Share Six: August 20201: Floral

This year has not been the best year for me. From February until now each month seems to have brought it’s own series of personal drama and stress, directly related to immediate family. July was almost over and I thought we had dodged the bullet and I was ready to celebrate a change in fortunes, and whalla, I am not feeling well. Seriously, I have spent the last 15 months working from home, avoiding people, staying home particularly this year and now I am sick.

Florida, probably one of the most relaxed states in as far as Covid is concerned, has practically done away with all protective mandates, and is ready to be back to business as usual. For some that may be fine, for others not so much. Richard is high risk, and for the most part I am not willing to risk his life, so we have been doing things cautiously and avoiding close contact with unknown situations.

We have been away twice but in both situations we controlled as much of the trip as we could, making sure that he was adequately protected. But you become complacent and in the one place that I thought it would be okay, I did not wear a mask, and despite being vaccinated, 2 days later I found myself dealing with symptoms of Covid. I put it down to generally being run down physically, close proximity in a closed office for about 2 hours and no mask. I am at Day 5, under quarantine, and have a blog to put together.

Fortunately I had walked in the wetlands this month. Ironically as I was walking through I thought to myself that it was time I actually showcased some of the beautiful flowers that I see there. Typically you go to see the birds, sometimes a gator, or a hawk or owl. But I don’t actively go looking for flowers. This particular day they stood out to me.

So since I am homebound, unenthused, and sleeping a good part of my afternoon away, I figured I would pull up the flowers from my walk and share them for this theme – {Floral}

We have always been outdoorsy people. We have lived to be in nature. I love to walk in the wetlands on a regular basis. I try to remember sunscreen, but honestly I prepack my camera the night before and roll out of bed with very little thought to putting sunscreen on or picking up a hat. Added to that I tend to walk at the hotter part of the day, because I know there will be less people there. Now I am second guessing myself. I have a hat in the back of my car and I put sunscreen by my bag. The summer sun is super hot right now.

Life and death, has suddenly become very relevant in our lives right now as we focus on Richard’s health. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. Each day has become a memory making day.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Elizabeth from It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_summersun.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

30 Minutes in the Life: July 2021

Part of our time away in Naples was spent on the boat trip whose ultimate destination was Marco Island. Marco Island is list as a barrier island in the gulf of Mexico. It hosts many resort hotels, beautiful beaches and some incredible shelling, if you are into that.

I will confess that when we booked this tour, I was not expecting to go there. I expected to spend time trolling the islands. That said the beach is beautiful, and there were many beautiful treasures found on the beach. Richard had a great time picking up shells, which he brought home to put on our deck area.

Marco Island has always struck me as the upmarket area of the west Coast of Florida. This quartet reinforced my idea.

However, Marco Island is also well known for the beautiful white beaches filled with shells, and this was where our boat trip made a stop. We were able to walk along the beaches and pick up shells to take home. I am not a big fan of removing things from nature, but Richard enjoyed picking up a few shells, as did the others who had joined us on the boat ride.

Due to the state of Richard’s health, he has now had to invest in long-sleeved shirts that protect him from the UV rays. While his melanoma are all stage 4 we do not want something else triggering at skin level.

The beaches are vast and for the most part they were empty and we were able to just relax and enjoy ourselves. Below are some of the beautiful treasures we found along the shore line.

I believe that these are Sandpiper wading in the water looking for food. They were in abundance and they blended into the surroundings so well.

The shells were gorgeous and I enjoyed seeing them lying in the sand. Hopefully some critter will come along and make it’s home in them.

Every so often it looks like a coconut washed ashore as well.

The beach was peaceful, calming, and enjoyable. I am sure that if we were out that was again I would like to walk along those beaches again and enjoy the solitude that you can experience when there are so few of you walking around.

As I have mentioned before, Richard and I have chosen to start checking off the bucket list. Why? He has been diagnosed with melanomas. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. For this trip, we were under a covered awning and Richard wore a hat and a UV50 shirt, and had sunscreen on all over.

