Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Feeling Beachy

November is a perfect time to be at the Gulf Beaches. I had the chance to go a few times last month. I need to get there again before Christmas... I'm feeling the need. Time to get my toes in the sand and breathe in the salty air.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Palma Sola Botanical Gardens

My mom and I have been on a roll lately of going over to the beach whenever we get a chance. I've shared some of those photos here from time to time.

On the way we took some time recently to stop by the botanical gardens being developed at Palma Sola. They have a piece of property that is quite beautiful.

Located in Bradenton, FL, it is right next to Robinson Preserve, a 487-acre wetland habitat.

The flora was bright and intense as it transitions from summer to autumn. The sun shone brightly but the autumnal angle softens the harshness with each passing hour of the day.

It isn't a large garden but there is room for growth with acres left to be planted as they gather funds to do so.

Not a huge fan of crotons myself but even I couldn't help but be drawn to the vibrance and enormity of the mammy crotons.

Everything tropical to fill up your peaceful zen and gardening soul was offered for plenty of oooohhhs and aaahhhhs. An inspiring stroll through walkways of lush foliage is recommended any day of the week or season of the year.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

GGW Photo Contest: End Of The Line

Usually I enter this contest from my Hoe and Shovel garden blog. In Florida we don't have too many opportunities for "end of the season" garden photos as our seasons tend to blur one into the other without too much distinction. And since this is an out-of-the-garden photo I'm breaking with the norm and posting it from my 'Florida blog'.

It's quite a normal thing for me to ask Mr. Meems to pull over off the highways and back roads we drive so I can snap photos of all sorts of things while jaunting here and there around Florida .
Such was the case when these old trucks were spotted in a roadside field up in North Florida this weekend.

The worn out and aged line of trucks is my entry for Gardening Gone Wild's November photo contest where the theme is "end of the line".

There isn't much chance these old American antiques will ever run again. Someone strategically parked them in a line and clearly they have reached the "end of the line".

Be sure to click over to GGW and check out all the wonderful entry photos for this theme.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beachside: A Good Routine

Is there a more beautiful or peaceful place on the planet than the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico! Maybe. But I haven't been there.

An easy drive to the shoreline on any given day is just plain good for the soul. It's a place to leave all the challenges of everyday-life behind and deeply breathe in the goodness of God and His creation.

Sand, water, sun, sky, birds, rocks, and fresh salty air will melt away the petty and trivial things that life tries to throw our way.

Mr. Meems is a great date. No question. And he and I love to take day trips or sometimes just an evening to eat out and walk on the beach.

But every once in a while it's fun to get away with a girlfriend or just the female family members. Nothing like a day to chit-chat the hours away with the girls.

Mom is always game for a drive over the bridge for a day of some of our favorite things.

We kind of have a routine going lately.

There's the most adorable coffee/gift/lunch place on the north end of Anna Maria Island. (It's the place I take anyone actually who goes over to the island with me- one of my dearest friends first took me there.)

We go for the eclectic, beachy ambience. We go to relax and drink coffee. We go to look around. And once in a while we bring home a trinket or two from there. All of it. But truth be told, mostly we go for their homemade cinnamon buns. Out. Of. This. World. Delicious.

On the bay side, in the same area, is one of the few working piers left on the island. Walking along its planks will make you feel as if you've crossed over into a whole other world.
Snowy Egrets

The crystal clear green waters and fishermen with their live bait. Water lapping gently against the pilings. Rods and reels whistling through the air with each cast. People from all over the globe milling to and fro. Myriads of tiny fish visible through the water.

And there's the sights and sounds of shorebirds flying overhead, swimming close by and those waiting for a free hand out.. (Hand feeding is actually not encouraged as it makes wild birds dependent on humans.)

Sitting outside and enjoying lunch on the pier with the gulf breeze blowing makes even a warm day pleasant. But lately the weather has been divine.
The pier-fishers are within feet of the lunch tables.

We are talking beach casual at its best. Tables equipped with irrigation around the dock provide a place for on-sight cleaning of each fresh catch.

I'm so very blessed and thankful my mom is in good health and ready to go on quick notice when we can both manage a day to get away.

We find the shady places or set up an umbrella on the Gulf side to chatter away some more as we bask in the moments of beauty in Florida's perfect fall weather.

It doesn't matter to us what time of year it is or if the weather is perfect or not. We just LOVE, LOVE to be at the beach.

There's really never a great time to leave.

Sunset is our cue that we've had a full day and life is good. But most often we stay right there beyond the darkness to greet the moon. It is with reluctance and sighs we pack our things and call it a day.

The simplest times in life can often be the best times when spent doing something to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.