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I actually think a wood duck is nesting in the duck box.  Tonight as I was fishing just before the sun went down,  one duck came peeking out of the box and she and her partner flew around the lake several times. Then the fourth time they circled and the female flew into the box and the male went into the lake. It was dark almost and I could not see him for sure.
Each morning the mallard pair are still somewhere on the property.  They seem to wander from one end of the property to the other, even front to back. They are here all day.   Are they nesting somewhere? They seem to be looking for a place too. As I fished, the fulvous ducks came back once again, all three shared the herons tree and make quite a concerto up there.   
They are just adorable. They stayed a half hour and this time, then took off toward the east.   Then it was feeding time at the heron’s nest. First the babies flew home,
they waited as their parent came up with a mouthful of fish.       


It gets crazy up there with heads bobbing and necks intertwining. The babies look like they will knock the parent right off it’s feet and out of the nest. The wings are flapping and the pterodactyl  sounds permeate – it sounds like birds feeding on each other.  There is a lot going on all around me, a lot of bird/duck, wing stimulation for sure.
The moon is a beautiful half,    the evening quite windy, too much wind coming off the lake for fishing to be any good. I opted to mow the front yard after about an hour of catching nada!
Earlier I found a rodent  on the bird feeder.   When he saw me he looked below like it was the height of the Empire State building and opted not to jump, but escape via the tree branches.
Ran around Sanford to find an antique frame for Andrea’s unfinished self portrait, I kind of liked that frame in one of the antique stores.     But will look for a more ornate gold one. I love her art!  I am slacking on my website, must get that worked on, it’s actually about resizing photos, what a job, one day I will treat it as a job instead of a hobby….

Just saw Atlantis take off   it’s always fun to watch that machine propel upwards, It was traveling at 13,000mph they said. It was clear as a bell, but I really like those night launches even more.
Last night I spun the art wheels beginning at Seminole State College in their art gallery. To my pleasant surprise, Megan Paquette in now the curator, they selected a winner in Megan. Just walking into the duel exhibit of Kathleen Kent Chenet and Terry Trambauer Norris you could tell what kind of eye Megan had with how she hung the show, it was perfecto.
The atmosphere though relaxed had a classical feel to it, Kathleen’s style is easy on the eye, good prosaic scenes, nice fit, a Naturalizer if it was a shoe.   Terry’s still lifes were a classic, the oil painting you view upon walking in was a stunner! Her work makes you blink your eyes to make sure these are paintings, what realism! These were masterful strokes.  And I admired the frame choices of both women, the show was classy.
After eating eating a couple little pastries, I headed out to Sanford  de Mayo and it was poppin’ and hoppin’!
People were lined up for food tickets, art vendors lined the streets, it was one of the best third Thursdays I have seen. I heard many vendors ran out of food early.
I walked along to the Art Affair Gallery to get my “badge”  and there was my son Adam and his friend Antonio, I saw them briefly and lost them to the crowd.   I worked my way up the crowds down First Street.  Stopped into Jeanine Taylor’s Art Gallery – Gallery On First and as always enjoyed the view. I was happy to see that Cherie Dacko was in and was working on a spectacular new edition to her work. She has a style that is so much fun and full of a weird irony in the faces of her subjects, I have to wait till this particular piece is finished, then I hope I can post it – I adored it, could hardly stop looking at it. Cherie was chatting with Aurore Brunet whose use of color livens up any room. It’s great to chat with these artists, if they are there when you visit, they won’t bite I promise! Talk to them, give them your thoughts, ask them questions, they enjoy that the public is noticing.
I stopped at Sandra Sheetz Wise’s table, she is an Ovation-TV artist and has articles written about her work recently in Sacramento Talent Magazine and the June issue of Time South, both extremely complimentary toward her surrealistic style. Again, irony and surrealism feeding off each other .  She has a wonderful style which suits her. Her messages are painted for you to discover, her link:  http://sandrascheetzwise.com There was a lot of jewelry booths, wood working booths and a few photography booths.
Wood worker David L. Dotterer,   can be contacted at  (cut and paste)  dblueb119@aol.com   There was a very tattooed singer belting out his music    sorry, can’t see the tattoos from there. The music was LOUD – REALLY LOUD. Stopped by Washburns, the unique furniture is just worth taking the drive to see. If only my home wasn’t packed already.
Loved these huge “masks” 
Headed back to base at Art Affair Gallery where Julie Kessler had the main room and she deserves her place. She had many metal sculptures, all so interesting. I’ll let the photos speak for her.  
The hearts were all wonderfully detailed – well thought out as all Julie’s work is.  Of course she has her collage/paintings too     and more metal  .
There was other new works and more artists to show off at Art Affair Gallery and owner Ronda Richley is great with a brush too.
Marie  DeCosta’s colorful flowers were stunning.   She and Ken Elliott both have photography work also, check for last months blog.
There were small prints by Beau Wild   her work is richly detailed, liked her subject choice.
Tom Abbott was there and his work is very dimensional and cool!  
and my favorite  The dimension and coloring is beautifully entwined.  Of course there was more, and I can’t name all the artists , but have a look at some more works:   The flower on this was huge and dimensional. Loved the colors of it.   Peter Cerreta’s monkey acrylic was masculine and I liked the composition of his work.   And of course the mini items, affordable and fun.   Even the clocks are a perfect gift for anyone. Of course, I must mention Mauricio Murillo and his Gummy Art, he is doing so well with his work, had great showing in Washington DC and will be in Ybor City soon, here’s a couple pieces.  
OH MY, I almost forgot about Leon who does the food for Art Affair, he also has a blog as he is a food critic. Need any advice on anything related to food? Want the scoop on where to eat?  http://lakemaryfoodcritic.blogspot.com
Then it was back to the streets to go home. Art Affair Gallery  http://artaffairgallery.com

