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Holy Cuttlefish! April 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography.
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28 comments

When is a Zebra NOT a Zebra?

When it’s a Cuttlefish.

cuttlefish

The Cuttlefish is a master of disguise:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Sneak Peek at Neal Preserve April 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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33 comments

Our neighborhood is a bird sanctuary surrounded by 3 nature preserves ~ Robinson, Perico, and Neal.  Avian visitors include egrets, heron, pelicans, cormorants, anhingas, ibis, ducks, geese, vultures, and roseate spoonbills.

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Robinson Preserve opened in 2008 with walking and biking trails, a picnic area, kayak launch, playground, visitor’s center, viewing tower, and lots of wildlife ~ including several nesting pairs of bald eagles.

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Perico Preserve, still under construction, will be a bird rookery for nesting parents and baby birds.  “No Dogs Allowed.”

Reflections

Neal Preserve, located just to the west of our neighborhood, is scheduled to open tomorrow.  A few weeks ago, we had a chance to take a sneak peek.

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We walked along the elevated boardwalk and climbed the viewing tower.

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We saw fluffy cotton and cacti growing wild, 2000-year-old conch shells lining pathways, and palms swaying overhead.

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We enjoyed stories shared by the resident archeologist about two ancient burial mounds (300 B.C. – 100 A.D.) found on the grounds.

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And admired a trio of skeletons acting sentry over the ancient mounds.

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We didn’t see even the whisper of a ghost.  Maybe next time.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Exterior Design April 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
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30 comments

Nature bathes our senses in reds, pinks, purples, and greens ~ all the colors of the rainbow offered up with tantalizing tastes and textures, aromatic fragrances, and soothing sounds that speak to our spirit, like the cry of a gull above the crash of the waves.

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Primary shades demonstrate both restraint and zeal ~ an unparalleled zest for living:

* Red geraniums, strawberries, tomatoes, and cardinals
* Yellow daisies, sunflowers, lemons, and bananas
* Bluebirds, blueberries, and cloud streaked skies

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Secondary shades add nuance to nature’s palette, drawing us outward and inward simultaneously:

* Fragrant oranges bursting with flavor tickle our taste buds
* Green grasses tickle the soles of our feet
* Purple evening skies beckon us to linger longer under the moon’s rays

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Nature’s sights and sounds delight and inspire us to tread softly on this precious planet, while savoring all that it offers.

We hug its offerings to our hearts and souls, taking clippings and cuttings to brighten our interior decor and sustain us through hectic days.

Mother Nature . . . this bud’s for you!

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Even in the stillness, the cosmos swirls. Even when silence reigns, we hear its heartbeat.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Do Not Disturb April 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
Tags: , , , ,
20 comments

Dragonfly rested
Wings folded
Still

Do not disturb

Desires ignored
Outstretched wings
Flight

How you perturb

Dragonfly settled
Wings framed
Anew

Kicked to the curb!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  The beauty of Rod’s art lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.

Aerial America April 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , ,
24 comments

Several weeks ago, Brighthouse added the Smithsonian Channel to our basic cable.  Our favorite new show ~ Aerial America.

We’ve seen aerial clips from several states:  Arizona, Kentucky, the Dakotas, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and Maine.  We’ve enjoyed each show, but liked Maine best because it seemed so familiar.

Maine included fly-over footage of the Marginal Way, Baxter State Park, Kennebunkport (including the Wedding Cake House and Walker’s Point), Penobscot Bay, Rockport, Camden, Acadia National Park, Portland,  etc.

The Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport

We took turns exclaiming, “We’ve been there!”

If ever you’re staying in Kennebunkport, consider the historic Colony Hotel. It’s eco-friendly, pet friendly, and charming!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you caught any episodes of Aerial America?

Related post:  Sailing The Maine Coast

Fly By Nighters March 31, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogs & Blogging, Humor, People.
Tags: , , ,
47 comments

Comment threads on the blogs I follow are informative, entertaining, silly, happy, funny, and thoughtful.

It’s great when a post sparks thought-provoking comments from diverse and varied visitors.  Comments that make me sit up and say WOW! often inspire me to head round and meet the blogger on their home turf.

That said, some “fly by nighters” need to brush up on comment etiquette:

* X scrolls through partial posts on his reader at lightning speed, pressing “LIKE” for each . . . without bothering to read them first.

* Y slows down long enough to leave comments in his wake, but most are banal . . . and often off putting.  Colonialist gave a terrific example once upon a time:

Post:  My whole family was wiped out today. I am distraught.

Comment:  LOL

* Z hasn’t been around for weeks.  She rushes in, out of breath from cruising around 47 other blogs during a 15-minute blog break, blitzes through 12 posts in 3 minutes, leaves cursory comments on each . . . AND expects us to believe she read each post.

Silly rabbits!

All of us have days when our comments don’t flow ~ sometimes it’s a slow go, other times a no go.  That’s to be expected.

But if we act like X Y or Z on a daily basis, perhaps we need to rethink our practices and priorities?  Are we following the blogs we follow because we enjoy reading them . . . or for some other ulterior motive?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts (on being “the perfect host”): The Perfect Host ~ Comment Moderation (WP Daily Post) * Commenting on Posts (Carol Balawyder)

* * *

Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  Rod conveys nature with brilliant brushstrokes.  The beauty of Rod’s watercolors lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.

Clean and Green March 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
30 comments

After we donated our extra refrigerator from the garage, the stuff inside our garage had fewer places to perch and became a bit jumbled and tumbled.

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We had some green totes sitting high and dry and decided to put them into service as storage bins.

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One problem, they wouldn’t fit on the flimsy shelf unit we’d inherited with the villa.

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So we bought a sturdier shelving unit from Home Depot and BFF assembled it to accommodate the idle green totes.

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Now we have a tidy place for everything to hide inside . . .

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And can keep everything in its place . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

I wrote and scheduled this post several days before the WP Daily Post issued the Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Inside.  Note the uncanny similarity between their totes and ours.  Spooky!  All we’re missing is the baby!

One Stitch At A Time March 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, People, Poetry.
Tags: , , ,
35 comments

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Day dawns, sun sets, time passes

Man imagines

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Birds soar, cats stalk, fish swim

Man creates

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A tapestry woven one stitch at a time

Aah . . . that’s better!

Chalk Art January 31, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Special Events, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , , ,
31 comments

Last fall, Sarasota held a Chalk Art Festival with participating artists from around the Globe.

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The theme had a military bent . . . with m&m’s providing sweet relief.

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Lady Liberty shed some light on things.

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One artist focused his time and talents on the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK.

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Leaving the festival, we noticed more Street Art . . . of a more permanent kind.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever been to a Chalk Art Festival?  What did you think?

Feeding the Beach January 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Special Events.
Tags: , , ,
30 comments

This winter, the beaches on Anna Maria Island are being re-nourished by sand dredged from the Gulf of Mexico.

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Engineers are feeding the beach using enormous pieces of equipment and massive pipes to dredge, suction, and sift piles of sand.

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Bulldozers move in to push and shove the sifted and shifted sand into position once ashore.

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BFF and I went out to inspect the progress.  They are moving right along.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Now for some really amazing nature shots . . . check out the Winners of the Nature Conservancy Photo Contest.  They are GORGEOUS!

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