'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, life, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

It’s all about the bees…

Heritage Gardens was supposed to be about the hummingbirds. I was there two years ago and came across a shrub that was just off the walking path and the flowers there were making the hummingbirds very happy. And the hummingbird moths too. So in my usual way I totally expected them to be right there waiting for me to take more pictures of them this time. So much of life has changed in the last two years, why should I expect the hummingbirds to be carrying on in the same way? I’ve certainly chosen a bit of a different path for myself these days, I guess they can too.

I was attracted to the intense blue and purple colors of this hydrangea.. The bee was a bonus.
Gorgeous hollyhocks.
The charming windmill.
Chipmunks are so cute, and we don’t see them in Florida.

Wait, I said this was about the bees, didn’t I?

Orange bee…
Pink bee…
Purple bee…
Oops, this is a butterfly!

Lego sculptures were found throughout the gardens.

Same picture from this angle…
And then from this angle.
And now we see how this was done…

We had such a nice day. And when we got back my friend got to reunite with two close friends from childhood for the first time in over 20 years. After all my travels and reconnections these past few years I know just how great that feels. What a very nice day.

'scene' along the way, a second look, bucket list, bugs, Florida landmarks, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, silliness, weather

And furthermore…

Bok Tower Gardens is, of course, a garden, so we did see some flowers and beautiful vistas.

Do I know what this is? No, I don’t, but I like it.
The same with these, and I’m too lazy to look them up.
In the beginning.
In full bloom.
This looks like the plant from The Little Shop of Horrors, so I think that bug had better watch out.
There were angels in the garden, watching over the children.
And bee boxes to house the bees that don’t live in hives. A fact I learned at Felt’s Preserve.
You have now entered the children’s garden where there were endless opportunities for kids to climb, jump, run, and just about anything else they could think of.
There were fairy houses in the children’s gardens.
This is my favorite fairy house.
I loved the images in stone on the pathways.
There was a walk across an expanse of lawn to see this vista. I hurried to take a picture because we could hear the horde of orange-shirted kids approaching behind us. When they got to the hill one of the boys fell to the ground and rolled down, and I kicked myself for not getting the picture.
And then this happened. I should have expected it, since kids will be kids.
And sometimes grown-ups act like kids too!

It was fun to spend time with old friends and make a couple of new friends also. The rain and thunder held off just long enough for us to make the most of the trip to Bok Tower Gardens. And it left us wanting to return, eventually.

'scene' along the way, adventure, bugs, dragonflies, exploring new places, finding my way, flowers, fun, gardens, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Newhall Audubon Preserve…

My young cousin and I had a conversation the other day about taking the detours that you see along the highways of life. She says she always takes the detour if she is traveling with time on her hands. I always feel like I spotted them too late to take the turn, or I think I have nowhere to pull the car over safely. There are missed photo ops that have been living in my head for many, many years. And while I missed a great potential shot the other day, I later hung a right at Newhall Audubon Preserve, a quick but worthwhile stop. Stopping to smell the roses, so to speak. I need to do that more often…

I confess that heading down a path like this by myself doesn’t always feel safe. Other hikers are a welcome sight.
The views are often lovely.
I didn’t walk the path around the little lake.
There were no big fat bumble bees, just tiny little ones.
Oops, one fat bee.
Loblolly pines are amazing. So tall and straight, I’m sure they were prized for timber. But taking a picture is almost impossible, except from this angle.
So very tall.
This isn’t the butterfly I had in mind, but he’ll do.
I loved seeing this dragonfly’s shadow.

After a short while I got back on A1A, knowing that just beyond the beautiful houses I was seeing on my left as I drove south, there was the ocean. I passed up one beach access turn off, I guess I hadn’t quite learned my own lesson, but I took the second one. I was catching on…

The ocean has my heart.
'scene' along the way, adventure, bugs, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography

Into the woods…

I tagged along with my friends into the woods at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife preserve yesterday, which always involves lots of fun. And bugs, lots of bugs. We took pictures of some of them and swatted many more.

And not only bugs, we also found a deer, a fox squirrel, and we had to search but we did find the baby alligators we were looking for. I can almost say that they are cute, but they are alligators so they won’t be cute for long. And they were calling for their mother, I think we were distressing them. We didn’t see her though, but chances are good that she wasn’t far away.

You do have to wonder what happened here. Maybe someone was extra anxious to jump in the water at Eagle’s Nest for some scuba diving. Or something like that…

bugs, facing facts, Florida wildlife, losing it, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Conspiracy theories…

I’ve suspected a conspiracy for quite a while now.  Since I bought my house in Florida in 2005.  We hadn’t owned the house long, and were just visiting every other month for the first three years, but we quickly were talked into getting a ‘bug guy’, because ‘if you don’t have termites now you will eventually.’  Not wanting to arrive at the house and find that it was occupied by hordes of bugs, we signed on.  But the thing of it is, we never saw a bug.  Not in my house, and not here in the mobile either.  Nope.  Not until the actual bug guy paid a visit, and then there would be a dead palmetto bug lying in a corner, or under a table, immediately after the bug guy put in an appearance.  I suspected he planted those things to ensure that you would keep paying the bill.

Lately I have been patting myself on the back for finally signing on with a bug guy for this place, prompted by my plan to head out of here for an extended trip to somewhere.  And on the two occasions that he has paid me a visit I have spotted a palmetto bug shortly after each visit.  The last time he was here I informed him of my suspicions and he pretended to be amused.  I told him that I find those darned bugs to be so creepy that I usually leave them lying in state for a couple of days, just to be sure it’s really dead before I go to scoop it up and it leaps into action.  I think he rolled his eyes,  but he assured me that if it’s lying on it’s back you can be sure it’s dead.  He LIED!

 

 

a second look, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, lizards, losing it, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Marching ants…

Excuse me for using a Photoshop/Lightroom term simply to amuse myself.  I didn’t notice the ants on that flower bud, my friend did.  But I did like how clearly the ants showed up in the viewer of my camera once I did see them.  I have no clue what they were doing, but they sure looked busy.

It poured on Tuesday morning, and the thought of rain drops on the flowers at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens was what got me out the door as soon as the sun came out.  Raindrops, flowers, butterflies, and lizards were everywhere, perfect fodder for a couple of photographers who were getting antsy (pun intended) being stuck at home.

05-19-20zebra05-19-20yellowflower05-19-20reddrops05-19-20passionflower05-19-20lizard05-19-20bee

So I googled ants and bromeliads and you are going to have to trust me that the ants provide nutrients for the plants.  Or google it.  If you do then maybe you can explain it to me because it was way over my head…