Egret in the Garden

Sometimes we only have moments to try to capture special views of nature. First I’d like to share the instance of an egret in my friend’s garden. Egrets in Florida usually come in pairs or groups and forage the yard for food. At a slight movement by a human, away they fly. This time the bird just watched and didn’t leave. Time to attempt to capture a photo or two.

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Sunset in the Backyard

For the last week or so I have been going through boxes of decorations. It’s time to put away fall and bring out Christmas and winter decor items. It’s the perfect time to review and discard what I haven’t used in a while. You know I’ve bought new stuff this year and like it better than some of the older items. I’m working hard, and I glance up to notice a sunset at the window. To me it’s afternoon since it’s 4 something, but that’s not real this time of year. I ran to the living room and grabbed my camera. I ran to my new sliding doors and took these photos. There was no time for going outside.

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Tropical Parking Lot Landscape

The other day I drove to my favorite Publix Supermarket here in central Florida. I noticed how nice the parking lot looked with great tropical foliage. Public landscaped areas are a great way to find easy to grow plants for your area. Owners of strip malls want to provide a pleasant environment for the customers, but they don’t want to spend big money on maintaining plants. Each row of parking spaces has a nice flower bed at the end with variegated leaf bushes, colorful crotons, and a plant with small blue flowers. The two types of bushes are tropical and easy to grow in our climate. Add a tree and a large light post and it’s perfect for the public location. (Government buildings and community buildings are also good places to note landscape plants. In more northern environments there is often a few evergreen bushes that provide a frame year round.)

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Neighborhood Skies of Blue

Most days in Florida are sunny days with blue skies with highs from 78 to 90 degrees F depending on the month. We were warned last weekend that a cold front was coming down to Florida on Wednesday. It’s here and for me it’s cold. It’s 51 degrees F. The high is expected to be 69 degrees. Those of you who live up north can laugh and enjoy that comment. I laughed when I first moved to Miami in my 20’s decades ago when the highs would dip. Everyone around me was cold and I’d say this isn’t cold. Three years later I had adapted to hot and often humid weather and I was cold when the temperatures lowered. For the next few days the highs slowly go up each day until we’ll be in the 80’s Saturday. The problem with lower temperatures is how most homes are constructed in Florida. I’ve mentioned before that most homes are CBS – concrete block structures built on a pad of concrete as a foundation. Theoretically concrete never really hardens. I just know that when the temperature goes down there is a cold damp feeling in the house even the temperature in the house is only a few degrees lower. This can make my arthritis ache. Turning on the heat for 5 minutes helps burn it off.

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Planning For Future Hurricanes

There has been a lot of discussion here in Florida about what should be done in the future to prepare for the increasing frequency of killer hurricanes. As the ocean gets warmer, more storms develop with stronger winds. Several weeks ago Hurricane Ian left swollen lakes and rivers in Florida that continue to have communities underwater. St. Johns River, the largest river in Florida, is not expected to recede until Thanksgiving. Further south areas like Fort Myers have been devastated by Ian’s winds and rains. Some displaced residents say they are leaving Florida for good.

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