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You can’t give this stuff away – everyone around me is bloated, gassy, and tired of leftovers. How lucky we are when we think of those around us so less fortunate. Tomorrow, on to new food!
The day before Thanksgiving was still a subtle gray, the front went through and all the rain promised was a farce. We got very little over here.   Thanksgiving morning looked like a black and white photograph, the color drained from the landscape and sky, the lake the mirror reflecting the void of color  
Finally the sun broke through and we went away to eat our dinner.
Came back late and went to bed with a belly full! Our host and hostess, my nephew and niece did an outstanding job of keeping us loaded. Plus we all enjoy seeing Irving the tortoise.
He’s so full of contrasting lines and testure. He also follows you like a dog and his favorite food is hibiscus flowers. He weighs about 175lbs now.  He has many birthdays to go. He’s still just passing puberty and is a horny little devil, he has a flower pot he loves to hump.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrW59oLXmY0&feature=player_embedded  (cut and paste to see yourself)    Irving is in love with this hardshell!
Black Friday came and went, I did not shop, nor did I go anywhere Saturday, it was relaxing not to be spending money. That will go by the wayside soon enough. My daughter said to wait for black Monday, great buys on the internet.
Nature itself goes on, and these are shots I took today. The weather is very cold, low 60’s today, in 40’s the past nights, that is so cold Ringo slept next to me! In fact, he usually will ring the bell attached to the inside front door handle around 4:30am to go out, when I opened the door to let him out, he felt the cold and turned and went back to bed.  Also, the herons, male and female have both been coming to the lake as I fish, tonight, they were touching beaks and making noises that seems like the mating rituals are taking place.  They are nesting nearby, I suppose maybe babies will be coming near New Years????
The band of brothers were the first thing I saw outside this morning, they are still actively patrolling the lake. But an hour later, a pair of mallards came to relax.  An anhinga was next door getting ready to fly off and when he saw me, that was exactly what he did.
the spider lily was blooming.  
A baby moorhen was running away from me too.
but not the wren, he was calm.
The lily pad looked interesting, like a non conformist among the conservatives.  The day flew by and it was too cold for me to fish, but I took a few pictures before the sun went down.  The moon was soft and muted.


Have a wonderful night…

It’s officially holiday season! The turkey was pardoned, and today is
“pre-thanksgiving- manic-rush-tostartcookcookcooking-wash-freshsheets-dusting-blowoff porch-and pretenditalwayslooksthisclean” day. Even though we are going to my nephews for turkey day, there will still be hungry hordes here looking for food all weekend.
Last night I fished as is usual, with the cast of usual suspects, both male and female herons flew over. The male left, the female stays with me and got rewarded with 2 fish. They have not made a nest in their usual tree, or I have not noticed any activity up there in days. instead they came from the north east, wonder where they are nesting?  (male)
female —  The turtles were obnoxious as usual.  There are three big soft shells and numerous small cooter types.  The night was cloudy – they said we would have a good rain today and we have had some nice showers. The water meter yesterday was
at  2.98 and falling fast, a foot below the summer peak of 4.17. Will read it tomorrow am to see if the rain gave it a boost. we have to have more before winter makes it fall much more.
The sky was full of clouds and crows flying off. The fishing was not great, but it’s always fun to absorb that quiet time.  The cranes had been by and were grooming as usual.  and I tried my hand at macro photography which takes a lot of patience, no wind, good light, a tripod and knowledge of aperture which I am learning
I tried frankie and Ringo  Ringo did not cooperate.  Then I tried flowers and tiny spiders  

.
This morning is totally gray and rainy, had to make pancakes for Adam, I have found that Hungry Jack wholewheat blueberry complete is AMAZING, you only need water, but I cheated and added Sugar cookie eggnog, (mybad!)   and of course, top it off with light whipping cream to counter act the egg nog.  I had to top off the whipping cream after eating my pancake –  YUM!
So better get cooking, have things to get done…now go, get outta here, quit reading, that’s it….
Ringo dreams he is a B. Kliban cat   http://www.eatmousies.com/

The clouds are schizophrenic today, 81809clouds2pmres dark, light, puffy, happy and sad.  I went up to the marina to see if anything was going on. Only saw limited birds and ducks. Took pictures of whatever looked interesting.  DSC00095-1res DSC00121-1res
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DSC00136-1res Went back home and it stormed hard with driving wind. 100_3288res