If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend Janet Crouch Photography, has to share this month. Watch out for the dolphins on the 30th.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

10000 Islands Boat Tour: Dolphins

Another part of the boat tour, was interacting with nature, and in specific dolphin. It is always a thrill to see dolphin and to be honest my greatest memory was in South Africa where the boat driver said to the group of scuba divers, “Dive off and swim with the dolphin. That we did and it was such a beautiful experience. To be in the water with these gorgeous creatures is just such beautiful experience.

While we were not in the water today, it was still a thrill to see these stunning mammals in the water.

When you see a fin coming straight on to you, it’s always wise to be cautious, but side on a dolphin has a curved fin. I remember once in the keys my husband and daughter grabbing the kayak and heading out into the water to follow a fin. Thank goodness it was a dolphin and not a shark. Richard and I have done that up in the gulf. We spotted a feeding frenzy and decided to go and check it out. Turned out the birds were diving for fish and the sea creature that was eating the fish from below was bigger than our kayak. One look below us and I was ready to walk on water. We got out of there pretty quickly.

Photographing the dolphin playing in the wake of the boat was such fun. Those guys sure can swim fast.

I loved the tail out of the water. Kind of felt like it was waving goodbye.

As I said in the previous blog, we were under the shelter of the awning the whole time we were out in the water. However, If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens: Part 7

I walked in the Garden of Eden and found the serpent. Oh yes, I did. We all know the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent and the ruin he created. Today’s walk is through the orchid garden at the Naples Botanical Gardens. A place that I could have spent more time and money in if Richard had not been edging out. Added to that to buy plants and take them back to the hotel to care for may have been a bit too much.

A little bit about my love for orchids. Orchids have been a hobby in my family for years. My father had a huge shade house full of orchids, of which the more exotic ones were probably purchased by me. I loved to find the different looking orchids. This is my happy place, that keeps me close to my father. When Richard suddenly got sick my office sent me the most beautiful orchid that was in full bloom. It has lasted from February until this past weekend. Slowly the blooms are starting to die. But added to that a whole bunch of my orchids started to bloom and I felt like my dad was just wrapping his arms around me and hugging silently in his way.

Not only did my dad, grow orchids, but his older brother had a huge shade house and my favorite orchids to find there were the slipper orchids, of which you will see a few in the bottom. I do not have one but I am on the look out. My cousin has fantastic green fingers as well.

In addition, another of his brothers and his sister pottered around with their orchids as well. My mom also had a cousin that lived near to me in my first home and grew the most beautiful Cymbidium orchids. He provided my orchids for my wedding bouquet many years ago.

Recently I have begun to develop my own collection of orchids. We live on a small piece of land so there will be no big shade house, but I love seeing their beauty in my home.

The first three orchids remind me of Hippie orchids and I know that I have to buy at least one of them in the future. Apparently they are called Miltonia orchids and are often referred to as “pansy” orchids. They require moderate temperatures and bright indirect sunlight

The orchid below is called a Grammatophyllum orchid. These orchids like early morning sunlight and grow well in moderate light intensity. This species is normally yellow and brown.

Oncidium Orchids, or otherwise known as the “Dancing Lady” was another one of my favorite orchids in my dad’s shade house. Oncidium orchids bloom in the fall and usually prefer a cooler environment, although they do like moisture and humidity. I think that when I get one I will be keeping it inside the house. That is about the only place that is cool-ish.

The orchid below appears to be an Encyclia orchid also known as a “cockleshell” orchid. They have an octopus like shape and will bloom for several consecutive months.

I will confess I could be wrong here but I believe this is an Dendrobium orchid and one of about 1800 species. The tend to prefer cooler temperatures and less humidity.

I believe that this may also be part of the Encyclia orchid family.

A variety of Vanda Orchids to choose from. I have an orange, a brown and a yellow Vanda in my collection. Vanda orchids are well known for their fragrance. They require lots of light and humidity but my tag said no direct sunlight. I have just hung them on the fence in the shade. Hopefully they will grow well.

