Tag Archives: south florida

First New Visitor Of The Season

 

You probably all know by now that I am very fortunate to have my house back onto a lake (a small one), but lots of birds seem to enjoy it.  I don’t know who enjoys it more – the birds or me.

Yesterday, the first visitor of the Fall season appeared – one of my favorites.  It was the Small Blue Heron.  That is his official name.  He has to have this differentiation because we have the Great Blue Heron, which is MUCH BIGGER.

This smaller heron is gorgeous when seen up close, and especially in sunlight.  His feathers are an iridescent dark blue, and the sun makes the colors bounce and dance, and it is really spectacular.  His beak is a greenish yellow as are his legs.

So, here is the very lovely early visitor:

first fall sighting of small blue heron

In order to get a better look, please left-click on the photo.  That will help.  Thanks.

Please pardon the poor view.  It took me less than a minute to get my camera and shoot, and during that time, he moved closer to the edge of the lake and then disappeared altogether as he meandered, searching for delicious insects and maybe a fish or two.

I’ll keep watching and try to get a better view next time.  🙂

 

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

Gathering Of Birds In The Morning

 

Yesterday, I published the photo of the reflection of the palms in the lake behind my house.  The water was so still.

Today, I have another photo to share.  Three different bird pairs have decided to gather on the grass behind my house.

In the shade, are the White Ibis, and a pair of ducks.  In the sun, looking for a snack, are two Limpkins.

This is the first time I’ve witnessed pairs of three different kinds of birds at one time here.  They are smart – looking for some relief from the hot sun.

To better see the ducks who are hunkered down in the grass, click once on the photo, and the scene will be magnified.

birds

Reflection

 

We’re in the “crazy, lazy days of summer,” here in South Florida.  The mornings are usually the same.

As I looked out of my bedroom window at the start of my day, the scene through it was the same as yesterday, the day before yesterday, and the day before that.

Why not share this peaceful sight?  Out came the camera.

reflection

 

Cactus Flowers – Before and After

This morning, I happened to go into the front guest room and looked out the window (I’m nosy at times) to see if there’s any action outside.  Going out to spend some time in the off-chance of meeting one of my neighbors is not likely at this time of year in South Florida.  We venture out just to go to the store or to meet friends or family for lunch or dinner out.

I thought my eyes caught something unusual in the landscape bed.  Looking again, yes!  Flowers were popped out of the big old cactus.  It’s more than 10 years since that had happened!!  I must take photos of that.

Grabbing my handy little camera, out I went.  The heat and humidity that greeted me was like running into a wall.  No wonder I’ve almost become a hermit lately!

The following 4 photos show the “after” photos, which I took today.

 

cactus 4cactus 1cactus 3cactus 2

The next 4 were taken 10 years ago.

Cactus Flower-Second One-2005-3Cactus Flower-Second One-2005-2Cactus Flower-First One-2005-2Cactus Flower-First One-2005

I wonder if this is the type of cactus that blooms every 10 years.  They are truly mysterious plants!

 

Ye Olde Wood Stork

 

Another exciting sighting!  It is to me, anyway.  These birds are still on the endangered list.  Their appearance is a rarity.

As seen right outside my bedroom window:

woodA lonely-looking soul.

American White Ibises Outside My Bedroom Window

 

On occasion, as I have written in some previous posts, I will see birds that you will never see in the northern states.

This time, it was a small flock of the American White Ibis.  Whenever I do see any birds of interest, I run to grab my camera, hoping they will still be there when I get back to the window.  Lucky, this time.

ibis

The Ibis on the right is a juvenile.  You can tell because its neck and head are still brown.  When it reaches adulthood, it will be completely white.

These birds use their long, curved beaks as tools.  They are constantly foraging in the soil and along the edge of the lake, hoping to find some tasty bugs, grubs, etc.  There have been times when the flock has been larger, and I’ve caught them communicating with each other.  The sound they make is like a grunt.