Whoops didn’t ask permission, so blurred the face.   Ran into Paul Ingwalson my old next door neighbor, he is a good  photography mentor, gave me a lot of advice and he is a terrific study in inventory. His Landscape and Wildlife Photography is refreshing, he studied in Daytona before taking on photography and he travels a lot which gave him the photo-itch. He is also doing large canvas work too.  
Paul  Ingwalson photography
I also saw the artistry of Alberto Quintero http://www.xcreativegroup,com/alberto his creations were beautifully crafted.
Stopped by Riverhouse Pottery, the colors inside are always so inviting, there is an excitement about that place.  Saw my Facebook friend Cecil Herrings featured works, she is a creative soul for sure.   and what a fun area they have in the back of their buildings.   Then as I was almost to the car, I crossed the path of glass blower, Steven Monser who has Monser Glass Studio, monserglassstudio.com  – what gorgeous and colorful pieces he has. His studio is in Lake Mary, here’s a sampling: 
and one he asked about the shape   It was gorgeous!  Aw, if only I had an unlimited credit card! There is so much I would want to buy! Now go out and support the local artist community!

I have enjoyed the wonderful array of dragonflies down by the lake – here’s an assortment of photos and a quick glimpse

Somehow these days have liquified and spilled away – I went to Tampa to paint the new house for the new baby. Painted bedrooms and the nursery which was a joy and every stroke was painted with love for the new life about to come our way. When I left, the chair rail was all cut, but not up yet, nor the border, but Aaron will get it all done and send me a photo of the end result.
The day I left Sanford, the baby herons had taken to flight and what fun it was watching their clumsy sailing from pine tree to pine tree where they would spend perched hours trying to determine when to fly back to the nest.   The first day they learned their wings worked was on the 28th of April. One of the babies took off and stayed away about 3 doors down in a tree top for 6 hours. The other was too afraid yet and stayed in the nest waiting one extra day to test it’s wings. Since then they come and go, always back at the nest for bed time.  They are very excited about flying, but as much as they go tree top to tree top, I have not seen them down in the water getting their food.
we enjoy our night time visitors and the flowers that have been blooming to make gorgeous photos:
Over in Riverview I really was too busy to take photos. I did stop and look closely at the blooms on the magnolias over there as there were so full and buzzing with bees.  I had never noticed how fuzzy the buds were. They looked like they were coated in hair.
— The house was in a subdivision 6 miles from Aaron’s current townhouse. As is the norm here in Florida, many acres of cleared land have farm animals upon them to get the owner a tax deduction. In the meantime, they don’t have to provide an ounce of shade at all for these animals. You know those cows and goats in the heat of a 90+ degree afternoon oppressive sun can’t feel too good. It’s wrong that animals are treated so cruelly and the owner benefits financially, use the money for some shade!
In their natural state on land that has not been denuded for developers, the cows and goats will be found under the trees taking in the shade on these brutal afternoons. It is quite sad that the owners of agricultural animals are not required to supply an area of shading via structures on this vacant land areas, anything to give them some shelter. Am I wrong in my thinking? PETA, where are you?
I stopped by one morning around 8am, the cows were close by the fence.  The first thing I saw was this bird who was intent on telling me this was its’ property.  Not sure what it is.  Here’s the cows:
So many look alikes.  
I got to pet one cows head and love the feel of the strong hide and the smell of these wonderful animals.
Back at the townhouse, the birds were scarce really, not much variety. The pond behind the townhomes had all these bed where the fish tilipia were nesting, they were huge, but, NO FISHING!  Here’s a look at the birds:  That limpkin was so chatty.
Then yesterday, I took off back for Orlando.  Always keep my camera handy as I approach downtown.
And after that, it was a day of getting back into order, tossing junk mail, paying bills, hugging my other two kids and cleaning and loving on the cats. It was a great time in Riverview and it’s always good to get back into the groove!

I love all this kinetic energy outside, the flashing electric, the thunder, the urgency of the rain. It has been like this for a few hours now.  There is something very soothing about it, even with the tremendous boom that is going on right now as the thunder proclaims the night for itself.  I did get a chance to fish as the sky was changing from the cold front.      My heron came down and I caught her one small shiner. Ringo sat under my plastic chair, when he does that, it means a hard rain is coming because there are many times we fish together in the rain, but he knows the difference between big storms and these soft showers that happen as I fish.  I know a storm is coming when he opts of being under the chair. And it has been a truly drenching rain. So far not too bad, the toilets still flush!
   There seems to be a new “Band of Brothers” lately – I have not seen the bully brothers of the lake in the past few weeks, instead, I am seeing a group of 4, 3 mallards, one is a mallard mix and the mis is the leader. They have been coming into the yard and relaxing.  Here’s the leader and the others, the lead duck has a limp, why do I get all these limping animals? Maybe my yard is just tilted?            it’s a bit smaller than the others, but if this is male or female, it is commanding the lead.              The iridescent color on the heads and small stripes on the bodys are beautiful. Wonder how long they will stick around?   
        Yesterday had beautiful tri-colored heron,       and the baby herons were yapping it up up in the tree, but no signs of them leaving the nest.
    The mother is the one on the left.  They really don’t even venture far out on the branch. 
I do see lots of dragonflies as it must be mating season for them.   
     Went to bed and woke up to clearing sky      and watched the crane family come for breakfast without the baby that is the bigger one. The smaller one came and ate and of course, sat down and lazily made attempts to dig for worms. What an adorable face. 
      and that is what I will leave you with to start your day – have a great week!

