Snapshot #241

For some reason today’s post magically disappeared from my WordPress site. Thank goodness two of my blogging friends had already liked it, so I could copy from my notifications.

Be sure to click on the link for the story–I kind of had nightmares last night.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2019/06/14/snapshot-241/

Snapshot #241

This guy was poised next to my side of the garage when I came home to Doright Manor from having lunch with a friend on Thursday.

I’d walked past him probably four or five times as I carried groceries into the house. As I hefted the last of the groceries, a 30 lb. container of cat litter, out of the trunk I happened to see him, after which I dropped the litter on my foot while screaming something unintelligible and most likely profane.

I think we’ll call this one, “Holy Effing Sh*t! It’s a Water Moccasin!”

Studly Doright came home and took care of the problem. I could have, but why take the chance of wounding his ego? Right? 😳😳😳

Tragedy in the Forest

Our elder cat, Scout, and I were lounging on the back porch yesterday afternoon having a heart to heart talk about the birds and the bees. Scout has been spayed, so it wasn’t THAT kind of talk. Instead, we were captivated by the appearance of what I believe to be a barred owl that makes a showing at Doright Manor every evening around 5 p.m.

It looks a great deal like the owl found on the Audubon Society’s page:

I told Scout that she wasn’t to try to make friends with the owl, as such an attempt wouldn’t end well for her. She assured me that she wouldn’t leave the safety of our screened-in porch, but she hesitated to vouch for her younger “sister,” Patches, saying something along the lines of, “The idiot will most likely be shoved, I mean, might accidentally run right out the door and into the grasping claws of that owl.”

There’s no love lost between my felines.

Within seconds of our conversation we heard a ruckus coming from the lake.

To me it sounded as if a predator had absconded with one of the offspring of our pair of nesting egrets. Ours aren’t as large as those pictured below, and would make a tasty snack for an alligator or even a turtle, but from the sound of the commotion something swooped down from the sky and alarmed our great egrets.

Scout turned to me and in all seriousness said, “Gee, I hope that was, I mean, wasn’t Patches.”

Such concern.

Peace, people!

Oh, Happy Day

My daughter arrived in Tallahassee to hang out with us for a few days. Why? Just because she could.

Two days later…

There’s my baby girl! She and I really have no plans. We’re just going to enjoy each other’s company and see if we can manage to stay out of trouble. There are no guarantees on the second part of that sentence.

Peace, people!

Like Old Times

I went for a swim last night. It was my first real swim in over three years, and I relished every stroke.

Studly Doright and I had a pool once, back when we lived in Melbourne, Florida. Our backyard there was perfect for a small in-ground pool, and I swam almost every day all year round. When we moved to Illinois we didn’t even consider adding a pool to our property, but I’d hoped we’d have one if we ever returned to the Sunshine State.

We’ve been in the Tallahassee area for more than five years now, and I’ve given up on having a pool of my own. The backyard here at Doright Manor isn’t conducive to a pool–the ground slopes down to the lake and the expense to shore it up in addition to that of building a lanai around it, wouldn’t be practical at this stage in our lives. Studly would like to retire at some point, and I can’t say I blame him. Still, I miss swimming.

Tallahassee has some fine city parks with pools, though, and last night I decided to join one of the water aerobics classes at the park nearest my home. Slipping into the water felt like coming home, and I patiently went through the exercises as our instructor led the way. Then, glory of glories, she had us swim a couple of laps. I was afraid I wouldn’t remember how, or wouldn’t be able to make one lap, let alone two.

But I was good. Smooth and easy like I’d never stopped swimming. I fantasized that the young lifeguard on duty might stop me as I left the pool and compliment me on my form. Perhaps, I thought, he might ask if I’d ever competed in high school or even college. I’d have blushed and told him no, then thanked him for the compliment. For the record, he didn’t single me out for special recognition. I’ll just have to work harder next time.

Tomorrow my muscles will likely be a little sore, but I’ll relish the pain. I can’t wait for the next time.

Peace, people!

Natural Florida on a Wednesday Morning

Yesterday morning I was feeling a little low. Studly Doright had been out of town for a couple of days, and I was lonely. The news, both national and local, was depressing as hell. The book I was reading couldn’t keep my attention, even though it’s an excellent bit of almost poetic mystery. My first inclination was to go back to bed, pull the covers over my head and cry.