And I mentioned that while in the Garden of Eden, or the orchid house, I found myself face to face with the serpent. Yes, there I was photographing the flower obliviously, when I happened to look down. You have to know that snakes are not on my favorite list of things to run into. But here was the serpent and I did not hesitate to photograph him. I do believe that this snake is known as a Black Racer. And while the web tells me that they are non venomous, a snake is a snake and really not my friend.

Once again, I believe that this may also be part of the Encyclia orchid family.

I have read that the Black Racer can get quite large and I am glad that this was just a wee little snake, or I might have been running in the opposite direction. Like my father, I do not like snakes. Only problem is that my mother is not around to get rid of them like she did for my dad. I hear you laughing, but it really was no laughing matter, if my dad spotted a snake, the first person he called on was my mother. The poor snake did not stand a chance.

Cypripedium Parviflorum or the commonly known yellow slipper orchid, is what I think this is. What I love about this orchid is that I can clearly see a face in the body of the orchid. I do see faces in all sorts of things and apparently that is called Pareidolia. According to Wikipedia “Pareidolia is the tendency for perception to impose a meaningful interpretation on a nebulous visual stimulus. Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations. ” I am amazed at how many faces I see in things.

I believe the orchid below is called a Cypripedioideae orchid and it is definitely part of the Slipper Orchid family

The Phalaenopsis orchid is the most common in South Florida, however, there are so many different verities of colors and patterns that each one is uniquely beautiful. Currently I have about 15 Phalaenopsis orchids. As a rule Phalaenopsis orchids love defused lighting and moderate humidity. I have kept all of mine inside the patio in the shade. “Phallies” typically flower all year round.

Orchid growing is another outdoor hobby which I have come to realize that this is not something I can really ask Richard to help me with, given that he really should not be in the sun. So last weekend I set up my table on the grass and repotted my 25 orchids. That gave me a healthy respect for horticulturist like my cousin who has won many gold awards at the Chelsea Garden show, or someone like my dad or my uncle who is just a hobbyist. There is a lot of work to keeping the orchids healthy.

As we spend time in the sun I just want to remind you that the sun in Florida is super strong. Make sure to put on your sunscreen. Wear sunglasses and use a hat to protect your face. If you have any form of skin cancer or like Richard, melanoma, then make sure you are wearing UV protective clothing when you are out in the sun. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. Make sure that you are checking your body for moles that look different., or a mole that may worry you. Melanoma, we are told can spill over and travel from a mole site to another organ and go dormant for years. In Richard’s case it was 34 years before the melanoma made itself evident again. Take Care of yourselves. Prevention is better than trying to cure Stage 4 cancer.

This is my last post for the Naples Botanical Gardens. I hope you enjoyed them. The adventure is still not over. Look out for the post on Monday on the Cape Romano Dome house. I loved seeing this unique house in the middle of nowhere. Check it out on Monday.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens: Part 6

This is just a fun little post. After we left the Asian garden we came across a circle of creatures and Richard joined the ring. While all the animals are joined together in a circle, for photograph purposes I took the liberty of separating them so that I did not see random arms. My removal of the other limbs may not be perfect, but I loved showing each one alone where I could.

Sometimes you just have to have a little bit of fun. Life has been so stressful these past months. I loved that he was able to just relax enough to be silly. This is what life is all about. Enjoying the moments, while we still have them.

Being African we really related to the Giraffe and Elephant. They are like home away from home.

Also another hot country when we get down to it. Summers can be brutal, just like Florida. So just a reminder, the sun in Florida is super strong. Make sure to put on your sunscreen. Wear sunglasses and use a hat to protect your face. If you have any form of skin cancer or like Richard, melanoma, then make sure you are wearing UV protective clothing when you are out in the sun. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. Make sure that you are checking your body for moles that look different., or a mole that may worry you. Melanoma, we are told can spill over and travel from a mole site to another organ and go dormant for years. In Richard’s case it was 34 years before the melanoma made itself evident again. Take Care of yourselves. Prevention is better than trying to cure Stage 4 cancer.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: April 2020

I apologize to my other bloggers, last month was crazy with the whole switch to working from home and trying to come up with new scenarios on how to meet clients.  Hello telemedicine, but it certainly has been a journey.