It settled down and have had lots of jays, cardinals, and doves by the feeder right out my window. I watched one titmouse take a sunflower seed and put it between it’s feet, then crack the seed and carefully eat it.  DSC00069-1res
DSC00068-1res These birds work so hard for their treats. Carbs of course is down at the lake. Adam and I went off to lunch at Imperial Dynasty on 434, we love the sesame tofu. They are even offering sushi classes over there if anyone in Longwood area is interested. Afterwards we took the long way home up Markham Woods road to look at some of the mansions they have built – I can’t even fathom what it costs to live in those massive homes. Did notice several homes that are in foreclosure, lawns uncared for, the abandoned look of emptiness.
We drove up through International Parkway and handed Adam the camera when we saw a woodstork.  000_0106res He did a good job!
After coming home and sitting here at the computer. I am just so spoiled by an eyeful all the time! Beautiful female red wing black birds are on the feeder this afternoon. they are brown, unlike the sleek males, but still very nicely marked birds.  100_3296res And that’s how it’s been today so far, dark, dreary, bright and light and so enjoying the birds in the tree outside my window.
Looking at the time, wondering where did the afternoon go? I have been lost in the world of wings, amused by blurring colors and captivated by flight… here’s photos for your enjoyment.
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How do I get anything done??? 100_3351res

72709babycraneA-1res Baby crane was here this morning with his family. They ate bird seed, groomed, wandered around yard poking the ground and then lined up and took off like paragliders sailing over the lake

72797mamacraneA-1res DSC06869res DSC06872res
Yesterday it was storming off and on when they came. At around 11 am. it got really dark.  DSC06820res the sky blackened and let loose with a nice rain and lots of thunder. The cranes don’t like the noise, they were quite suspicious and kept looking around to see where the thunder was originating from.  It was raining hard for a while and I noticed even a softshell turtle came out of the lake and rested under my lemon tree.
DSC06832res The water was just dripping off the cranes.
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I enlarged to see the rain coming down. Even my waterbarrel was gushing from the excess.
Last week we had no real rain, it would cloud up and threaten and the lightning is getting to be way too lethal around here. A guy was gardening the other day and a bolt came from nowhere that hit near him and he said he passed out, and one of his legs didn’t work and he had to crawl back to his house and was hospitalized. That’s why I am paying more respect to the lightning gods lately as they get closer and seem to be picking out a lot of people to play their games with. I look at the sky and turn on local news before I fish to see what is moving where. But the sky is so amazing around Florida, that’s one of the assets is the constant movement of wind and clouds and rain. Sometimes it comes from the Atlantic, sometimes from the Gulf and when they collide – whammo, fireworks. Like I have said before, it will be sunshining in the front, and raining across the lake. Usually by the time it is almost dark, the sky makes peace and all is pink and quiet.
Today so far it is one of those voids where the sun is hiding, but the sky is gray/white! I need to go out and weed whack while the sun can’t fry me and the lightning is still asleep…
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cloudsbuildingres 000_0047res reflection of sun on water72609eveningcomesres

71409abbeat2am-1res 2:37am, no rest here.
Earlier tonight I caught a softshell turtle and had to unhook it, they have quite interesting undersides,  100_2300_res but it looked more like some kind of weird alien than a turtle from that angle. The markings are quite unique really, could this be a girl and maybe the boys have blue rectangles? Don’t worry she or he was fine after they got de-hooked.  They scurried back to the water. I HATE catching turtles!
It was actually quite hot and stagnant and I was hoping to get a shot of the rocket launch, but they scrubbed it again.
In the morning I took a few flower pics, DSC06430res The crepe myrtles are gorgeous. And forgot what this plant is, but loved the red flowers on it also. DSC06421res

The moon was even still out at 8am: DSC06419res

The crow was in the tree singing a morning song
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And I had a nice lunch with friends. Came home and worked on more photos. Oh the days go so fast, summer half over – maybe El Nino will save us from the big storms this year! I don’t know, anymore around Florida all we hear about is people getting struck by lightning. I do have to watch more carefully when I am at the lake as the storms roll in,
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The clouds roll in so fast and the lightning is really getting way too familiar with humans. But the storms are actually so wonderful to listen to, especially to hear the rain on the roof at night.  But not tonight, it is just a quiet one, so quiet, I might have to sneak off and go to bed, good…morning again…

Well, maybe not a butt, but a tree for sure. 100_1744res This tree was down on Lake Blvd. a street over.  100_1741res

Luckily for the owner it missed the house! These summer storms can be produce some big gusts.