WOW, can’t believe how fast time seems to dissolve before my eyes. Am I making it go fast spending endless hours behind this computer? It seems I start something online and the morning hours fade into afternoon and then the afternnon till the wee hours of the morning – HOW DARE THEY – it just ticks away too fast doesn’t it!
   I have been working on a website and have come to a standstill again with moving portions of it – so at a loss for right now and can’t even look at it I am so tired of the whole website thing. Instead first of all I will show you nature  from the past week, then move on to Fourth Fridays in Sanford last night.
      gerber daisy new blooms not ready to show their faces   
  my new mailbox snake, likes to hang out where the empty mockingbird nest is, maybe that’s why it’s empty.
  damsel fly eats hoursefly.         

Now for Friday night at Fourth Friday Artwalk.  Headed out and the first thing I thought, wow, the time change does make a difference, I can remember it almost last month as the sun being so low on the horizon,    but not tonight as I made my way to Sanford, rounding the corner on Commercial Street, I stopped and took a photo of a cool building that I would love to step into.      The first people I saw were members of the Gateway, as we walked up to the Welcome Center,      my favorite jazz guy was there –  saw Jane Kerle doing her Plein art painting.       The Welcome Center had a title of  “It’s All About People” for this month’s exhibit and I did a quick glance, then left to go met Adam and Ari at the clock.  We decided to go into Maya’s Books and you should too, it’s a very cool bookstore and has plenty of merchandise.
    Here he is with one of Giger’s art books, Necronomicon.  I left them looking through stacks and headed for The Gallery on First where several artists were present and working on their crafts, Debra Lapallo Ryan was painting a rock with cats, could not photograph them, but her rocks rocked – also Sharon Hyder gave me the tour of her booth, she shares her space with her daughterwho paints and does portraits, both do a wonderful job of painting and Sharon had so many pen and ink detailed drawings to look at, again, out of respect for the gallery no pictures, though Sharon let me take some, you will just have to look for yourself.
   Went to my ‘fav’ place where I can take as many photos as I want, The  ART AFFAIR of course! The theme was about ‘green art’,  everything made from recycled items. I was met as a celebrity and now I have been honored with my own official badge that hangs on their hook for these events or for anytime I just want to feel elevated – I grab my badge and feel like I am at home.      I am listed as “their favorite blogger” – how cool is that! The Art Affair Gallery is featuring artist Peter Cerreta’s work                This peace sign by Steve Stepp made of resin soldiers was one of my favorites, was told by Fern Matthews who herself  is a tremendous sculpture, no, I mean sculptor, so don’t ask to see the Fern Matthews sculpture.  She is also a gifted glass maker,  that Steve made this with plastic soldiers from the 1960s.  Here’s a close up:
     he also is a sculptor and has other work in the gallery. Here’s a few other views – you must visit and tell Ronda that Abbe sent you!        There are Julie Kessler metal scultures, her work is quite intricate – here’s one of her paintings:
          Mauricio’s gummy mugs          

              So many cute and affordable items.  I also ran into Chuck Dinkins who is now  executive director of the Seminole Cultural Arts Council. He’s a easy to talk to guy AND I didn’t know he was a professional skateboarder, (now retired) – it seems Chuck has worn many badges along the way to where he is now. I have to sit down and talk to him sometime, pay him a visit, he’s very interesting. 
    Headed back over to the Welcome center to watch the winners of the monthly artwork, I got there just as they finished, but I did see Rae Marie who owns Framing 508 Gallery on Sanford AVe. – she won and award and recognition for her dedication and hard work, she does so much for monthly shows, I am glad they did this, plus she came in second place for her artwork. Anyone who knows Rae Marie knows she is just a radiant sunbeam always smiling and happy and glad to see you. Her framing work is well known by many as is her painting.
    As I was going to take her photo, a dragonfly chose to rest upon her winning pastel.   She LOVES dragonflies. 
the details in her pastel were unbelievably precise – what a work of art– go to the Welcome Center and see all the pieces. There won’t be another exhibitition until September again.   Here are some of the entrys:       The First Place winner.   

     I loved the smoking guy, he was my favorite this time.  
    Left and took a few pictures of the buildings                The fire station.   
love the jazz guy in the dark too, think of the photo as an abstract because it came out so poorly   
And then I headed home, passing the electrig grid on 46 and back to the house where Adam was having movie night with his friends, Brothers Bloom was the featured movie. .     Now I am trying to figure out how 7:30am is now 7:06pm?  There is t goes, I’m in a time warp, oh well, perfect excuse to go fishing — byeeeeeee……

Sunday morning and the light was vague and so is the mindset.  