We are still on the stay at home status, and so there is not a lot to photograph. Maybe I should be doing one a day but somehow I spend most of the day at my computer working.

Friday last week, I decided that I needed to get some vitamin D, and headed out to the deck to try and grab a little bit of sunshine.  While the weather is hot, it is really overcast and there is not a lot of sun grabbing going on.  Once the deck clouded over, I picked up my macro and decided to walk around our small garden and see what captured my attention.  Here are a few things from the garden.

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Tiny berries shooting of the variegated leaf tree that Richard plants everywhere

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Dead spikes of a evergreen plant out in the garden

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One of seven spikes of a tree orchid that is attached to my palm tree.  The ants clearly love the sap of the buds.

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The start of the third pineapple growing in the garden. And yes, it really looks like the colors in the image.

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The upper spikes of the older pineapple.

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One of the many succulent stems of the tree orchid attached to my palm tree.

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New buds on a very spiky plant.

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The opened version of the above buds.

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Berries from the chopped down palm tree flowers.

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A brand new palm frond coming up in the garden.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  Days are not overly exciting right now, but I would rather do this and stay safe than go out and end up getting sick.

This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend LUPJi Photography is up next and I can’t wait to read what he has to share.

 

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30 Minutes in the Life: April 2020

In the 2020….. (How does the song go “In the year 2525, if man is still alive
If woman can survive ~ Zager, Evens”).  Earlier today I saw someone added an “in the year 2020…” a Facebook post with the idea that this would come up in their memories.

So what does Corona Virus Stay at home look like for you?  For me, it is still work as normal, in fact a little more than normal, but it has to be done so I am going to do it.

Richard has his office downstairs, I have my office upstairs.  Hoodini (the quaker parakeet I rescued) is moved out of my office into the spare room every morning, Ms Moo sits at the closed door whining to get in and Sims just ignores everyone and everything.  That is us, day in and day out, work and Zoom meetings make up my days.  Sunday evening we have managed to set up a Zoom games evening with the kids who are not close by.  It adds a little variety.  When necessary I will go to the shop, but so far I have managed to keep that to once a week.  I have been out of the house a total of 6 times in the last 5 weeks.

So for this month, my 30 minutes is really my editing time.  I thought I would get us on the road again.  We traveled a fair bit the last two years, and I found I was not able to keep up with the editing on all the trips.  Today I am going to go back to Maine, and a charming town that I got to visit with a friend.

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My friend Karen had married and moved to New Hampshire a few years ago.  When we decided to go up that way I connected with her to see if we could meet.  I also knew she spent a lot of time hiking in New Hampshire and I thought I would pick her brains on where to go.  She went one step further.  She decided to drive through to Maine and we went on a road trip.  First to the Ogunquit Musuem, then stopped by a lighthouse, then drove through to Portsmouth.

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This is a quaint little seaside town.  All of them are quaint to me.  Not sure how little they are though.  But for me the immediate town was so interesting.  I love the old brownstone buildings and the cobblestone pavers or brick sidewalks.  Today was an overcast day but luckily when we arrived in Portsmouth it stopped raining.

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The first stop was at a small street side bar called Portsmouth Gas Light Co, for lunch.  Of course, when in the north we had to have lobster rolls (and this was a first for me, both being in the north and the lobster rolls).  Karen and I shared and I can promise you that was more than enough food.  When I compare it to the ridiculous lobster roll we got in New York, this is amazing.  It tasted it good, and it was super filling.  Added to that we were able to indulge in the local brew.  I am a Heineken kind of person, and they were able to come up with a brew that matched my taste.  If you are in town, I highly recommend stopping by.   

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Another favorite of mine is street art, and we managed to find a few interesting murals to capture our attention.

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Walking the city was fun, and we soon headed down to the Piscataqua River that separates Portsmouth, New Hampshire from Kittery, Maine.

