Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Wolf Moon

In Native American Lore, this full moon tonight is known as the "Wolf Moon".  The local NBC weekend weatherman asked for his Facebook "friends" to send him photos of tonight's moon.  I grabbed my camera and went down to Indian River Drive to see what photos I could take.

 This one was chosen to show on the weathercast.
 Can you see the Great Blue Heron in the photo above?
 I like people in my photos whenever I can snap without their being aware.
What a sweet couple.
The bright lights in the dusk caught my eye.

Around Home

Some of my favorite places to photograph are right around home.

 This was a photo I snapped of some white pelicans along the Indian River out on one of the many piers.  Every pier along the river in this part of the shore for miles was washed out in the 2004 hurricanes.  Most have been rebuilt better than before.

 Last night we sat down by the lake.  The property borders a lake with a mile long wild-life preserve island in the middle.  The North end is a bay that attracts some wonderful birds.  This guy was fishing last night and was still there when we finally went inside for dinner.
 This is at the end of the island.  I would bet those weeds hide a lot of life.
 Sunset is the real reason we sit by the lake.  On a still night we get a double view of the sunset in the reflection of the lake.
 There is no real way to describe the colors...and every night is different.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Beaches


 For 156 miles along the East coast of Florida there is a barrier of sand that was built in ancient times.  The barrier separates the mainland from the ocean creating the Indian River, a brackish area that is the most diverse estuary in the country.
It also created some of the nicest beaches you can find.
This is Golden Sands County Beach.
 This is Treasure Isle beach looking South
...and looking North.
Clouds were gathering but we decided to soldier on and take our chances.
This is the beach at Vero Beach, more populated, especially the long boardwalk.
Looking South
In spite of the threatening weather, we avoided having to put the top up.








A Little Girly Stuff

We have a nail salon nearby so I took advantage of having a car, now, and treated myself.  It is one of the first things I do when we hit Florida.  It doesn't make much sense in Michigan because i always seem to be wearing socks, there.

Touring around in STYLE

My new car
Being stuck without a car for 6 weeks this fall was painful and boring.  Since a son-in-law has a car lot here in Florida, we just had to ask what was available and not too expensive.  Bless his heart!  He came up with THIS!  I never expected a convertible, let alone one as new as this.  It is a 2004 Sebring.

Sunday we headed out in the gorgeous weather, top down on the car, just driving around.
Look what is docked at Squid Lips.
I asked a boater on the Squid Lips dock (really good restaurant on Indian River Drive) about this oddity at the pier and was told you could tour the ship and have a photo taken on it.  I thought having this photo was enough.
The drive took us West to the Stick March area near Felsmere and we watched this family headed out on an airboat for a tour of the marsh.  On one of my photos you can see the telephone number and we are thinking of making a reservation to do this with some of our winter company this year.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Adventure Day

 This week I saw a post about an estate sale with things that interested both of us.  It was South along the water at Port St. Lucie, about an hour away.  A few things were already gone, but both of us picked up some items we wanted at reasonable prices.




 Instead of the expressway home, we took Indian River Drive along the shore.  The scenery was so calming and some of the homes were beautiful.  This was the first we had been this far South along the water.

This section of the Indian River Drive ended in Fort Pierce so we decided to have lunch at one of our favorite places, Cobbs Landing at the marina.  The main part of the restaurant is in one of the settlers' homes.  The Tiki restaurant is added on and ALMOST open air dining.  Next to that is a lovely patio by the marina.  We ate in the Tiki. 
 Fort Pierce has added these amusing swimmer sculptures along their beach.  I think they are quite cute.
 On the way home we checked on the Flagler line steam engine being restored.  They are coming right along.  Maybe we will be able to watch it run one of these days.  Those are Christmas lights along the boiler.  No comment.
Back home, after a wee nap, it was time for the first Concert-In-The-Park of the season.  Many times we have had to miss this concert because of cold weather.  Not tonight!  The temps are hovering in the 80s during the day and high 60s at night.  Perfect for the concert and a lot of other people must have thought so, too.  I think this is the biggest crowd we have seen.
Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 3 - St. Augustine