I saw only three cranes out my desk window and the father was calling because one of the babies was missing. He looked in ever direction after he would call, listening to the chirps to hear if he could tell where the missing link was.   It took about a half hour and the baby showed up.

The babies are losing their ‘fluff’ and they look a bit messy – judge for yourself.  

The water is flat, perfect for fishing. A very light rain might fall for ten minutes and then nothing. Yesterday both my sons came out and fished. Aaron came from Tampa and even Adam joined in.  Ringo came out and was in a feisty mood, he was ready to ‘tangle’ with anyone petting him one time too many.   He will latch on like a wildcat and not let go. We all respect his wildside, (Ringo’s not Aaron’s)!
Adam left for work, but Aaron and I caught bass and I brought in a mudfish who was much like Ringo.   They too have nasty looking teeth and tempers.

Andrea bought me an adorable fishing Santa from the garage sale she was helping with. She is going to be a wonderful aunt in August, this new baby will be have a full closet with such a loving aunt and Andrea will be helping to work on her framed artwork for the nursery, she is such a talented artist.   We are all excited for August to come!
My garden is getting fuller and found that one red passion flower vine did not freeze as did my hibiscus, the vine is now just beginning to flower so should have a fence full in another couple months.  I watched a bee this morning taking his fill of pollen from flower to flower.
Made an “abb-strax” from it    And finally my sunflower opened after waiting for days to see it’s intricate face.  The lake is loaded with lilys too and the pads are thickening .  At least there has not been much algae yet.   That’s the wood duck, he was here with his mate this morning too.
The herons are making quite a racket in the trees, they are very big, but have not taken to try their wings.  
And being Sunday with the rain falling, it’s just a feeling of thankfulness – and it’s not even fishing time yet….
P/S – oh my, I just heard the cranes screaming like crazy – had to look outside    The fox came through and kept going, the babies were in hiding – so think he just moved on, and he was limping on right back leg.

” Curiouser and curiouser”, Adam and I headed up to Deland to experience the Florida Museum for Women Artists. The exhibit is called “Almost Alice” by Artist, Maggie Taylor. So after all the water issues were solved, we headed up north for about 17 miles.  I made Adam man the Kodak as we drove along, he fired a few shots of things as I would point them out.
As we passed through Orange City, we saw the orange:   I loved this guys look, though I did enhance his hair in that is was orange spiked and I gave him an afro, but honestly, his hair was that color.
We passed so many photos we missed, I will have to go again and stop along the way.   So many cool looking antique shops. The drive is easy. We passed The Gateway Center For the Arts, then Stacey’s Buffet where the abundance of food is amazing and good, the owner is very kid to the members of Gateway. But we didn’t stop to pig-out, we headed straight on through. Didn’t stop to see if any manatees were up at Blue Springs Park, I imagine they have taken off as it has been so warm.
Deland pops up like Sanford, a main drag filled with blocks with lot of little individual shops including art museums, many restaurants and bars considering it is a college town to Stetson and what a beautiful school it is.  The Fish building is on the corner of  W.. New York and 100 N. Woodlands Blvd, or as we call Woodlands, 17/92.      Which of course morphed into an Alice kind of mindset for Abbe   
We parked and walked the side streets and I came across this bug that was HUGE, at least about 4 inches long   That thing was squashed like the bug it was!  

We bounded up the stairs at The Fish building to the second floor. I had been here once before this place was viable, it was in construction phase with no defining rooms, just framing wood to map out space.  The Florida Museum For Women Artists is all about promoting women’s art, simple as that. So simple I joined while I was there. Maybe sometime, I can submit and have something accepted to show, now that would be a real accomplishment.
The volunteer greeted us and gave us instruction about voting for very interesting planters    that were ‘planted’ in different corners in the galleries of which there are three, plus a cafe and a gift shop.  I asked about taking photos, but I was not allowed so the pictures I have included are off the web.    This Maggie Taylor Collection is part of a collection  at the Samuel P. Ham Museum of art at the University of Gainesville where she lives. Her technique involves scanning tin-type images and merges them with photos and then layer manipulation. Ah, I wish she would take me under her wing. The collection is stirring, wonderfully surreal and sort of made me think of the funky twins in ‘The Shining’. I loved it all. Adam and I walked around twice to take it in again and again. The photos each in their dreamy tone have so much depth and texture to them even though they are prints. The had the book for sale at the gift shop and I must say the gift shop has quality art pieces for sale.   We loved Michele Davdson’s jewelry.   And there were plenty of other items.

After we left, we walked up the main drag and since we were under time constraints, we went to eat lunch at The Main Street Grill then made our way home, past the Courthouse.  and looping around again onto 17/92 heading south.    Was it the effect of Maggie Taylor — because we swear, there was a wolf in the vehicle in front of us!
Finally home, I looked for my two books, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrations by John Tenniel, colored by Fritz Kredel. These books accompanied me to college in 1968.  Must lovingly look over them again.  (And indulge in my new favorite flavor of Goldfish, SMORES!
The Florida Museum For Women Artists was wonderful, (they do charge admission) and it’s always fun spending time bonding with your kids! Could not have asked for a better day, weather almost 80 and sunny, but we didn’t notice the weather till we were almost home, it seems we were lost in the rabbit hole in Deland…    {Tenneil/Kredel}

