30 Minutes in the Life: May 2021

Life has become day by day. It is precious and moments are not to be wasted. Given that we do not know what the time frame looks like we have opted to make the most of it. We both have a lot of vacation to take this year or we loose it. So for the month of May we decided to take a short 3 day vacation to Naples, Florida.

I am not sure that we have ever stayed there before but I left Richard to do all the planning. The only input was that perhaps we consider heading to the Naples Botanical Garden on our second day when we did not have a whole lot of plans.

Wednesday we headed out. From our home is is about a 2 hour drive across Alligator Alley. Short, quick, and before we knew it we were there. Richard booked into Cove Inn. The room sat on the edge of the waterway, and it came with a room, kitchenette, bathroom and a balcony. Only change I would make would be to go to an upper level. Our balcony looked more to the boats than the bay. That said the place was perfect for what we needed.

Once we had settled in, we did a 30 minute walk down town to the historical district. We wanted to check out restaurants and breakfast places. Turns out that Cove Inn had it’s own breakfast place and it was more than adequate for us. Extra large eggs means you get three instead of 2 even though it is a 2 egg breakfast. Below is a cell pic of some of the Cove from the dock across the way, where our sailing ship would leave from.

One of the purposes for going out there was that Richard wanted to get back out on the water. Planning is a little more challenging now. We both love the sun, but he has been told to stay out of the sun. It is hard. Your default is that you want to go back out and do all the things we have done for the last 34 years.

We planned a sunset cruise. So today’s blog is about getting back out on the water. However, Richard has factor 50 sun screen on, a factor 50 shirt and a hat. All things that we did not think about before. It was a perfect sky and I was convinced I could see a bird in these clouds.

We are ready for our cruise. Just a few steps away from our room, was a restaurant called The Dock. We chose to go there for dinner before heading out on our cruise.

Dinner was a share of calamari and mussels. Filling for both of us and done in time for us to settle the bill and leave to walk down the dock to our boat. The Sweet Liberty crew do not offer drinks and snacks on board but you were able to bring your own. While the boat was not full to capacity, there were enough people on it. We headed to the back where we shared space with a couple from Nashville. If I have to say anything negative, it was that a young girl was on the boat with her entourage, doing a photoshoot. So every where you moved you kept tripping over a model, her mother, a camera man, and 6 other people. Beyond that the boat ride was perfect.

The cruise itself was so enjoyable. The captain was informative and his crew got the sails up and had us under wind power and on our way. Heading out to the ocean, I think they took us on the scenic route through the waterways. It was a lot shorter coming back. Like the east coast the waterways are lined with big, fancy houses and impressive boats.

I was pretty impressed with the clouds and the formations in the sky, that was until sunset and then it was too much.

My thirty minutes officially ends here but I am going to continue so I get all the images from our cruise together. The picture below is looking to Marco Island and I will share more about that in a few days.

It was so good to see Richard smiling and enjoying the outdoors, wind in his face, and the smell of sea and factor 50 sunscreen. I find myself wanting to take images where ever and when ever I can because I don’t know what tomorrow may bring.

Our cruise is over but we have more planned. Check out our walk through the Botanical Garden on the Thursday, and our boat ride on the Friday through the 10 000 island and towards Marco Island. One of the views that really impressed me was the dome houses, so look out for that blog.

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 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 Kim, of This One Ordinary Life, has to share this month.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: June 2016: Earth

It seems like time flies.  How did we already get to blogging for June.  This is the 4th month of Share Six and it has been so good to get to know my fellow bloggers and also to get to know the photographers sharing through their images and their participation in the group.

Kim chose the theme EARTH this month.  Part of her thoughts that resonated with me were “therapeutic, calming, relaxing ….connecting to the natural world in a meaningful way”.

I had my thoughts on the topic but decided to go ahead and look up the definition of earth – “the planet on which we live” and “the diversity of life on earth”  Both are pretty broad topics.  I am an outdoors person when it comes to vacations.  We camp a lot.  Typically we head to the beach.  Recently we were in Seattle.  The earth is vast and made up of cities and open spaces, beaches and mountain, humans and critters, sunrises and sunsets and all sorts of various other criteria.

I love critters. Living on the edge of the Florida Everglades I see a lot of critters.  This past weekend I managed to rescue a mouse from the jaws of terror, aka Moonshine the cat.  I quickly discovered that cats get lockjaw when they have a mouse in their teeth. I had to push my finger in her mouth and slowly ease it so that she released the mouse.  Poor little mouse had eyes as big as a small bead.  It took off so fast as it was released that Moonshine did not get a chance to catch it again. Then I heard Simba doing his cat growl.  Oh yes, when I looked through the slates of the deck the opossum was back underneath there sleeping.  Last year she had babies, which we never got to see because she is nocturnal.  All I needed was to look up in the tree and see a raccoon.  I have done that before.  Between these critters, the squirrel who comes to the fence each day, the birds, the gators, and even a bobcat, I have learned to appreciate what this earth has to offer.

This past weekend I took a bit of time to go and sit outside on the grass and enjoy the late afternoon light.  My idea was to snap a few photo’s of dragonflies.  This is what my brief time out there looked like before the mosquito’s arrived.