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We found a beautiful garden square that was a riot of color, carefully planned out and very appealing to the eye.

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We continued on crossing one of the local traffic bridges and walk along the waters edge enjoying the beautiful sites in front of us.

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The image below caught my attention because of the beautiful reflections in the water.

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We landed up along a quay of yachts and fishing boats which may or may not have been situated on North Mill Pond.  It’s been over a year, what can I say.  The bridge in the image is called the Memorial Bridge and it is a vertical lift bridge.  This bridge allows commercial boats to pass through.

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This bridge replaced an earlier built bridge that spanned this river from 1923 to 2012.  On the original bridge there was a plaque that read “Memorial to the Sailors and Soldiers of New Hampshire who gave their lives in the World War 1917–1919.”  This plaque was moved to the newly built bridge.

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We headed down to the Strawberry Banke Museum, side stepping into a historical grave site area.  I am a big fan of wandering through, reading the different tombstones.  I love history and these tombstones were very interesting in design.

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The tombstone about was that of Capt Tobias Lear who died November 6th, 1781.  According to the notes found on an onsite notice board, “Lear was a mariner of Portsmouth whose home, now a historic site, is a few blocks from Point of Graves on Hunkering Street.  His son Tobias Jr, Served as President George Washington’s private secretary.  The elder Lear’s gravestone was carved by John Homer and displays the realistic skull and cross bones for which he is known“.

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Another one that had clear writings on was the tombstone of Mary Blagdon. The tombstone says “Here lies the body of Mrs Mary Blagdon wife to Doc. Samuel Blagdon Aged 75 years.  Died Dec y 11th 1735.  I found the images on the tombstone interesting and wondered who chose the design on this woman’s tombstone.

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We passed the South Meetinghouse on Macy Street.  The building of this beautiful building was completed in 1866, and in those days cost $9,600-00 to complete.

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We walked down some side streets and this stairway caught my attention with all it’s number plates on it.  It certainly was creative, as was the front door of another house we passed.

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We found two new friends (for a short period of time) sunning themselves outside now that the rain had gone.

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We walked passed some alley ways where I captured this beautiful spiral staircase.

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And then we were back at the water’s edge, having walked along a boardwalk of restaurants.  I loved looking at the tug boards and fire rescue boats.

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In the distance we could see the Memorial Bridge we had walked past earlier.  We were on the other side of the bridge looking down towards it.

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In the opposite direction is the stunning Piscataqua River Bridge which spans the Piscataqua River.  The bridge connects Portsmouth. New Hampshire with Kittery, Maine.

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The bridge has 6 lanes and arches high above the river, eliminating the need for a lift bridge for boats.  The structure is this incredible mass of metal work that is absolutely stunning.

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Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this this small but oh so interesting seaside town. I hope you enjoyed getting out and about with me.  I look forward to the day we can pack up the suitcase and head out again.  I am still holding out hope for my Eastern European trip in August. 

Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Janet of Janet Crouch Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook  and Instagram pages as well. 
30 minutes contributor

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2020

It is 30 Minutes in the Life, and if you are wondering, my 30 Minutes was not at the beach.  Since March 13, I feel like I have been on a 25 hour call.  Why? My real job is working with Policies & Procedures, Written Plans, Quality Control, training, and such other things that may be assigned, for Medical Clinics.  And yes, we are most definitely impacted by the changes the world is seeing.

I am tired, but so are many others. This 30 Minutes I wanted to look at the contrast in life – what does that look like, and where do we go from here.

For so long life has been kind of rosy.  The last Flu pandemic, according to the CDC, was in 1918.  Almost 100 years ago.  I feel like we have become complacent and unprepared.  I understand, we do not want thousands of ventilators sitting around for 100 years.  However, it feels like society has been slow to respond to what is going on around us.

On any given day, our lives are sunny and rosy and off to the beach we go.  All these image are taken at Orchard Beach in Maine.

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But we don’t know what lurks around the corner.  China was slow to get the news out that things had turned dark, and that they were struggling with something that was rapidly becoming beyond their control. Limited information came out until the situation be came so dire that they were overwhelmed with what they are dealing with.