Earlier I was thinking about mowing because the clouds started covering the sky. I figured feeling 100 degrees without the sun would be better than feeling 105 with the sun. But as I was thinking about it, the rain started. This storm came fast, and the rain started slammin’ down and the wind was strong. So much for that idea. I watched as lightning struck all over the place.
That tree fell at the right angle. It was a laurel oak which has shallow roots. The tree knocked down the power box too. respower The owner said it was sparking like mad. She was without power obviously, but not for long, the power company guys were out fast and were restringing the line when I drove back from running some errands less than an hour later. She also mentioned she had 5 tree guys giving her bids.
100_1746res the day seemed muggy and gross. The sky stayed gray and threatening. Luckily we all had electricity over here. My friend Beda about ten miles away lost hers and suddenly was realizing how addicted she was to the blogs, emailing, twittering, you tube and all these things that require electric. I know that feeling well – you just take for granted having electricity, try living for a week without it in the heat of the summer after a hurricane and you can only plug in so many things to a generator.
I told Beda we are all now geek slaves to the system, all the little kids are into texting and even six year olds have their own cell phones!  I am trying to figure out how to do a photography web site, but am not saavy enough to try this on my own, I might have to hire a Web designer. It makes me realize how much I need to catch up on while these little kids pass me by! We are now so indebted to technology in order to push our products to the world. Just look at Iran! Despite kicking out the foreign journalists and shutting down the computers by the Ayatollah, the protestors can show us the dissent via youtube and texting and twitters, the Revolutionary Guard can’t stop the technology revolution!
mosquitosres Earlier I had gone to Sanford and stopped by the marina. See all that debris looking stuff all over the ground? Those are midges! They were swarming all over the place. They are also called ‘blind mosquitos’ for some reason. they don’t bite, but instead will swarm all over. It’s terrible — they get in your hair and eyes and if you open your mouth, you have a organic protein meal! I walked near where the ducks were, but the bugs were too terrible. Even the ducks were hiding under the crawl space of the building.
DSC05794res I had to leave,  those midges were too much to take. When I got home the single twin sister Pekin was down near the lake and quacking for her sister. No cranes today, but did have a couple black racer snakes get into striking position when I walked toward the lake. Seems that scary sky had us all on edge…

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Okay, going a little stir crazy around here! No fishing again! Here we are at the end of daylight, (8pm)  on Sunday and officially the rain total is 19 and 1/2 inches of rain since last Monday AND  it is raining outside as I type. We did get some sunshine outside earlier, but the sun was so blinding and hot, I could not fish. And as it got later, the rains with flashing lightning came in too close and socked us AGAIN! I am thankful that we do not have the flooding many places in Daytona and up the coast had. Saw too many homes with water inside houses and streets that were mini lakes.
The worst thing is the fireants! They have made piles all over the place. I was putting bird food on the stump and my foot and ankle became surrounded and I was taking lots of bites before I could wipe them away. Even when I stood down at the lake, fire ants were everywhere. They bite you putting their whole body into action and leave red dots all over your feet and ankles and I have even had them crawl up my pants and bite me on the thighs! They are little and angry and pack a big punch in their mandibles!  Let’s hope Monday is better – even my sunflower looks like it has had enough being battered for a week by almost 20 inches of rain… 52409burntoutsunflower-1_edited-1

52009-8am It stormed most of the night! So far we are up almost ten inches. The funny thing is, at a point where there was no rain this morning, I went out to garden a bit and pick up downed tree limbs because you get stir crazy after three days of incarceration. So I transplanted a few canna lilies and the ground about five inches down is dry as dry can be!  It’s just as sandy as if no rain has ever fallen. It is another day of rain and what can I say, same old same old, but at least it is helping with our drought!  The only visitors have been the ducks and regular birds.

