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A Hop, A Skip, & A Jump! November 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

Have you heard of Bank of America’s Museums on Us program for VISA cardholders?  If you have a Bank of America VISA, you can visit participating museums for FREE the first full weekend of every month.

The first weekend in November, we decided to visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  First stop, the Orchid Show.

A profusion of blooms filled the greenhouse from top to bottom.

Every where I looked, there was something to admire.

This motif would be excellent for Easter.

And how about this as a back yard water feature?  Can’t you just see Kate’s coy Koi in there?

Exiting the greenhouse, we walked through the Bonsai Forest.

And then headed to the Children’s Rainforest to monkey about.

We both loved the perpetual ebb and flow of the suspended bridge.

And had fun checking out the treehouse.

Back on terra firma, we wandered around the base of the Banyan trees.

“My, what big roots you have!”

From there, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the frog pavilion.

Aren’t they charmers?

And they’re ever-ready to enjoy a good game of hoop-de-hop-da-hula.

Especially Ringo!

Colorful, fun, festive . . . and they make great fly-catchers!

After completing our game of ring-around-the-frogs, we headed to O’Leary’s Tiki Bar.

Undeterred by this rude Tiki Totem with the protruding tongue, we grabbed a seat in the sand to quaff a cold one while listening to a decent guitar player who hastened to remind patrons that the more they drank, the better he would sound!

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Mote Aquarium October 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

We finally had a chance to visit the “new” river otter exhibit at Mote Aquarium on City Island in Sarasota.  We adored watching the antics of Pippi, Huck, and Jane from the 2nd floor mezzanine:

Here they are enjoying some non-stop action:

As we walked through the shark exhibit, this brave lad in the Hurricane Simulator blew us away:

We loved the decor in the 50’s diner ~ everything back then was so black & white, no shades of gray:

And check out these giant “Egyptian” Seahorses standing guard:

Perhaps they’re there to protect the flowers in the adjoining lily pad pond:

Our enjoyable, educational, and entertaining afternoon featured a surprising highlight:  a small aquarium of mesmerizing jellyfish:

Gorgeous and graceful, they were gliding up and down with gentle and perpetual undulations ~ it was rather like watching a live-action lava lamp!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Great Hurdling Hurricanes! September 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Word Play.
34 comments

Hurricanes are no laughing matter.

Florence is packing a punch as she heads for the mid-Atlantic coast.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, and DC are bracing for her arrival.  Each has declared a state of emergency.

Thousands are fleeing the coastline for higher ground.  People are boarding up homes and stocking supplies.

Etc.

Having gone through an evacuation last fall due to Hurricane Irma, I sense the increasing stress and tension as we watch and wait for landfall.

Although hurricanes are no laughing matter, the following image of Florence’s approach amused me, providing me with some much needed stress relief:

As Hurricane Florence hurdled towards the East Coast, its final destination remains uncertain, but North Carolinians who appear to be in the storm’s path were taking few chances.

Hurdle ~ to leap over a barrier or obstacle in a race

Hurtle ~ to move rapidly or forcefully

Since Florence is NOT a track star, I expect the journalist meant to say “As Hurricane Florence hurtles towards the East Coast . . .”

Then, again, maybe she knew we all needed a good laugh.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

The Return of the Panther? September 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Nature, Sustainable Living.
22 comments

This video captures some amazing footage of the Florida Panther, including an unexpected encounter with a volunteer on the boardwalk in Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary:

It also highlights the benefits of preserving the panther and its habitat for future generations.

To learn more:  The Florida Panther

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Margarita Bouquet! July 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Nature.
21 comments

Last week, I received a unique and colorful bouquet ~ a huge strawberry margarita (complete with two straws which, due to environmental concerns, are now banned in 31.7 states):

Once the profusion of pink blooms faded, I donated the enormous margarita glass (together with its squishy pink “marbles”) to Goodwill for “repurposing.”

Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.  Repurpose.  Resale.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Memorable Milestones June 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Nature, People, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

In the past few weeks, we’ve attended a 100th birthday party for a Centenarian and a 60th Anniversary celebration.

You heard me ~> 100!

Jack lived in Princeton before moving to FL.  He lives at the end of our street and is rather amazing ~> still driving, lives alone, dresses with care, has a cocktail every evening, and . . . he’s capable of carrying on a conversation with all his marbles firmly in place.

May we all be so lucky!

At the anniversary celebration, guests (including Betty & Eileen ~ our “roommates” during Hurricane Irma) were given centerpieces to take home.

Sweet!

Aah . . . that’s better!

To Wax . . . Or Not To Wax? June 14, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
33 comments

I just read a fascinating article on body hair . . .

And how we are doing more and more to have less and less.

But the article addresses the larger issue of how we conform to the norm even when what is considered “normal” is not:

That we have to do more work to create “normalcy” or “nature” is obvious. If we are to banish hair from our bodies, we need more shaving, plucking, waxing and lasering. (Meanwhile, when it comes to our heads, our hair must be abundant, and we dye, style, weave, extend and implant in our quest for luscious locks.) This level of “de-fluffing” is demanding, constant, repeated almost daily. Yet that it is demanding — and just how demanding it is — is little recognized. Instead, it is normalized.

As the hairless body becomes the only acceptable body, a dramatic shift happens. De-fluffing stops being a beauty practice, and becomes redefined as a hygiene practice, as part of so-called “routine” maintenance. Hair removal becomes something we have to do, a requirement. It is not an option to refuse — like teeth-cleaning, but without any of the health benefits. Beauty practices are indulgent and optional; hygiene practices are necessary and required. You don’t have to do a beauty practice; you do have to do something that is required to meet minimum standards, just to be normal. Once the shift to routine is complete, the fact that this is a demanding beauty practice becomes invisible.

To read more:  Body Hair is Natural.  Society Thinking Otherwise is Dangerous.

To conform to the norm, or not?  THAT is the question!

Aah . . . that’s better!

I’ve Been To 14 of 50 ~> You? June 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

MONEY magazine put together a list of the Best Parks in Every State in the U.S.

Curious, I checked out the list and checked off 14 parks (or the immediate vicinity) that I’ve visited at least once:

Arizona ~ Grand Canyon National Park

California ~ Carmel (& its Coastline)

Colorado ~ Rocky Mountain National Park (and Poudre Canyon)

Maine ~ Acadia National Park

Minnesota ~ Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

New Jersey ~ Cape May County Park & Zoo

New Mexico ~ Carlsbad Canyons

New York ~ Central Park & Tavern on the Green

North Carolina ~ Blue Ridge Parkway

South Dakota ~ Custer State Park (to see the Friendly Burros)

Tennessee ~ Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Utah ~ Zion National Park (and Bryce Canyon)

Vermont ~ Quechee Gorge

Wyoming ~ Grand Teton National Park

In case you’re wondering, NONE of the Disney Parks made the list.

Sorry Mickey!

How about you?  What are some of your favorite parks ~ in the U.S. or elsewhere?  Have you visited any of MONEY’s Park Picks?  Any fun adventures to share?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  10 Best National Parks (Money)

 

 

Why Childhood Memories Are MIA June 7, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
29 comments

Researchers are beginning to understand why few of our childhood memories survive the passage into adulthood.

As children, we are able to make memories, but the circuitry of our brain continues to undergo construction through our teens . . . writing over some memories and erasing the circuitry needed to access other memories.

In short, we need to forget in order to grow.

To read more:  This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went

And: Why You Can’t Remember Being A Baby

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“Perhaps the biggest mystery is not why we can’t remember our childhood – but whether we can believe any of our memories at all.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Cross In The Cross Walk” May 26, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.
22 comments

The other day, we were delighted to see this mother teaching her offspring the safest way to cross a busy (or not so busy) intersection:

Aah . . . that’s better!