Well, so much for my Mothers Day!  I was thinking about this really nice flatware I wanted as I stood on the roof this afternoon over at Andrea’s townhouse and caulked around the upstairs bedroom window.   I sat up there overlooking Lake Bellaire which looked like it was getting algae too. People must be mindful of over fertilization of their grass. But to get back. I was on the verge of asking the kids for some Reed and Barton flatware I had admired, and knew that would be something fun for mothers day. I kept it in the back of my head all afternoon. I didn’t go to Sanford’s Alive After 5, instead I fished and then came in because the turtles, 5 of them were harassing me by going for the bait. I went to go look in the dryer when I noticed my water pump was running and running and there was no water on. When I opened the garage door I saw a problem… now I guess I will tell the kids I want a well tank instead of the flatware. See those mumbo-jumbo of contraptions?   That is my water system, the blue tank is the well pump tank, the middle is the chlorine tank, then the softener and then the charcoal tank. If you notice, you will see water all over beneath the pump tank, yep, the iron has eaten through the bottom of the tank and it gave way and has been leaking as I was fishing which of course is after business hours! Water was gushing when I came out to check on my wash after fishing. Now it feels like a hurricane has passed through as I have had to turn the water to the house off. BUT– I have a great water team, Bill and Bradley who own Discount Water Supply  on Airport Blvd in Sanford. Bill is good about calling me back and smoothing things over and assuring me I will live through the night and won’t flood out.  I will have water tomorrow. Bill really gives good lessons in water equipment and I write down his lessons on the wall above the tanks,   they read like Biblical verses of things to live by regarding water, like which spigot turns off water to the house, which is the by-pass for the salt tank, which is the testing spigot. Too much for a brain to absorb. So I wrote them in permanent marker on the walls and live by them.  Bill even provided me with my own little ‘plug’  so during hurricane season or if a bad storm would turn the electric off for hours, I can plug right into my generator so I have water. When you live with a well, it does make you appreciate water usage that much more. Tonight I even miss simple flipping on the spigot at the sink to have water, for now  I pour about a tablespoon of water in my hand and some soap, foam it up and then a small amount of water  for a short rinse. It makes one mindful of what a precious commodity water is.
But to get back to Mothers Day, I had so wanted this nice inexpensive flatware to replace all the cheap broken sets that are now occupying the drawer.  But think I will ask the kids for the new Pump tank, that makes more logical sense and I will certainly use it enough. These things aren’t cheap. Gosh, $200 for a tank which hopefully will last for years, and I also need a new charcoal refill, another $200 also, but once both are put into place, they should last for years. I have no monthly charges for water and sewer, but things must be maintained for up keep to have good water. Most of you have city water, my water is loaded with iron and goes through a chlorine tank that then washes out the chlorine via salt and then the charcoal, there is no flouride in my water. I have noticed that that now have chlorine free systems, there are options to maintaining clean water.
I guess flatware can wait for my birthday, well, that’s in August  – ummm, my front truck tires are wearing out, maybe the kids can buy me flatware next X-mas…

This young mockingbird was outside my window this afternoon   – it was eating seed and then seemed to get tired and it sat down. 
It almost toppled over, but straightened up and flew off.

I was good and took a walk this morning, I need to shake off a few pounds of Symphony candy bars. Got out about 7:30 and one of the things I first saw was a wonderful small armadillo   – he was digging and digging.  and saw me and hurried away. A hawk flew over head with branches, clearly making a nest, but flew too fast for the old Kodak to get.
Little Lake Amory looked like a flowing algae heap and that is pathetic because the lake owners got together and okay-ed the local government to come in and via a municipal bond (MSBU) and a tax increase, Seminole County was supposed to dredge and then keep it sprayed. It did dredge and it sprayed for a few years, but last year they began slacking off because of funds. The people should discontinue that MSBU – they are getting nothing for the additional taxes. If I am wrong, I will correct my words if someone tells me differently. This is a spring fed lake which seems clogged and with the warm weather just beginning, it will turn to a thick cotton fluff later this summer if left like this- YUK.
There are a few homes in foreclosure,   but this little neighborhood holds up pretty well.  The people are solid, salt of the earth types who mostly have been here for generations. The elderly man who owned my home had it for 40 years, was a fighter pilot in WWII and only moved for poor health.
I encountered flowers – 
The baby herons are as big as their mother .   The two are in the nest while 3 other adults sit on various branches.
FOX SIGHTING! I saw it over a week ago, but my neighbor sent me pictures of the little cutie on her property, she says he has been hanging around.
He looks better, his eyes are even a bit brighter.
WOodpeckers are busy  This squirrel looked like it had the never ending tale.
Gonna run for now,  have a beautiful day, it has been perfect here,  the birds are active. A short time ago, there was a young, tired mockingbird sitting on the ground, leaning way off to the left falling asleep.   I am feeling that mid morning decline myself, well, you know what they say, “it takes energy to make energy” – gotta run…  

Happy Easter – the day here in Sanford Florida has been grand. The temp. in the 80’s, the wind has been blowing gently from the east.
This morning started out with a veiled fog, but I only got the last of it and the photos did not do it justice.
The baby herons were complaining and one was waving his wings in great protest. 
I have found that as soon as the mother heron leaves the area of the nest, they get quiet.  The babies are getting more curious about their wings.  The mother usually goes off to groom on a tree close by.
Yesterday I strolled the marina, again as in past few months, nothing in the water and few birds.  I did see the usual ducks, pigeons and seagulls and one very entertaining grackle that sang beautifully for me.   Here’s a few of the ‘regulars’.   We also had a great birthday yesterday for
Adam and the cake Andrea bought was just a talking point for the “surprise crowd’ that saw it up close.
The party lasted into the wee hours of this morning, I finally dozed off at 4am. – that’s how I missed the sunrise by an hour.  But I didn’t miss the beauty of the flowers giving off beauty and that’s what I will leave you with.
oh, look at the spider that looked like a decorated Easter egg.         

