Thursday, August 30, 2012


For a couple of years, we have been hearing about a place called, "Clark's." So this summer, we jumped at the chance to go with our sons, daughter-in-law and grandson.

It was everything described ---and more! It is, in fact, indescribable. So here are the pictures to speak for themselves.

The sink in the ladies' room.

This guy was alive, but most everything else had spent some time with a taxidermist.

This is a mere fraction of what is in there. Pretty amazing. It sits right on a tributary to the St. John's River. Oh, yeah, and the food was good---and reasonable.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi...

Each summer, we enjoy seeing and hearing the Mississippi Kites as they nest in our neighborhood. So when we saw kites hanging around the garden plot, we were glad to see them. Their coloring is striking, in a subtle kind of way, if that makes any sense. I took these shots from across a field, so they are not sharp but definitely the best I have to date of these birds.

They appear to glide so effortlessly; such graceful birds they are. We hear the young kites high in trees, begging for feeding with a clear, "Feed me! Feed me!" We welcome them to the destructive insects that they consume, especially grasshoppers. It is the cicadas that can be heard for quite a distance complaining as they are carried off in a beak.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thank You to All Our Fans!

Not our readers---our fans! We really appreciate the breeze of our ceiling fans. The white one in the living room had never been  my favorite. I get the idea that the builder was trying to have it blend into the white ceiling. But really? Can a fan blend into a ceiling? So when this one died, save the light, I spent many hours shopping for a replacement. We have a lot of oak in the room and I wanted a lighter wood blade than most have. 

We really missed having a working fan but we eventually settled on this one. B put it up with no little effort as every part of it is bigger than the old one.

Thank you! Thank you very much! We love all of our fans!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gators on the Move

On a recent trip to St. Marks, we spotted a large alligator swimming in a narrow pool.

Then we saw a second in its wake. As we watched, the first one stopped and the second one closed in the gap.

Then they both stopped.....

Before continuing on their way.

A little farther down the road, we saw this baby.

What a cutie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Palms and Pencils

Here is the stump from the large palm we had cut down.

After it was trimmed down closer to the ground, here is what it looked like. We put a dime down for size proportion.

Here is a closer look at the lovely pattern around the outside.

It reminds me of boxes of pencils. B says they are roots.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cuttin' Up

There are lots of trees on our property; it was an attraction to buying the house. We have taken out a few through the years for various reasons.  This past winter, we had a tall oak die of disease and we knew it needed to be taken down before it damaged our neighbors' properties when it started to come down on its own. In the picture below, it is in the very back corner of the fence. It was not all that visible from our yard, but you could see it clearly from the neighbors' house.

I had never liked the palm out front, so while we were at it, we decided to take it down.

There was also a large water oak on the side of the porch that blocked stars at night, while providing no privacy or needed shade. Water oaks are also known for rotting from the inside, which does not make them the best choice to have near buildings. So we wanted it to come down, too.

A crew of three did all the work in one long day. They were strong and knew how to handle the job and they did a good  clean-up. My one concern was their lack of safety wear and lack of concern when lightning came and went late in the afternoon. 

They started by removing all the limbs from the dead oak, leaving the trunk standing. Then they took the top out of the water oak.

Here is the water oak work from my window seat.

I was so impressed with how precisely they could drop the trunk and even the branches. (The round, reddish spot in the grass was a flower bed that I did not replant when I knew we were going to have to have tree work done.)

Does this stump resemble Brazil to you? With a butterfly tattoo?

or would you think Texas?


We like the sky.
Before and after:

It was especially nice the night we watched the meteor shower!

The logs were big and heavy.

After all of this was loaded, they took down the trunk of the dead one and cut it all up. By then, the large trailer was full. Before they were finished, they would fill it again.

They tackled the palm. It was a job! Not the felling, but the cutting up and loading: there are thorny parts on each branch and the trunk is dense and difficult to cut. 

We also had some big branches trimmed on three other trees.

They limbed up this water oak on the other side of the porch, removing some dead wood and ill-formed branches. The confederate jasmine on the arbor took a beating, but it will recover.

This is another water oak that provides beneficial shade to the roof. However, it is a water oak and it leans heavily toward the house. 

We asked that they remove the heavy, lower limb and then even up the weight a little.

We are pleased with the result. We still get shade on the roof but it feels a little safer.

There was a large, vertical branch on the hickory out front that was cut off and several other smaller branches cut to create a more open look.

We are very pleased with the results.
And we still have plenty of big trees!