Sitting on the edge of the grass are these tiny weed.

Sitting on the edge of the grass are these tiny weeds.  Annoying to some but in my mind beautiful because all of the earth has various elements of beauty.


The Four Spotted Pennant Dragonfly is a common sight out on the back canal.  I love dragonflies simply because they are one of the most interesting insects to look at.  Added to that they eat the mosquito’s that summer brings.  They are also food for the baby chicks that are being born in the area.  So is the cycle of life.

White Ibis.

I had some bread to throw away and so when I went out, I took it with me to feed the fish.  It does not take long for the rest of the feathered variety to arrive.  This White Ibis grabbed a couple of pieces that landed close to the edge of the water.

Boat Tailed Grackle

As did this Boat Tailed Grackle.  Grackles are a common sight out back and at times they will arrive in droves.

Great Blue Heron

And who should wander in to check out all the activity but Big Blue as I commonly call our resident Great Blue Heron.  After 30 minutes of watching and waiting he finally got into stalk mode.

Great Blue Heron

Big Blue dove into the water but came up short.  No fish for him at that attempt.  By now the mosquito’s were beginning to bite and it was time for me to go back in.  I love sitting outside and enjoying the activities of nature.  This is what earth represents to me.  The beauty of creation.  The diversity of life and living beings.  We are here for such a short time.  Enjoy what planet Earth has to offer.  Take care of it.  Respect it. Love it.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors

We borrow it from our children

~ Native America Proverb

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six.  This is a circle blog. Please take time to visit my my friend and fellow blogger  Erica from Woodsy Wonders Photography and see what she has for you this month.  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.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page, my Instagram page or my Flickr page.

Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme Earth throughout the month of June on our Facebook page.  A new theme will come out on July 6.

Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix and tag your images #sharesix and #sharesix_earth.

You can also find the Share Six webpage at http://www.sharesix.wordpress.com

We cannot wait to see your images on EARTH.

Sharetographers: July 2015: Smooth

Sharetographers topic this month is smooth and for most of the group summer has been happening.  We have had guests from out of country and life has been a little hectic.  We have 24 days to my son getting married and about double that before my daughter leaves to join the Peace Corp and will be gone for at least 27 months.  Smooth probably is not what is happening now.

In the midst of all of that transition, we took a day at the beach with family who were in town from Australia, and it was great to chill and do nothing but float in the waves.  Did I say waves?  The water was smooth, reminded me of a pond, and attempting to use the paddle board as a surf board was a joke, but Amy gave it her best try.

I had a little point and shoot Cannon underwater camera and we went into the waves to play.

Here are my six images for the topic smooth.

Smooth waves

Attempting to get a partial under water and above water image.

Walking on smooth water

Walking on smooth water.  Amy gets the feel of what it is like to stand on a paddle board

Hanging out waiting to catch a wave.

Hanging out waiting to catch a wave.

Smooth waves with a paddle board as a surf board

The paddle board quickly becomes a  surf board but the water is like glass and not a lot was happening.

Just hanging out waiting for a wave.

Apparently surfing was not happening so she just floated in the waves for a while.

Smooth waves on a gorgeous beah day

Smooth waves on a gorgeous beah day

Take the rough with the smooth,

happy with the sad,

remember who you are,

and be grateful for what you have.


I am so very grateful for the family, they soothe my soul, bring calm in the disruption, and give me just a little taste of what home used to be like.  We are scattered across the continents and it looks like the scattering will go a little further when Amy leaves, but there is nothing that can replace family.  They are the very core of who you are.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

If you would like to know more about Sharetographers, head on over to their facebook page

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for the Sharetographers newsletter when you visit their page.  You will find lots of interesting topics in there.


Project 10: February 2015: Same

This past week, I spent 5 days with my daughter Amy.  She had to have a bone graft and I wanted to be with her when it was done, and be there to nurse her if she needed her mommy, in the days that followed.  We mistakenly believed that this surgery had been easier than the original accident that caused the need for the bone graft.  However, 36 hours after the surgery her face started to swell and the pain kicked in.  However, knowing that I wanted to go and look for wild horses at the Prairie, she bravely went out with me late Friday after taking her pain meds.  We did not walk much, and I did not get to see the wild horses, but I did get quality time with my child.

Beyond that I had asked her if she would model for me so that I could get one photo of a red and black umbrella.  Well Amy got into the swing of things and for a while I started thinking Mary Poppins.  I chose not to take close ups of her face because truthfully it is swollen.  She looks like she has had botox, poor child.  But she was a real sport working with me.

Here is my take on the topic “Same”.  Same umbrella, different poses, different colors, some without color.

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 1963

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 1964

Gainesville: February 12, 2015 1969

Gainesville: February 12, 2015 1973

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 1989

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 2002

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 2010

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 2008

M4H: Happy:  February 13, 2015 2014

As of today we heard the news that Amy will be leaving the USA on Sept 11 (her birthday) and joining up with the Peace Corp to teach in Macedonia.  She is excited and ready for this.  Mom is excited for her, but I am going to miss her a lot.  I am going to have to start saving to visit her.  Life experiences grow us all and she has had a few hard ones since December but she is strong and I have not doubt in my mind that she is going to love exploring new places.