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The rest of the world carried on as normal, enjoying life, living what essentially is part of the social norm.  We head out to restaurants, we go to the beach, we cluster as folks are often want to do.

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It was only when Italy started to show signs of panic that the rest of the world opened up their eyes and started to take notice.  And when Italy’s days became bleak, finally the rest of the world sat up and said perhaps we should do something about it.  The information I kept reading seemed unbelievable and disturbing.

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But the world was slow in responding, we carried on as normal.  Around mid March, our offices, began to look at the what if, and a meeting was called to plan for the what if.  What if we have to shut down, do we have a pandemic plan in place, do we have policies and procedures in place?  Do we have a pandemic plan?  Can you draft up one?  Beyond that what does it look like to have staff working from home?  What does it look like to run medical clinics on limited staff? Can we go virtual?  I am grateful that our office was forward thinking and we began to seriously plan for the potential future.

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As the devastating news came out of Italy and the numbers began to increase, and the horror of  living with a pandemic really looks like when you are not prepared for the impact of it, begins to seep in.  What hospitals look like when they are overcrowded.  When people are sleeping on the floor because there is no beds for them. What medical staff have to endure when they are working 24 hours on call and they are watching, not only 1 or 2, but thousands of people dying.  When morgues and crematoriums cannot keep up with the death rate.  When churches start to store the coffins and the bodies lie waiting for when their loved ones can bury them.  When medical personnel are required to choose who can live or die.  My heart breaks.  It breaks for each and every person fighting for the life of someone who may die, or more than likely will die.  My heart aches for the medical staff’s family, who do not know if they will see their loved one again.  Children who cannot see their parents.

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And yet here in the USA it is business as usual. While leaders indicate that there is a problem, it does not appear that they are ready to make some hard choices.  Spring breakers still hit the beaches in Florida because it is their right to do so, forcing the state to close parks and beaches.  Restaurants are shut down except for take out.  I worry about the possibility of workers being contagious.  People head out on the Intracoastal on their boats, with little regard for the potential that they may be carriers.  It is their right, and besides it does not appear that their age group is not dying, although stats coming in show that the virus is moving across age groups.  They may not be dying, they are right, but they may be killing their grandparents, or parents.

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The USA is slow on the uptake.  It seemed that it was viewed more as a hoax and then as something we would be over soon.  March 20, the numbers were around 8500 people who were tested positive for the virus.  While I understand that there was limited testing in the early days, and a scrambling for the necessary equipment and testing kits, over the past 10 days the numbers have escalated to 105, 470 (as I am writing this).  The death toll is 1590.  This is no longer a joke or something that will die down in a few days.  We no longer have control of the virus. The situation is bleak.  Working from home is not what folks may think it is.  Working from home, for me, this past 12 days has felt like a 25 hour day – 7 days a week right now.  It is learning new technology so that we can still meet the client where they are at, that we can still be of service.  Virtual is the new normal!

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The days ahead seem surreal.  Cities are slow to shut down.  Government is worried about economy.  I understand, but I have to wonder what the economy will look like 24 months from now if a stand is not taken now.  I am praying for a nation wide shut down.  Life to freeze in all aspects, so that this situation can be controlled.  We don’t want to be China.  We don’t want to be Italy, where the death toll went from 9134 to 10 779  men, women and children in less than 24 hours.  We don’t want to be Spain where they are having to make decision on who lives and who dies.  Where they are using scuba diving equipment just to help people breathe. Where they are storing bodies in an ice rink just to protect the bodies from decaying and smelling.

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Life has become a roller coaster.  We are on a fast ride, and we don’t know when it is going to stop.  We need to face reality that unless something significant is done by all States at the same time, nothing is going to change.  Right now I live in a State and in an area where “snowbirds” are a huge part of our lives.  In winter they are in our county and in summer they head up north.  A lot of them to New York.  I cannot blame them for wanting to flee New York.  That would be my first instinct as well.  But I live here and I have to wonder what that will bring to South Florida.  A community made up of a lot of elderly folk.  Already Miami is under curfew, Broward county is under stay at home, Boca Raton, is under stay at home, and Palm Beach County has implemented some mandates as well.  We have to start making some really hard decisions at a much higher level than me.  All I can do, is do my part.