52009woodpeckera-1 Okay — so how does one get through the days of liquid peril that assault us? Comfort food of course.  comfortfood1 comfortfood2
comfortfood3 The best is the new Haagen Dazs ice cream “Five”!!!! OMG it’s amazing and it has fruit in it so I am counting that as a fruit suppliment in my daily diet as I count the nuts in the Payday. The cookies count as needed carbs of course. And it does give comfort when the weather is blaring all day long with lightning, thunder and storms all around us and the repeated warnings. It’s all one can do to make it through the day besides petting cats… 52009Frankie2_edited-1

weatheredit The rain became wind driven once it hit about one am. Coming hard from the east mainly.  No lightening or thunder, but the rain is pelting the east side of the house as we speak and winds up to 20mph. All night as I slept off and on, I was aware of the sound. Got up at 5am to make sure garage floor didn’t have anything that could be wrecked by rain coming in. They say we could get up to 7 inches today and I believe it. That’s great news though I don’t understand why mother nature has to throw it down all at once, it’s almost like Fay last year.  These weather patterns are so odd anymore. I’m sure there will be a lot of flooding all around Florida. When it gets light and stops raining so hard, I’ll take a picture of the water meter. Yesterday this is what it looked like around 10am. monday8am The rain had just begun to really hit. When I took a photo last night after fishing, the water was up to the 130 number gaining about 2 inches. I fully expect it to be around 135 when I see it next this morning.  Frankie the cat had sense and came in last night. Old Church toughed it out on porch and came in this morning only to pee and eat and ran back outside to the wet porch again. I think I have the only cat that comes in to use the box and goes back out! I don’t see Ringo, but I know he is high and dry somewhere. Later…

guage519 8:am, the water gauge is up past 160, that’s 4 inches of rain! And if you notice, the small meter is back under the water once again.  The birds must be sleeping in the trees as there is not one that has come for breakfast. At least for now, wind and rain have slacked off which gives it time to absorb in Florida’s deep sand heap!
Now it’s 7:35. meter reading is at 1.80, that means we have had 6 1/2 inches so far! 51909meter-edited-1_edited-1 It clearly was a day for the ducks! 51909duckinrain-1_edited-1

and as for Ringo, he was asleep inside the whole time! ringoyawn-1 more cats at http://offshoot2.wordpress.com

WAIT, it is now 12:35am and we are having wrapping rainbands and winds just like we are in a hurricane! outside the trees are swaying hard and the wind is pushing things around out there. I can constantly hear my loose porch door. The rain is coming at a slant and very hard. We are back in a yellow band of full force water. I bet when I get up tomorrow and can go out, I bet we have 5 more inches. We are getting slammed. weatheredit There were a couple tornados not too far away.  It’s hard to sleep with all this noise of nature. There seems to be a low pressure area mixing with the cold front and it is in some twirly mood circling around the middle of the state. We had our electric go out once, but came right back. I do have our flashlights ready.  I am always happy I made the decision to take the trees out that hung over the house, too risky having those huge pines that close.  I can’t imagine that my toilets will flush, will be able to tell that later.  The winds are very very active, at one point I thought it might break through, in fact it is doing it again as I write. Maybe I better think about getting this out and looking for a safe place… will write later…

This is a peek at the start of the day — will add more later RAIN BEAUTIFUL RAIN –

51809waether_edited-1 518rainbarrel_edited-1I bet Beda is outside watching her rain barrel filled, mine is splashing out of the top – full to the brim, looks like night ouside right now at 10:26am, glad I have nowhere to go this morning…

The afternoon slid by and now on the evening is still just a blur of hazy gray with soft rain, enough to add about 2 inches to the lake today.  shadowplane-1 The birds were quite busy, mostly blackbirds that looked nasty.  51809wetcrow-1_edited The woodpecker and bluejays all jockeyed in for positions too. The birds always seem active during moderate rains.  And yes, crazy Abbe did go out and try to dodge the rain and fish. The turtles were out in full speed mode, and an anhinga sat in the tree. Last night I had 3 anhinga on the pine where I fish.
3anhinga-1_editedTonight, there was one who is very distinct in her coloration.  51709anhingaA-1_edited

I finally gave up the water fight and came in and the anhinga came down, sat a few minutes and then took off.anhingaedited

51809anhingaflies-1_edited It was a wet one today and if it continues as it is supposed to, maybe we will have a half a foot added to the lake and my lawn will even green up. I don’t see any negative downside to this, except trying to keep my camera dry when chasing wildlife in the rain…

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