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First of all the clocks ‘sprung’ ahead last night, but I got up at normal time. Bella and Ringo the cat and I went out the back door, (actually Bella is about 3 feet behind Ringo being that Ringo is about twelve pounds heavier than Bella and sometimes looks at Bella as a nuisance animal and pounces.) The first thing I saw was the otter swim by so I turned and ran in for the camera and the otter was long gone. Missed that shot. But did see Elvis the duck was here visiting his buddy Carbs. They posed for me.


My philosophical and wise neighbor Dee always says if you get one muscovy, a lot more will follow. I am hoping Carbs is keeping a low profile and only entertains once in a while. The worst thing is the duck dung, it is all over the bank and where I fish, I can no longer wear my shoes in the house after fishing, they have to be hosed off! Gross!                                             100_0065

The ducks were all at the lake and when we walked down there, I saw one duck egg on the bank. I walked over to go get it and a big black bird swooped it up in it’s mouth and took off! I am going to get out earlier to see if I can find duck eggs. I often see cracked ones so I assume Daisy and Lily the Pekin, Aflac ducks are on a roll, (ha ha ‘cheep’ humor.) I am going to try and hatch one if I find one whole. It just amazed me that crow could carry it off. I wish I had had time for that photo.

The mocking bird was singing away on the chimney as usual. His song fills the fireplace and living room with bird music in the early morning.  He is the reason I am not using the fireplace, too much nesting material up there!100_0072

The mama crane came over and gets more rusty looking all the time  – I looked in on her yesterday and she was sitting on nest so did not see if both eggs were present.100_0079And thats it for the morning at least. I missed two good photo opportunities. One day I will get that otter photo! Maybe it will show up tonight when I am fishing. Well, looks like a gorgeous Florida day with 80+ degree temp, I can dig it! The water level is dropping low, can’t see my small meter yet, but it will show soon if we don’t get any rain, it’s too dry.

One more close up of Elvis the muscovy to go- do you believe in reincarnation? This duck wiggles like Elvis too! Later…

13109gatewayjudy-1 The beautiful Gateway Center for the Arts was officially sanctioned yesterday with dignitaries and a ribbon cutting. Sandra Wilson, whose vision brought this dream to life should be so very proud of all the work that she and many other volunteers put into this, it certainly showed!

I arrived at about three hours after the big ribbon cutting and the place was packed. 13109gatewayartist

In every room something was going on. The children’s art room was full of projects that had been worked on earlier.  Oil painters and quilters and a ‘miniature’ maker were all demonstrating their work. The artists at  Gateway offer lessons for sewing, painting and even has a Spanish speaking class. They are also the home to a choir and orchestra and I joined for the photography group.
I am proud to say I had 3 pieces of work in the exhibit and that is exciting to be among the very first artists to show it off .13109gatewayartwork-11

I was lucky enough to have a few really supportive friends show up to see my work and much more than that, to be impressed by the Gateway. And they were very impressed by the whole story, how it took ten years for Sandra Wilson to cook up an idea and follow through with complete dedication to her heart and her vision so that it ends up with the state donating the land and enough donations and funding through corporations and grants to actually have such an exquisite working art gallery that is only nine miles from my house. The people I have met have all been so enthusiastic and of course artists and their supporters are always an appreciative group because they all know that funding for the arts sometimes is one of the first cuts in the state and city budgets. 13109gatewaygiftshop-1

The gift shop has so many fun and unique pieces. If you need something different for someone, this is a good place to find it as there are lots of things for sale including the majority of art on the walls.
They had fun entertainment also: singing, a dance troupe and a man who played weird instruments from all over the globe. 13109gatewaymusic

He had a bag full of very strange looking implements that made equally strange sounds.
So anytime you are passing through Debary and have time, stop by the Gateway Center for the Arts at the intersection of 17/92 and Saxon Blvd in Debary. The site is

And thanks so much to Judy Segall, Dee and Jim, Sonja, Pam and Chuck for coming. And especially thanks to Sandra Wilson who had a bee in her bonnet and built it a grandiose beehive!

photo credit below belongs to Allen Whitson, head of the photography group…


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