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We can be part of the pack, or if we are able, we can stay at home, isolate from the crowd. We can protect our families and friends, and we can ease the burden that our medical system is going to have to deal with.  Friends remember to take these items into account:

  1. Have you or a family member, or co-worker traveled internationally (or been in close contact with someone who has traveled internationally) within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you have traveled from a “hot spot” to another area?
  3. Have you been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have a pandemic virus?
  4. Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing?
  5. Are you experiencing a fever or flu like symptoms?

If you have please, please you need to consider quarantining yourself

Wash your hands, well, use hand sanitizer if you have it.  If you go to the shop, take your sanitizer with you and clean the cart.  Be aware of what you are touching, the people you are interacting with, people who may be coughing and sneezing around you.  Protect yourself, protect your family.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay sane, don’t be like me, having major conversations with the TV, and watching my blood pressure rise.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, during this challenging time in life.
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal from Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  

Share Six: March 2020: Morning

Good {Morning} to you from Bar Harbor in what feels like the wee hours.  Oh yes, once again we are back up and heading out to watch the breaking of the day.  Bar Harbor is perhaps one of the most beautiful sunrises I have experienced, and I have sat through quite a few.  Something we had learned over our days in Maine, is that the fog rolls in and out quite unexpectedly.  This morning was no exception.

When we first arrived, I actually thought that the fog was an island.  However, it kept moving closer.  The weather was chilly for such an early morning, but we took coffee along with us.  I moved around a bit on the dock to try and catch the boats heading out for their early morning fishing, and then back to try my best to capture this gorgeous boat in the sunrise.

This month Share Six’s theme is {Morning} and this is mine.

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If you have not been to Bar Harbor, then it should be on your bucket list.  Not only is it a quaint town, but it is also the gateway to the Arcadia National Park.  A park well worth visiting.  Added to that you are right up near the Canadian Border as well, and a ferry ride to Nova Scotia.  We stayed in the town limits, and walked up and down the streets and down to the waterfront.  There were a lot of interesting little shops to browse through.  The highlight of the town was we had one of the best calamari we have ever had and we also got to eat lobster tails, (something we don’t often do 🙂 )

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Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  I love sneak peaks – they are always amazing.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Michèle of Michèle Tremblay Photo and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_morning

 

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Tell me a Story: February 7, 2020: Burrowing Owls

Burrowing Owls are the cutest little feathery critters that I have had a close up encounter with.  Every so often I will take a drive down to the reclaimed garbage dump that was turned into a park.  Fortunately it does not smell anymore.  This park seems to be the home for the largest community of Burrowing Owls that I have found in the south.

While it may look like I am up close and personal with the owls and maybe even in their space, I am truly not.  Each owl burrow has fencing around it, preventing you from encroaching on the owls space.  My trusty zoom lens (which is not so trusty anymore) is the best way to get close to these tiny owls.

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The owls are on constant look out for predators, so while they are watching me they are also watching the sky.  They typically do not go to far from their burrow.

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This little one above popped out of it’s burrow to see what I was doing.  Often they will shoot into their burrow as you approach and then curiosity gets the better of them and they will pop back out again.  I typically lie down flat on the grass and just try to keep as still as possible.

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The burrows can house quite a few owls.  The most I have counted has been six.  Today this lot had 3.

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This burrow actually had 5 owls.  At least one of them is keeping an eye on you at all times.

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Often you will find an owl having a sand bath.  It helps to keep the mites down.  It amazes me how the owl blends with the surrounding area.  It’s really helpful when it comes to hiding from predator birds.

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This little owlet was just a ball of fluff out in the sand.  They are cuteness personified and I love taking the time to go down and visit with them.  It does help that the South African shop is down there and I can stop by and stock up on the goodies I miss from home.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend Mindy is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

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