But some little niggling thought wormed its way into my head. “Girl, get outside,” it said, so I washed my face, pulled on my favorite jean capris and a comfy old t-shirt, and drove straight to Wakulla Springs State Park.

As soon as I arrived I purchased a ticket for the boat ride, but had about 45 minutes to wander around before time to board.

Below is the diving platform into one of the springs that gives the state park its name.

Above and below are photos of the outside and inside of the lodge. I visited with a young couple who were staying at the lodge and they said the rooms are lovely. Maybe some day Studly and I can spend a night out there.

Doesn’t it appear that the butterfly is hovering above the walkway outside the lodge?

About 15 minutes before the boat was scheduled to leave I hurried back to the dock and was first in line, a decision that paid off as I noted a school bus disgorging teenagers out on a day trip while I waited patiently to board.

I believe the vegetation pictured (above) beneath the water’s surface is eelgrass.

My early bird status in the boarding queue paid off, and I found myself in the front row with a couple of families and a smattering of young couples in the seats beside and immediately behind me. The teenagers and their chaperones were herded to the aft section of the boat. Yay! Although, I have to say they were extremely well behaved and seemed to enjoy the experience as much as I did.

The trip was immediately rewarding as we literally passed directly over this manatee mom and her calf after leaving the dock.

You’ll think I’m silly, but I got a bit teary eyed.

Can you spot the alligator nestled in his hiding spot? He was the first of several we saw that morning.

Above, framed by the boat’s scaffolding, is one of my favorite birds, the anhinga. Anhingas swim quite well, but they have to spread their wings to dry them upon leaving the water; otherwise, they’d be unable to fly. When anhingas swim only their heads and slender necks appear above water, giving them the appearance of snakes and earning them the nickname, snakebird.

This guy, above, was one of the larger gators we encountered.

Below, are just a couple of photos that made me happy. Our boat captain turned off the motor and let us experience the beauty around us in silence. It was like being in a true church.

Now, this guy below was one of the highlights of the tour.

Prior to us seeing him, a couple of small male alligators came shooting out of a grassy area to our port side. Our captain told us it was mating season, and the males were likely establishing territory. Then the guy above came swimming directly towards our boat, hissing as if to scare us away, before he claimed the spot the other two males had just vacated. If I’d been a better photographer I’d have captured the whole thing, but I was too busy watching with my mouth wide open as nature’s drama played out in front of me. It was incredible.

We also were privy to hearing a bull alligator’s mating call. That was quite an impressive sound. I tried my best to capture it in a video, but it didn’t come across well. The ride was a bit anticlimactic after our gator standoff, but everyone was buzzing about what we’d witnessed.

I left the park feeling so much better than I had earlier in the day. My spirits were refreshed, and world events didn’t seem quite as dark and scary as they had just a couple of hours earlier. Plus, Studly would be home soon, and I couldn’t wait to tell him about my morning.

Peace, people!

Snapshots #233 and #234

I live less than an hour from one of the most beautiful state parks in the country. Today I decided it had been far too long since my last visit, so I remedied that problem with a trip to Wakulla Springs State Park.

No trip to the springs is complete without a boat ride through the park, and while I’ve had some great experiences in the past, today’s visit surely topped them all. Just to start the trip I took these two photos of a mama manatee and her calf.

That’s mom in picture one. I’ll call her”Madonna of the Springs,” and the one with baby, I’ve dubbed “Blissful Innocence.”

I missed the chance to snap a shot as they went beneath our boat directly in front of my first row seat. My goal was to capture them both in the same shot, but that wasn’t to be. But that’s ok. Not many things make me as happy as manatees do.

The remainder of my photos from the trip need to be edited a bit before I share. If I don’t take a nap I might do that editing this afternoon. Most of the bets are on the nap.

Peace, people.

Floater or Flying Insect

Lately, when I dine al fresco, as I do often in Florida, much of my time is spent wondering if I’m watching a gnat buzz around my meal, or if it’s just a floater plaguing my vision.

Gnat

Floaters

Today I swatted at an insect only to realize it was literally all in my head. It’s almost as if I have a lame 3D movie playing continuously, and I keep reaching for the illusion.

I’m sure I’ll get used to the effect, but what if a real gnat lands on my meal? What if I swallow one? I have a bad feeling about this.

Peace, people!