TC’s Visit, Easter, and Garden Update!

Wow!

Since my last post an entire week’s gone by…and what a mad dash of a week it was! My oldest son was in town, and he crams more activity in a single day than any other person I know.  Take April 12th for example: 10am we’re on the beach; Noon we’re in a restaurant; 2pm we’re racing home to shower/change; 3pm we’re at the Hibiscus Festival; 5pm I’m dropped back home; 6pm he and Maggie drive 2.5hrs across the state to a VIP party (hotel room included!) hosted by a co-worker.  Dance til dawn, April 13!

Carpe diem is how he rolls!

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Rolling toward Easter Brunch: Carpe Diem!

The entire week was a definite BLAST, but Maggie and I were exhausted by Easter! Nevertheless, we rallied for our new family tradition: celebrating with brunch at the Disney Vero Beach Resort:

easter brunch 2014

Maggie’s fiancé took the above photo, so I returned the favor:

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All the cool people wear shades…even when the sun don’t shine! ;)

 

While we were racing around all week, Spring snuck up on my back gardens:

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Assorted Coleus and Cosmos, with a meandering sweet potato vine

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2yr old Rex begonia, blooming for the first time.

 

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Regal Darner Dragonfly (aka Coryphaeschna ingens)

 

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Phalaenopsis (x 2) blooming VERY late!

For my beloved Amaryllis, a little slideshow!

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It’s looking decidedly like Spring, yeah?

Before I close, a head’s up on something I stumbled across at our Beachside CVS:

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Seen at CVS Beachside, Rte A1A, Vero Beach, 4/19/14

I’ve NEVER seen flower bulbs sold at CVS, have you?!?  I purchased these on Saturday, and have since hit 3 other CVSs, but couldn’t find them anywhere! (and I scrounged the stores HARD!)

For all you gardeners, “keep an eye peeled” as my Irish Granny was wont to say!  You might get lucky, too!

Until next time…..

:) :) :)

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Wordless Wednesday: April 16, 2014 (Baseball!)

Last night my son and I caught the Jackie Robinson Celebration Game at historic Dodgertown’s Holman Stadium.  Nothing says Spring like an evening of minor league baseball! :)

 

Manatees vs Flying Tigers, 4/15/14, Holman Stadium, Vero Beach

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For other Wordless Wednesday posts, click here and on the Zemanta related links, below!

Until next time….

:) :) :)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

This week’s photo challenge asks us to share a local monument. While this might mean stone-based statuary in older parts of the world, in newly developed spots like Vero Beach, it means fiberglass!!

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In 2005,the Mental Health Association of Indian River County used 52 eye-popping turtle sculptures to raise awareness and money for mental health services. Known locally as Turtle Trax, this public art project symbolized people coming out of their shells to seek help.  Each sculpture stands 6′ tall x 5′ wide, depicting a sea turtle with fins outstretched, as if peacefully gliding through water.

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Another fiberglass monument, Patriot, the Horse, guards the entrance to Pocahontas Park located just beyond the Citrus Museum in the above photo:

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The 9′ tall Patriot has been corralled at the park since 1960. ;)  In 2009, Perfection Paint and Auto Body donated their time and materials to restore and repaint this midcentury monument.  You can read more about their extensive project, by clicking here.

Before I close, I’m excited to tell you my oldest son is visiting through Easter Sunday!

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I may not post much this week, but will definitely check in on all of you. :)

Until next time….

:) :) :)

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Wordless Wednesday: 3/26/14 (Sunny Reflections)

I ran across this shot (taken during my first summer here) while searching my pics for yesterday’s Reflections post.  It seemed well suited for Wordless Wednesday, so here it is!

Backyard Queen Palm after a summer storm

NOTE: Look at the bottom left corner of this photo: the vacant lot next door wasn’t yet empty :arrow: that happened in 2011 and you can read about it here.

For other Wordless Wednesday posts, check out the blogger who started it all, and, of course, the Zemanta links below!

Until next time….

:) :) :)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

This week’s Photo Challenge asks us to illustrate the concept of juxtaposition: a fancy term for incongruous elements of strong visual weight that draw your attention at the same time.

Uh….. Say what :?: :?:

Maybe I should just show you some examples! ;)

1. A seagrape branch where seapgrape shouldn’t be, on a day just shy of magical.

Seagrape, Jaycee Beach

2. The lushness in the top half of the next photo is in stark contrast to the railroad vine in the sand, below.Railroad Vine, Jaycee Beach

3. The next shot is a twofer! ;)  Same juxtaposition as above, but with added contrast of sun vs. shade competing for the viewer’s focus. :

Railroad vine closeup, Jaycee Beach

4. The last juxtaposition is a clash of opposing emotions:  Melpomene and Thalia at the Seaside Grille! :)
Jack and Maggie, Seaside Grille, 1/10/14

This was SUCH a creative challenge, yeah?  I hadn’t participated in awhile but the topic drew me back in!

For other bloggers’ submissions, click on the Zemanta related links that follow!

Until next time….

:) :) :)

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“Joy in one’s heart, and laughter on one’s lips…..”

Joy in one’s heart and laughter on one’s lips is a sign that person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” –Hugh Sidey, Journalist

I ran across the above quote awhile back, and it came to mind as I was uploading the last few pics from Jack’s vacation week.

