the move. To say it was a hectic few days would be an understatement, with the NJ family arriving to stay a few days before we had to be out of the house. As you can imagine trying to divide our time between packing and attending to five guests, was like juggling with elliptical balls. Hubby met them at the airport at some time after midnight last Saturday. We did manage to have two lunches with them them at the restaurant by the pool, and also dinner on the Sunday evening to celebrate Max’s 5th birthday. On the Monday they drove to Naples for a night at the Ritz-Carlton resort, arriving back the next evening with laundry to do, before spending the morning at our club pool and departing for Disney World only the day before the removals van arrived. I was in a ‘flat spin’ as my Gran used to say, but I managed to get everything done.

Last Monday evening, when I was cooking dinner, I saw three people with fishing rods sitting by the lake outside our house. On investigation, we found out that they were trappers called in by our next door neighbour. I felt really sick for Mr. A, and hoped he wouldn’t be caught.


They did catch one that evening, but it was a smaller one nicknamed ‘Sarah Palin’ by a new neighbour a couple of houses away. When I went outside to check that it wasn’t Mr. A, the poor thing was lying on the grass with its mouth all duct taped up.


It was bundled into the truck, to be taken to meet its fate.


Not a happy chappy at all.


The young lady trapper assured me that ‘Sarah’ wouldn’t be killed, but would go to an alligator breeding farm. I have a feeling that her long term prospects aren’t good though. Today I had an e-mail from the neighbour saying that ‘Donald Trump’ has also been captured and his mouth taped up, plus another smaller alligator. Three down two to go.  Mr. A, who is the biggest by far, is still at large and I hope he will keep his wits about him and manage to evade the duct tape wielding trappers. On Thursday, my last day at the house, after all the furniture and boxes had gone, I stayed behind to clean up, with my camera handy for a few last photos. Mr. A was cruising around the lake, probably looking for his buddies. I think his long, lazy days of basking in the sun could be over. Hubby saw him quite close to the house on our side of the lake when he went over yesterday to meet the agent for the walk through. As soon as Mr. A spotted him, he scooted back into the water. He’s probably very nervous  of humans now, knowing that his friends have been taken away by them.


On a happier note, I did get one last profile of Mr. GBH as I bid him a fond farewell. He said that he’s going to miss being a celebrity on WP and thanks you all for your kind comments.


Woody wood stork just nodded a curt ‘Goodbye’ as he did one last stalk past.


When the sun came out, Miss Anhinga put on a beautiful final display especially for you all. “Wow…..look at me now!”


Even the shy Miss Rosie spoonbill came along for a last photo.


The Small Blue Heron looked slightly ruffled when I told him I was leaving, as we’d only met a couple of weeks ago and were just becoming acquainted.


Great Egret  still hasn’t apologised for eating my poor little Lizzie in December, but I’m over it now and we’ll let bygones be bygones.


Last but not least, are the noisy Egyptian geese who although they didn’t want to be left out of this post, wouldn’t come any closer. They said that they really don’t like goodbyes.


So this is the end of an era for my stories of Mr. A and his many ‘friends’. Wish him luck as you wave him goodbye.


Hope you’re all having a great weekend. I’ll be back to visit you all over the next couple of days, and I’ll tell you how I’m enjoying living in our half-finished house.













Wordless from Wednesday

This morning, these cormorants reminded me that I really do need to get my ducks in a row, as moving day is getting closer, and the family, all five of them, arrive on Saturday at midnight.