I get very excited about the beautiful bird-life I view so close behind my house.  I feel very blessed to be able to have these experiences.

 

 

Miami-Dade County FL Police Considering Decriminalizing Marijuana

It looks like Florida counties are getting impatient with the Florida State Legislature’s laid-back attitude regarding implementing and awarding the five licenses to growers as stipulated in the law passed last year.

marijuana

This article in the Miami Herald states that the Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Sally Heyman, is sponsoring the plan, which will allow a fine instead of arrest and jail time for possession of less than 20 grams (about 2/3 of an ounce).

If not vetoed by Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the new ordinance will replace the current punishment of a maximum of one year jail time.  The police department supports this effort.

Even Paradise Can Be Besmirched

In my past blogs, I, on occasion, talk about how lovely it is to live in “Paradise.”  South Florida.  Eventually, life, even in the city near which I live, can suffer from man’s malevolent actions.

An article in yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel gave me cause to have an intake of breath.  Not only does the action of a human besmirch my fair patch of earth; it causes harm to animals.

Case in point:

An auction house (which sells ancient Chinese jade, antique furniture and fine porcelain) and its president, have been charged with illegally selling rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks to buyers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada and Belgium.  The horns came from the black rhinoceros, a critically endangered African species.  These horns command high prices in Asia for their use in traditional medicine, and were selling for as much as $70,000!!

Black Rhinoceros

Black Rhinoceros

Elephant tusks brought much lower prices:  the auction house sold them for $1,600 and up, to buyers in Belgium, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to prosecutors.

African Bush Elephant Family

African Bush Elephant Family

To add insult to injury to other buyers, the auction house also sold modern carvings as antiques.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes credit for uncovering this illegal activity, due to their excellent undercover agents.

Even though I am aware of this animal killing activity worldwide, it still blows my mind when I read about it again…and again…and again.

That monster, GREED, keeps raising its ugly head.  It is the cause for most of the horrible happenings in the world today.

greed

[Images from bingdotcom]

 

How Do You Stop a Pesky Bird From Pecking on Your Window?

This question plagued my husband and me several years ago.

We had moved into our new home at the beginning of Spring.  Things were going along very well.  We met our new neighbors, were getting acquainted with our neighborhood and the local stores, etc.  We got settled in, and were finally able to get some well-deserved sleep in our new bed, in our new bedroom.

That fateful morning was a beautiful morning in South Florida.  The birds were chirping in their newly-found tree; dawn was lifting its head above the horizon and just starting to tell us it was time to start another day in Paradise.  Dawn didn’t have to lift its head too high to let us know another day was beginning.  We were told to wake up by a knocking noise.

“What is that noise?”  “Where is it coming from?”  “Ugh!”  “Groan!”  We pulled the covers over our heads to try to make it go away.  It was persistent.  It was almost like the hammering of a woodpecker pounding on a tree trunk.

Finally, we had to give up.  We got the message.  The day was starting without our permission!

We traced the noise to our south-facing window.  What a beautiful yellow bird!  He was sitting on the top ledge of the bottom section of the window.  As soon as we got close to the window, he flew away.

 

Beautiful (and hateful) yellow finch looking into our window.

Beautiful (and hateful) yellow finch looking into our window.

Well, that was a rude awakening, and we sure hoped it wouldn’t happen again!

It did.  Every morning.  For weeks.

We endured our early alarm-clock pecking-hammering and it finally stopped just as we were at our wits end to finding a way to make it stop.  Ah!  Peace.

Next year, our yellow-feathered “friend” made his noisy unwelcome appearance again.  In our frustration of being awakened so early, we resorted to throwing pillows at the window in an unsuccessful attempt to scare him away.

We thought we would outsmart this little bird – after all, we were humans.  Our brains are bigger than his!  I devised a picture of an owl.  Little birds are afraid of predators.  I taped it on the outside of the window.  “Well, that should solve that problem,” I thought to myself with smug satisfaction.  We went to bed that night with “smileys” dancing around our heads.