And there was a beetle inside an azalea flower.     

Had to include a grackle.  And Ringo too, fishing is awful – Ringo is even bored with it. The female heron comes down and waits and watches and stays as long as we will just waiting for something to make that bobber jump. No such luck.    

love Florida!

These are funny birds. They are boisterous and that’s what I love about them.
The neon feathers are gorgeous when reflecting the sun. And they entertain me while I fish as they look for food around the lily pads.   
Walking magisterially like they own them, or maybe tame them.  They lift up pad after pad using their beaks and claws to push them back to reveal what might be lurking beneath as they eat frogs and fish and even baby birds.   

They come in to eat with the blackbirds and crows, but dominate the blackbirds.   What I love is when they puff all up and show the other male how ready they are to find a female.
I watched two males take turn pumping up in competition, first one then the other about three times.  
I have seen others release their inner “Hulk”.  

In the sun they gleam!  
I will have several like the last photo in my exhibit at the Maitland Library after Wednesday.
I can’t take enough photos of their beautiful faces. 
They come and hog about every drop of food at the feeder, but it’s wonderful watching all their antics.
Take a walk – I bet if you live in many states, you will see the Grackle. Enjoy them, observe their interaction, and laugh at their “puffery”.     

Yesterday morning I heard a lot of noise around 7:30am. Of course the baby herons were screaming for their breakfast, but it sounded like the adults were squabbling. I looked out and saw there were 4 other herons around the trees where the nest is. The sun was blinding as it is right behind the nest, but I tried to get some of the group in all one photo, that was a challenge. They stayed grouped for hours, it seems like they took off in the early hours of the afternoon. Here’s a look at the clan.
The first thing I noticed were the mass of blue clouds fortressed, almost denying the sun her entrance.  They said all night we would have big storms, only a slight rain came for about an hour, nothing with the magnitude they predicted. I looked above and noticed a heron flying in.   That’s normal, the male must fish in the early morning and comes back with the grub. But today there were 4 other adults up in various spots in the surrounding trees.   Click on photo to see larger version. They stuck around for a while, then one would fly off and come back and play musical branches, flying up and tagging of the other cranes which would scream and then fly off, circle and come back again.
They were quite active, lots of interaction.

This photo shows that one even stood on my roof for a while. He stood and watched the others, ruffled his feathers and took off .
I read a ‘dream’ explanation for herons and of course, they had several interpretations. One they are wading birds, so if you dreamt of them, you stood in doubt of your direction. The other said they brought prosperity. I’ll go with the last.    Where’s Waldo?

This one is quite distinctive as it’s mouth is always open like that, must have a beak defect. 

Threw in a small blue heron that happened to be hanging on neighbors boat.
Finally I could see the babies in the nest t get a photo, look hard, they are busy flapping their wings trying to figure out how they work. I did a blog last year about one that fell from the nest and it was so pathetic how it would cry and cry for it’s folks and once it was down, the parents could do nothing to get it back up that high. The baby would sleep in the lower branches of one of my norfolk pines at night. I am hoping that one of these herons is that baby. It was eating on it’s own.
Here’s the babies:   They now stand on the edge of the nest and look out.

And that was last night before the Sanford Art Walk, will have a few pics later today as the sun is rising, must go look towards the horizon… Good morning….

Thought I’d change it up for Monday, (almost Tuesday) and give my blog peeps some flowers. Actually it was my neighbor who inspired me by bringing home all kinds of flowers to plant in her yard. I had to take photos of the beauties she had put into planters and in the ground. And looking at them through a macro lens made them even more beautiful. I even caught a small fly lurking on one. So instead of chatting about my day, maybe this will color yours like it did mine…

have to add a bit of wildlife at the end, the hawk is just as beautiful as the flowers…

The female heron got a nice catch tonight and promptly set the fish in the correct position to eat it. I really didn’t know if she could handle it and neither did the male who flew over to see if he could help himself to the meal.

It took a little down time, but that fish did find it’s way down. I bet that added about 4-5 pounds of weight to her – talk about gluttony and she still stayed by my side until I gave up as nothing was eating my bait. Here’s the video
if that does not work, try this link
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1532181417
The day was gorgeous and getting warmer. The moon is a sliver and the fish really were not cooperating. Working on finishing up exhibit with few last photos. One of the heron with the bass will add conversation!  Found out today they have accepted a couple photos for an exhibit in June at the Museum of Seminole County History.
Enjoy the video, forgive the hand held shakiness, at some point I will get a camera with better quality video and maybe even bring a tripod out with me, as it is, when I walk down to fish, I look like I am in dress rehearsal to go to the beach!