“A bit of magic. It’s easy. You think. You wink. You do a double blink. You close your eyes… And jump”.

~ A quote from the film Mary Poppins.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Walking in the Wetland: December 30, 2014

I love walking in the wetlands.  After a busy work week, the wetlands soothes my soul, and puts balance back in my life.  10 days ago I had foot surgery and I have not been able to walk.  Last  week I started taking baby steps and today I was given clearance by the doctor to put my foot down properly and walk.  I also got all the stitches out….ouch!!

Since he said I could walk I decided to attempt limping along to the first rookery at one of my favorite Wetlands – Wakodahatchee Wetlands.  I meander.  Really slowly.  Watching and waiting.  Wetland walking is a lesson in patience.  You have only a fraction of time to get the shot you want – there is no do over.  So patience is a good lesson to learn.

My first encounter was with a Tri-Colored Heron who was wading through the water fishing for it’s food.   They generally flap around in the water darting from spot to spot, attempting to catch the small fish swimming in the water.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8141

The Purple Gallinule is part of the “Swamp Hen” family.  They are easily identified by their bright yellow legs.  They are an amazing mixture of colors.  You will often find them dangling on a reed attempting to eat the seeds or flowers at the end of it.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8145

Moving along the broad walk I spot a female Boat Tailed Grackle.  She hops up onto the wooden railing right in front of me.  I am not necessarily a fan of the Boat Tailed Grackles.  They tend to swarm the garden and take over.  But she was kind of sweet and I enjoyed seeing her close up.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8145

We are heading into on of my favorite times of the year.  The Great Blue Herons are courting and nest building and today the Anhinga were showing their courting colors.  They male is typically fluffed up and out.  Both bird seem to get real defnition and color around their eyes at this time of the year.  There is a lot of posturing done by the male and at times the female will engage with him and other times she will just ignore him.  I had to laugh, I overheard a conversation that went something like this.  The little boy, seeing the two bird knocking their beaks together,  asked his father ” What are the birds doing?”  The father answered “It’s like they are sword fighting”.  Fortunately the male did not jump on the back of the female or I am sure the father would have told the child that they were wrestling.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8145

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8183

Anhinga are interesting birds.  They swim in the water to fish for their dinner.  However, their wings are not oily so the bird tends to get water logged and has to dry it’s wings out on a branch.  So often you will see the Anhinga, and the Cormorant sitting on a bank or on a branch with their wings spread out.  The Anhinga in particular, is a stunning sight to see with it’s wings all spread out in black and white.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8213

The Great Blue Herons are the other birds who are doing their courting and nest building.  This is a spectacular sight to watch.  You will see the female extend her neck out and make a strange barking kind of noise as she calls out for her mate.  Next thing he will be flying in with a twig and there is a beautiful dance of wings and beaks as the female accepts the twig from the male.  She will push it into the nest and wedge it in the exact position she wants it.  The two will hang out together for a while preening each other and then off he goes looking for another twig.  Before you know it the dance has begun again.  Today this Great Blue Heron seemed to be snoozing.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8186

Reflections are always a nice part of the wetlands and it was not long before I was back to the initial Tri Colored Heron that I had started out with.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: Delray Beach: Dec 30, 2014 8226

Wetland walking is a great way to view up close, or not so close, the natural environment that you area has to offer you.  It is a time to meander and enjoy the call of the wild. If you have never done a wetland walk, I would encourage you to take the time to head on out and enjoy what it has to offer you.

“In order to see birds, it is necessary to become part of the silence”

~ Robert Lynd

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Project 10: Dec 2014: Simplicity

Project 10 is a group that I have participated in as a guest blogger for the past year.  I really enjoy their choice of topics. Sometimes I come up with something, sometimes I am totally stumped. Sometimes I come up with the topic after the fact.  This month was a good month for me.  I love to walk in the wetlands.  It gives me the opportunity to de-stress from my day to day job which has just changed again.  Same company different workload.  Another learning curve. That is all I seem to have done the past 2 years.  

Walking in the wetlands also offers me something else.  The opportunity to see wildlife in it’s natural form.  Birds, gators, raccoons, bobcats (although I have yet to see it close up), otto’s (them too).  I love it.  I grew up being taught to appreciate nature.  We had all sorts of critters in our home.  Taking this walk just really settles my soul.  

However, you can only take a Moorhen so many times and it becomes a little boring.  So when I walk I tend to look for different things and experiment a little with how I take the photo.  So here is the simplicity of nature as I see it through my eyes.  











” A Withered Maple leaf has left its branch and is falling to the ground; its movements resemble those of a butterfly in flight.  Isn’t it strange?  The saddest and deadest of things is yet so like the gayest and most vital of all creatures?”

~ Ivan Turgeneve, Fathers and Sons

Thank you for letting me post in this group.  I have really enjoyed staying a part of it and I am glad I was able to get it done. I hope that you all have a blessed Christmas and a very happy New Year.  May you dream constantly, and may those dreams come to fruition in 2015.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.