Next morning, we were awakened again by that pesky bird.  Oh no!  Will this nightmare (morningmare?) end?  We had figured out what actually was causing this poor bird to peck at our window.

Soon after moving into our new home, we had UV-protection film installed on the inside of the windows that faced south and west, in order to cut down on the sun’s rays from damaging our furniture and carpeting.  If we went outside to look at those windows, we were looking at ourselves.  This thick protective film acted like a mirror.  The top and bottom sections of the window had that film.

We made the hard decision:  we had to remove the protective film from the top section of the window.  It was a drastic decision, for sure.  But, our loss of our morning sleep called for drastic measures.

We got a bottle of “Goo Gone” (yes, there really is a product with that name).  We worked with 2 window scrapers, used up more than a giant roll of paper towels, and used more than half a large bottle of that glue solvent.  It took more than 2 hours, but we got it all off; film and glue, and the window has never seen as clean a day as it was on that day!

A few weeks later, we met one of our neighbors outside, 2 houses down from ours, and we were chatting away, as neighbors do.  Then, she told us about a peculiar thing that was happening outside her bedroom window.

Evidently, she had the same protective film installed on the inside of her windows, too!  We kept our mouths shut, but our eyes opened wide in amazement!

Some time after that, they moved.  I’m still wondering if it was because of the pesky little yellow finch.

 

Photo credit:  bingdotcom

 

An Artist’s Triumphant Escape

Norwegian Escape Hull Design

South Floridian Guy Harvey Chosen for Norwegian’s Escape Hull Design

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you kind of got the idea that I love living in South Florida.  I consider myself an active member of the “South Florida is the best place to live” action committee.

I am also an admirer of artwork by (what I consider) talented people.  When I saw an article in today’s newspaper, I felt compelled to make it the topic for today’s blog.  The title of the article is, “New Norwegian Ship to get Guy Harvey Hull Art.”

Guy is a marine artist and conservationist.  So, Norwegian Cruise Line decided to use Harvey’s talent to design its signature hull artwork for its largest ship, the “Escape,” which is scheduled to launch in October 2015.  His design was unveiled during a recent media event at the Cruise Shipping conference in Miami.

Even though I have never met Guy Harvey, I feel very proud that a local artist in South Florida, has been chosen.  Guy is not “just an artist.”  He is an unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea.  His childhood passion for the ocean and its living creatures not only inspired him to draw, but fueled a burning interest that prompted a formal education in marine science.  He graduated with honors in Marine Biology from Aberdeen University in Scotland and returned home to resume his education, earning his PhD.  He gave up a budding career as a marine biologist, and became a highly acclaimed artist and ardent conservationist.  In addition, he is a talented cinematographer.

Guy Harvey at work in his outdoor studio.

Guy Harvey at work in his outdoor studio.

denizens of the deep

One of many of Guy Harvey’s denizens of the deep works of art.

Guy Harvey’s world showroom is located in Davie, Florida, near Nova University.  Posters, prints, furniture, jewelry, apparel, gift items and more are available.  His signature is easily recognized, worldwide.

Guy Harvey's logo.

Guy Harvey’s logo.

Congratulations, Guy Harvey, for so well representing my home, South Florida!

All photos taken from guyharvey dot com


Ocean Researcher and Cinematographer

Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. His childhood passion for the ocean and its living creatures not only inspired him to draw, but fueled a burning interest that prompted a formal education in marine science. Having graduated with honors in Marine Biology from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977, Guy returned home to Jamaica to resume his education, earning his Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies in 1984. Though he gave up a budding career as a marine biologist for that of a highly acclaimed artist, Guy has continued his relentless pursuit to unravel the mysteries of the sea, traveling the world to better understand the habits and habitats of the marine wildlife he paints.

– See more at: http://www.guyharvey.com/about-guy-harvey-ie/#sthash.zG8q09E9.dpuf