Jack and Maggie at Jaycee Beach, 1/12/14

The return of Florida’s iconic sunshine allowed us to spend his final 3 days beachside, with plenty of time for laughs and conversation.

Jack and "big Ma" at Jaycee Beach, 1/12/14

If there’s a plus side to geographic separation from family, it may be the startling awareness of growth you notice when reunited.  In early childhood, visitors exclaim “look how BIG you’ve gotten!” and I found myself thinking the same of Jack, not physically of course (although he is GIGANTIC ;) ) but emotionally and–for lack of a better word–spiritually.

In the annals of Jack’s life, 2013 will be recorded as his first big “setback year” :arrow: sooner or later it happens to all of us, and how we react (and cope) determines much of what comes next.  From my vantage of time and distance, I was thrilled to note big changes in self awareness, sensitivity, and character since his visit last May.  His sense of humor is as irreverent as ever, and deep down he has a pretty good grasp of life.

As a parent, you can’t ask for better than that!

Until next time….

:) :) :)

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Wordless Wednesday: January 8, 2013

It’s 8° in Boston, but who cares?
-John K. Mulhern

Jack at Jaycee Beach, 1/6/14

Jack at Jaycee Beach, pic 2, 1/6/14

;) 6 hours later…
Maybe I should’ve worn block!?

Jack, after a day at Jaycee, 1/6/14

We’re having so much fun playing Bananagrams and Scrabble, and just all around hanging out. :)

Until next time…..

Karen, Jack, Rita, (left to right) 1/7/14

The tall gene didn’t come from us!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

This week’s photo challenge asks that we share an image of something unexpected. Well, mine is a bit of a “twofer!”

Saturday I went to Jaycee Beach and was totally surprised by a colony of Aloe aborescens that 2 weeks ago gave NO hint of an imminent bloom.  Take a look at them now:

Aloe arborescens, Jaycee Beach, 11/23/2013

Very unexpected!

A. aborescens, native to southern Africa, is one of the most widely cultivated aloes in the world.  As a prized fall-to-winter bloomer, it is found growing from mountains on high to sea level below:

Aloe arborescens, pic 2, Jaycee Beach, 11/23/2013

Each inflorescence is usually unbranched, but sometimes two (or more) arise from a single rosette.

A. arborescens has a conical, compact orange raceme, 11/23/2013

As I investigated the colony further, I ran across a completely unexpected mutant raceme!

Unexpected spilt raceme of Aloe arborescens, Vero Beach, 11/23/13At first I thought my eyes deceived me and maybe I’d missed a branched peduncle (stalk)…but no!  The next photo clearly shows a single stalk:

Unexpected spilt raceme of Aloe arborescens, pic 2, Vero Beach, 11/23/13

I have no idea if a split raceme is rare….but it was certainly unexpected! :shock:

Until next time…

:) :shock: :)

Seen on the nature trail….

Vero Beach is home to the Greenway, a 3mi. nature trail that loops through oak forests and wetlands alongside the Indian River Lagoon.  While walking there Sunday, I photo-graphed an oak log totally covered in mushroom-like growths. Trametes versicolor on oak log, Lagoon Greenway, 11/17/13When I got home, I ran straight to Google :arrow: turns out I’d seen Trametes versicolor, a polypore (bracket fungus) seen mostly on sick or decaying hardwood trees.  In the next photo, you’ll see why this fungi’s fruiting body is commonly called “Turkey Tail:” Ball moss atop  T. versicolor fungi, Lagoon Greenway, 11/17/2013 T. versicolor’s banding pattern resembles the tail of a strutting turkey!  Most are dark to light brown, alternating with light colored bands of white to tan, with still more bands of blue, gray, orange or maroon. They can be strikingly beautiful, and are among the fungi most easily observed in the wild. Unlike their mushroom “cousins” that disappear quickly, Turkey Tails are leathery and long-lived, with some shelves lasting an entire year.

In addition to being a prolific fruiter, T. versicolor is found in every state of the U.S. and almost every region of the world, including Siberia.  Traditional Asian medicine has long used this fungus in the fight against cancer by extracting polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) from the fruiting bodies. Studies show both substances boost cancer patients’ immune systems when used in conjunction with traditional medicine, sometimes doubling life expectancy!  Research is ongoing.

To learn more about this Thanksgiving themed fungus, visit Mushroomexpert.com.

Until next time…. Eat-Beef-Turkey

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

Living near the ocean as I do, my cell-cam is full of shots featuring birds and beach-goers against horizons of surf and sand.  I swiped through the lot of them for this week’s challenge and decided most were repetitive, boring and–for lack of a better word–flat.  Not so, this one: I love everything about these old friends gazing at the horizon.

Old Friends in Hats, Jaycee Beach, 10/20/13

 (Note: For better visual impact, click on the photos to enlarge them! pumpkin-joyfull try it! )

I’m partial to these next images because they draw the eye to a midpoint on the horizon. First you notice the queen palm, and then the sliver of beach where sky meets land at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

Queen Palm and the horizon, Disney Vero Beach Resort, 4/6/13

A beautiful sky over the road to Key West: adventure pulls us toward the horizon.pumpkin winking

Key West on the horizon, 8/9/13

X marks the spot in the horizon over Jaycee Beach.pumpkin no comment

X marks the spot on the Jaycee Beach horizon 4/27/13

To see other bloggers’ interpretations of this week’s challenge, check out the Zemanta related links below!

Until next time…
Hay Ride