All day the weather service has thrown out the “C” word, “cyclonic activity”.  Apparently there were swirling weather dervishes all over central Florida.  Brighthouse channel 13 kept an atmosphere of fear and doom and impending present natural forces waiting to pounce: straightline winds, tornados, lightening, blinding rain, floods, etc etc.
My weather radio   kept going off over and over with tornado and thunderstorm warnings, it gets to a point where it’s like ‘calling wolf” via a robotic voice calm as Hal in 20o1 Space Odyssey that tells you you are about to die if you ignore this radio command.  I called in The Cat in the Hat to soften the blow and point out the irony of a robot’s voice controlling the sheer panic of real people.
As soon as that blatant noise goes off warning of warnings, I look around and if I don’t see or hear anything, I figure ‘Hal’ must have meant the tornado was headed somewhere else and I don’t have to unload the linen closet and step in while concrete block falls around me.
The birds had been active all morning.   The clouds low and growling from the warm southeast. Marching like they had a mission to accomplish by fighting  the north with it’s cold front.  As I said the birds were  busy,  (squirrels too).

This grackle shook off the loose water.

The woodpeckers were tapping out their SOS to the other peckers to seek a deep hole and stay there.
Mama heron flew over for a visit.  

I looked across the lake and could see the father crane and grabbed Adam to go have a look, (yes, even tornadic activity can’t stop me from risking limb and life to see baby cranes .)  The mama had flown back over and we saw the babies,   one which had run under the wire fence and the other was soon to follow. When the parents noticed that they had a couple peewee escapees, they could not figure out how to get through that fence and kept banging into it.  Their bird brains did not compute metal as part of nature’s mesh.

Meanwhile the colts were bolting with their new found freedom and fear of the unknown.   So Adam chased the adult cranes out toward the water and they found they could get over to their offspring. We didn’t see the babies after that, they were on private property inside that fenced yard. I am hoping soon they will swim those babies over in a week or so so I can get close ups.
At 4:00pm was the ribbon cutting  by the Chamber of Commerce for Rhonda Richley’s new re-opening of Art Affair Gallery to a larger space at 301 East First Street in Sanford. I looked at the weather and decided to wait it out a bit. At 6pm I left and was glad I got to see the new space. Even with the weather alert many people were out attending Alive After 5 which had an Irish/ St. Patrick Day theme.
The gallery was packed with people, it was a wonderful turnout. I met artists and or photographers: Marie Decosta,  Mauricio Murillo, Ken Elliott and Gummy Bear
shown here with Mauricio who does wonderful satiric gummybear art.   Look at that, Mauricio and GB are the cover of In Progress urban arts Mag!  Mauricio’s work is quite humorous and he says he enjoys making people laugh. You can’t help enjoy his work.   
here’s a link  http://www.murilloarts.daportfolio.com/ Mauricio is also quite involved with the Icla Da Silva Foundation matching bone marrow donors to Leukemia patients.
Marie DeCosta had a room full of acrylic abstract paintings that were bold and full of imagery. She also had nature photography and her prices were very fair.

Ken Elliott a photographer from Ormond beach was gracious and gave me great tips on using the manual setting. His work was testament to his professional eye.  http://www.kenelliottphotography.com/ Ken does a lot of fine art and commercial work.  Thanks again Ken for all the tips and the stories. I enjoyed his sunset photo of a red sunset that he caught.  I had one of those nights a few weeks ago after a wonderful vertical rainbow and the sky rather tapered off into a rich sunset as I fished  – this was how it looked. And if you read my blog, you know I fish quite often!  Except not tonight.
There was a room that featured a student artist, Andrew Allen McCoy
The collage by Constance Payne was very telling. I was told she is a tattoo artist and takes in young artists and tries to help them focus on their lives and their art.    One piece is Payne’s and the others are students.  They learned well.  And on with the show, here is more of the Art Affair expanded Gallery. Rhonda does her own textured art and she is not shy with her colors and subjects.  There was artwork made out of soda cans, baskets out of paper, jewelry, very imaginative woodworking and much more, whatever the texture, whatever the medium, paper, rock, scissors, you will find something to suit you.  And it’s not a place where you can only look and can’t afford to buy.  Go take a look, you will enjoy what Rhonda has done for Sanford, she’s added a lot of class and fine art. Here’s more proof:

And here’s a few of my own “abb-strax” resulting from trying to take night photography of the surrounding events from outside. That included a group of Irish Bagpipe players.

This morning two otters were swimming quickly at the neighbors, I only caught them as they were almost gone into the canal for Lake Belaire. Sorry only able to give you glimpses. Here’s the tease.     I wish I could have caught them closer. But I was looking for the cranes as neither the male or female were on their nest. That meant there was at least one hatched egg. I did some gardening and then an hour later, I spotted the parents across the lake, they were away from the nest and when the parents are both away, that means the babies have hatched. I went to see  how many babies.
There were two, I bet they were born this morning. The adorable colts, (the technical name) were still rather wobbly, but the parents were very protective and feeding them well.  And here are some photos of the new family.
and here’s a little video   video.php?v=1362014540383&ref=mf hope that comes up.