We had a much shorter leg of the trip on Day 3 from Flowery Branch, GA to St. Augustine, FL.  We arrived early enough to go out for the evening with our daughter and her husband and friends to a great Italian Restaurant.  That was a meal that will haunt me whenever I am hungry.
The next day we toured the nearby area and I loved these long-horned cattle.  They were ambling away from me so this was the best shot I could get.
Later in the day we took a car tour of the old part of St. Augustine.  I loved the architecture and want to drive up to this city again soon and take a walking camera tour.
The balconies aren't as elaborate as in New Orleans, but I liked this one especially.
Our first year in Florida we drove to New Orleans for a cruise.  On the way home we toured St. Augustine and I took dozens of photos of the ancient fort.  If I come up here again I would like to tour the inside.
The bridge is within view of the fort and so picturesque.
The old pillars in front of this house have been beautifully preserved.  The wood house is an amazing age for Florida...and termites.
I had to take a photo of this old drug store in memory of my dad and the family pharmacies.
The details of the buildings are photos themselves.  It certainly establishes the building as church related for all time.
St. Augustine Beach and our girl.

On the Road!

Crack of Dawn on January 3 we left on the first leg of our trip.  We had seen the family one last time, said our good-byes, and packed lighter than usual since we had left so much in Florida just 6 weeks earlier.

By evening we had reached Flowery Branch, Georgia and a visit with my newly retired brother and sister-in-law.  Since their two children and spouses live nearby, that was a good choice for them.  The next day we toured the area.  I loved Lake Lanier just as much as I thought I would.
There were some great ruins from another time right among some amazing luxurious homes.
Among the luxury was a marina of these amazing houseboats...2 and 3 stories, and longer than any I have seen before.  They don't live on these as they do in Seattle...strictly recreational.

More Holiday Traditions

 I try to take a photo of my garden before we leave the North just to remind me WHY we are so far from home.  We did get a healthy snowfall just before Christmas.  The temps were low enough that the snow lasted until after we left.
 I love these antique barn bells, a gift from a neighbor.  They are almost the only thing I left out after Fall clean-up.
Between Christmas and New Years the granddaughters went to the family Lakehouse until school started again.  Santa had visited there, too!  Among gifts was this Foosball game.  It joined the air hockey, Pacman, and the one-armed-bandit.  All they need now is a pool table and a pinball machine. 
 Sometimes, the old games are the best. 

Busy time!!!

 This year I followed all kinds of directions for photographing your Christmas tree but I still didn't get the photo I wanted.  Just too many variables.  This was a new spot for the tree this year because the big brown couch takes up all of the old space.  I like it.
The granddaughters did well over 50% of the decorating.  I would be happy with just lights but it gave me a chance to pass on the stories behind the ornaments one more time.
These were the gift towers for the granddaughters.  It was a last minute thing.  Next year I will do towers for each Christmas Eve guest, but several family members already had their Keurig coffee makers, and I have no idea how to wrap Son-in-law's Sirius XM service for his car.

These are photos of my tablescape for Christmas Eve.  The chargers and napkin rings are from Lillian Vernon; the cups are from Big Lots; the linens are Martha Stewart from K-Mart, the napkins are from Longenburger; and the dishes from Meijers.  The snowman cookie jar was an arrangement from a dear friend several years ago and I re-do the fresh flowers every year.  The battery candles are from Woot!.
 My Fontanini Nativity Collection pieces are almost all from Ray Hunters Flowers and about 12 years old.  The granddaughters set it up and take it down, learning the names of the town characters, the shepherd scene, and, of course, the Holy Family.  The babe is not placed in the manger until Christmas Eve...they insist!
The younger granddaughter lost her second front tooth a couple of days before Christmas so everyone quoted the old song, "All I Want For Christmas is my Two Front Teeth".  The week after Christmas the two lower teeth also came out and she was teased about not being able to eat corn on the cob...one of her favorites.

Christmas Eve is our family celebration.  Christmas Day they spend with their other grandparents and we start taking down the decorations and packing for our trip South.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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