Please excuse me if I’m wordless on your blogs, as well as on mine for a few days. I have to take a break until the coast is clear again. I’ll really miss you all, but hopefully I’ll resurface very soon. xx

WPC ‘Time’ : From Gothic to Modern

The Gothic styled Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg has the most fascinating clock I’ve ever seen. This eighteen metre high astronomical clock was completed in 1843 and is said to be extraordinarily accurate. This amazing clock does far more than tell the time, it also indicates solar time, with each day of the week being represented by a god of mythology. It also shows the month, the year, and the appropriate sign of the zodiac, as well as the phases of the moon and the position of several planets.

dscn4020There are many sculpted figurines which move around at different hours of the day, and if you happen to be there at half past midday, you will see all these automatons go into operation and start doing their thing. At the top you can see the representation of Christ, and underneath is Death himself.  Figurines representing the different stages of life; a child, a teenager, an adult and an old man, all pass in front of  Death. Above this, the apostles walk before Christ, accompanied by the sound of beating wings and the crowing of a rooster. Did you ever see a more ornate timepiece?


In stark contrast is my kitchen clock which for some strange reason, the people who bought our house insisted that we leave behind. I’m quite fond of it, but if the sale of the house depended on them having the clock too, I wasn’t going to argue.


Hope you’re having a great Tuesday. I’ve packed quite a few boxes and taken down and wrapped my paintings. The house is looking quite bare already.

To see more ‘Time’ posts, visit this link.

Monochrome Palms and Crystal Ball

In February, Jude is looking for Monochrome images which should be loosely garden related.

Here are the palm trees in my back yard. When converted to monochrome, they take on a quite different look.


Whilst on the subject of palms, how do you like my Valentine’s present from hubby?


To make it “loosely garden related”, I photographed it with a bit of my Christmas Cactus showing, a flower on my scatter cushion and a gorgeous metal butterfly ornament. I’ve always wanted a crystal ball, and he found this one on eBay and bought it as a surprise. Now, if someone annoys me, I can really ‘tell them their fortune’.  If you cross my palm with silver, I’ll even tell you yours. 🙂

Wishing you all a very good week. It’s back to the packing for me.



My Sunday Photo: Lighthouse Memories

My sister’s painting of the Umhlanga lighthouse, which she did for my birthday a few of years ago,  has survived the trip over from South Africa, and it’s so nice to see it again. I have such great memories of living there, right next to the beach.


Hope you’re all having a great Sunday. Mine can be summed up in two words, “Packing Boxes.” We’re going to the Super Bowl dinner at the club tonight, so that will be a most enjoyable end to the busy day.


Feathers on Friday: Meet Mr. Limpkin

Charlotte at ‘Prairie Birder’ blog as a ‘Feathers on Friday’ challenge. This week, I would like to introduce you to yet another new visitor to my backyard, Mr. Limpkin, who I read has a predilection for snails. In that case, I’m sure he’s very welcome in anyone’s garden. I spotted him snooping around in next door’s jungle.


Apparently these mostly solitary birds had been hunted almost to extinction in Florida by the beginning of 20th century, but with legal protection have made quite a comeback.


I’ve seen one over at the new house too, and the neighbors say that it wakes them up early in the morning, as it wails like the ‘Banshee’ of Irish legends. Just check it out below.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend. I’ll be packing boxes and transferring clothes over to the other house. I’ve suddenly come to the realization that the big move is really happening. Wish me luck.


WPC Vibrant in Florida

Whatever the time of year, Florida is always vibrant with colour. Here is my most vibrant pic of Mr. GBH in his breeding plumage. Isn’t he splendid!


Even Mr. A can look vibrant when he’s not sleeping his day away in the sunshine.

DSCN3767.jpgMs. Anhinga also has her vibrant moments, and when she decides to burst into song, she looks full of the joys of life. I’m sure she was singing, “Oh what a beautiful morning.”


Yesterday I spotted this vibrantly green Anole Lizard lurking on our patio.


Hubby sent me this photo when he got back to the other house after lunch. The orchid which I’d had in the house here a few months ago, we had tied to one of our palm trees after it had finished flowering. All of a sudden, it has sprung back to life and produced these vibrantly gorgeous flowers.


Then of course, Florida can always be counted on to produce the most vibrant sunsets. The back of our present house faces west, but our new house is north facing, so unfortunately I’ll no longer see the gorgeous sunsets from my kitchen window.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘Vibrant’ Florida images. To see more, just go to this Week’s Photo Challenge.