I watched them for a half an hour and the babies were so adorable. The first one stayed very close to the parents and seemed to have a lot more energy. The second seemed more unsteady and would lag behind a bit. Finally after following and following the parents, the babies sat down and the smaller one just toppled over in exhaustion, oh I would have loved to hold it, but I know better, the parents are very protective.    Poor things little eyes closed and it fell asleep and woke a few minutes later to follow along again.  I left there with a huge smile to see young ones. That’s always a great sign.
Back at home I clipped all the dead passion flower off the fence and did a bit of pruning under a 70 degree sunshine and it felt wonderful.
Papa crane flew over for dinner, both herons came to fish and the night was a bit cloudy, but full of hungry heron baby sounds. I am able to see a bit of waving head up there.
But can’t get it on camera yet. Here’s my heron – tomorrow another adventure…

Today was a bit better than the last week, at least it got to 70.  The birds are busy, the yards look terrible and fishing was pretty good. I still hear the baby heron in the nest, but cannot see it up there.   The nest does have a rather large escape hatch on the side, hope the baby stays on the side it is on!
Before fishing, Andrea and I ran out to get a few things, I bought the new baby some baby fishing hats.   Yes, those will be essential.  At around 5pm I started fishing and while the sun was still up, it felt a bit chilly, but not too bad. By 6, I had to put on a hooded sweatshirt beneath the jacket as the wind was brisk and cold.
Both herons came down to watch and see what I would pull in.  
The one toward the bottom is the female.  They wade in the shallows and eat the minnows while I fish for the bigger stuff.  It gets rather crazy because the male wants to grab any fish I get right from the line so I have to hustle my catch in fast.
Tonight there were two other small boats and some young men were fishing not too far away.  They asked if they could cut through my yard with their kayak and I said sure. They asked if I wanted their bream and I said I didn’t but I bet the herons would. One of them emptied out 4 small bream and the female just hurried over and scarfed up all of them before the male had a chance. It was really humorous watching her eat them as fast as she could. The male was perturbed and told her so face to face. We all had a good laugh. Here’s a few heron pics from tonight.
the male

and across the lake I could see the cranes, but I was stretching it to even see them.  This is the best I could do   — That baby will show up one day.         Meanwhile the herons looked at each other and then ignored each other and it became too cold to fish as the water had a pretty crisp current going. Ringo and I went in and watched the Academy Awards, it was fairly boring.  And my program won’t let me open any more photos so will have to call it a night, or rather and early early morning….

Oh it was a sad headline this morning about poor Mary. I did not renew my past Zoo membership when it expired in October, that was the last time I saw her.  I worry so much for Maude who is left all alone and mourning her companion’s death. The two were bonded and it must be excruciatingly painful for Maude who must be wondering where her buddy of many years is.

This is a little tribute to Mary and Maude and some of the other animals I always find fascinating at the intimate Sanford Zoo, though I am no fan of the size of the enclosures of the big cats nor Maude and Mary. While it is an educational tool, I always felt Maude and Mary should have been given to Animal Kingdom to live out their lives. Their area is miniscule and made me always feel sad when I saw them, I hope Maude will be given the large range she deserves now, while their trainers and caretakers obviously love them, the living conditions were way too confining.
I do applaud the efforts of the Sanford Zoological Park to expand, and only want what is best for Maude. I know a committee is making a decision on how much stress is involved in this process, stress from being without a companion, more stress from moving Maude from her familiar environment and introduced to new herds. Hard decisions to make, if only Maude could tell us…

I will add more when I find my files… Here’s a few of the others


Good night, sleep tight  

It’s almost 2am, the night is cold and clear and the moon is bright with a big ring. I still cannot figure how the days and weeks and months slip away this fast.
I’m sitting in a circle of potential paperwork for taxes and this is when I put away all the 2009 paperwork and start a 2010 file – YUK!  The world becomes black and white.
There is a new photography mag coming out soon, requesting 300 word stories and photos.  I thought about doing one on how I launched my love of photography because of the sandhill crane photo I took a few years ago.   I was given a camera and went out to shoot the cranes and discovered I had shot a self portrait smack dab in the middle of it’s orange pupil, that was way before I had photoshop.  Maybe I will write it and submit the picture.  Have more to tell.
But enough of me, how about a day for bees. It finally reached 70 today and the bees were humming like crazy. I kept switching macro lenses and cameras and still did not get a shot I was was really satisfied with, but here’s what I got.
Their bee butts were sticking out of the blooms as their little hind legs packed on the yellow pollen.  I was amazed I did not get stung as I was almost touching them.   The camellias are both blooming and dying and the various stages in between.   

– Ah, too tired to continue, will do so in am and finish post….Sweet dreams!
Rise and shine on a dreary morning. The rain so far has not been the huge washout that they predicted. Where’s the lightening and thunder?  I got out and took photos trying so hard to see the herons baby, but no luck. Last night the mother heron did fish with me, but we caught nothing.  Even Ringo looked bored.  

The heron looked so beautiful I had to take a few close ups
Late last night we had the most disgusting looking possum I ever saw. Clearly it had been in many fights as the wounds were atrocious and you could see in one wound to his muscle. The infection was oozing from it, from the head wound, the eyes and the back, but it had an appetite and finished off the cats leftovers. I decided that I will try and keep the cat food in a bowl and bring it in and out after seeing that nasty, (and smelly) critter. Nature is so cruel. I had pity for the poor thing.
The reality for this creature looks grime, something tore it up.

This morning I caught a few pics of birds, here they are
the grackle didn’t stay there long!  I am trying so hard to see the baby in the nest and I still can’t.    So back to taxes, ugh – one day my living room floor will be neat again, a few days before April 15th…

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