Monday, December 29, 2014

Sunshine on my shoulders for Christmas

My sons and I had a wonderful time in Florida visiting with my husband’s parents. The weather was spring-like and the temps were in the 70’s and it was fantastic feeling the warmth of the sun. And it was very different (and interesting) being somewhere warm for the holidays, a first for me.

They live in a lovely little retirement community and have a sweet little house right on a canal that leads to the sea. Just being there gives such a feeling of peace and contentment. And one morning I woke up and the lawn was covered in all sorts of birds, some of which you’ll see below.

But I’ll start with a few beach pictures because one of my sisters texted me today and asked where the hell the Florida pictures were on my blog and how long were they going to have to wait. Nah, I’m kidding. She said it much nicer than that . . .


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These were all taken along Casey Key.


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I love the pinks of the sunset here.


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And how cool these palm fronds look in this sunset shot.


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Taken Christmas evening at the Venice Inlet.


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It was great to see flowers blooming, too.

But it was the birds that I spent the most time photographing.


These were all taken along the canal at my in-law’s house.

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I believe this is a Great Egret.


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A Yellow-Crowned Night Heron.

He came right up to the porch, the little devil.


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I’m not sure what kind of hawk this was, but he was screeching and performing all kinds of antics up there.


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I am pretty sure this is a Snowy Egret.


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And this was quite the exciting find for me. Taken from afar of what I first thought was a flamingo because of the pink coloring, this is actually a Roseate Spoonbill.

I caught this image and the alligator below at Myakka River State Park.


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My sons had never seen an alligator before, so this was interesting.


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And I took this while driving through Sarasota near The Ringling Circus Museum.


I know this isn’t much, but I’m not feeling all that wonderful right now. I’ve done something to my back and have been in bed or on the couch since yesterday afternoon. It’s getting better, but I just am not feeling all that great. At least I’m on winter break from school so I don’t feel bad about having to call in sick.

I’ll be posting more as the week wears on. Hope this little bit of sunshine makes you smile ~

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Until next time, then . . .

123 Signature[5]


A New England Life said...

You lucky lady, you! The images are heavenly! Being in Florida for Christmas must have been delightful. I'll bet you wish you could have stayed until May ; )

The Furry Gnome said...

Amazingly close bird pictures!

joeh said...

I'm going to guess Osprey for that "Fish Hawk."

jmac said...

and what's funny? Me living in Loosiana have never seen snow on Christmas and usually never have to wear long pants, even! and I spent an hour this afternoon watering all of my flowers in gardens!! Isn't it crazy how different our worlds are...north/south??!!!!
be careful with your back. I just got cortisone shots yesterday in mine. Old age sucks, eh??
(I turn 60 next week and I am NOT happy about all.)

Debbie From Illinois said...

Oh man, I hope your back feels better soon. I love Florida but I wouldn't want to live there full time. We are at our cabin in the north woods, we just had more snow and I am loving it.

Love the photos!

Cloudia said...


How wonderful for all involved I'm sure.

I'm tickled you enjoyed the sun - except that you're working MY side of the street and just blowing me away with these sweet shots!

<3 ALOHA from Honolulu

JaneK said...

so happy you had a nice, sunny time! so not happy your back is giving you trouble.
rest well and feel better soon!!

Blondie's Journal said...

Simply beautiful pictures and I envy you having all that sunshine while we freeze here in Illinois! Those birds are so exotic and interesting, aren't they?

So glad you had wonderful family time this Christmas. And I'm so sorry about your back. I did a number on mine last Christmas and was laid up for a week. My doctor recommended I periodically do my own version of the Hawaiian hula to work those muscles...ha!

Jane x

Daryl said...

my parents condo was across a canal from a wildlife sanctuary so we saw lots of herons .. the babies are adorable ... lovely photos nice and sunny thanks for warming things up .. xo

Karen said...

Ahh... I needed that! 20 degrees here this morning and I'm procrastinating going out to feed horses/chickens/rabbits.

looks like they are in a lovely area of Florida... Sarasota area? ...

So glad you got some sunshine and quality time with family - feel better soon!

Mary said...

We are snowbirds in the same area you visited. Love it here. Next time be sure to go to the Rookery close to sunset. The birds there are amazing. Hope your back is better soon! And thanks for sharing. :)

eileeninmd said...

Lovely images from Florida, it is a beautiful place to visit or live.. I love all the birds.. I hope you feel better soon. Take Care! I wish you all the best in 2015.. Happy New Year!

Country Gal said...

Wonderful photos ! I am so glad you had a good trip looks lovely . Hope your back gets better soon ! Wishing you a Happy New Year . Thanks for sharing !

Kerri Farley said...

Glad you had a great time! LOVE your birds ...and it does look like your hawk is an Osprey.
Hope 2015 brings you many blessings my friend!

Linda Kay said...

The beach looks so inviting, Kate. My hubby and I were discussing the possibility of 'running away' next year at Christmas time to enjoy a unique place to visit. Have a wonderful 2015.

Nellie said...

Those are some wonderful pictures! I especially like the snowy egret. Sending along best wishes for your recovery! Feel better soon! xo

Carolynn Anctil said...

So beautiful and serene. It sounds like you had a lovely time. I'll bet George will be happy to see you when you get home.

A Glowing Ember

Unknown said...

Absolutely lovely!
Thank you for sharing....Feel better soon 😃

Low Tide High Style said...

Sorry your back is giving you fits, I hope you feel better soon! Glad you had a wonderful time, and enjoy the rest of your break!

xo Kat

Hilary said...

Lovely captures, Kate. I'm glad you had a fine time but sorry your back it giving you a hard time. I hope you're on the mend before too long. Look after yourself.

Susan said...

Lived in Sarasota for 15 years, lovely place. And it is/was the winter home of the circus. Plus the beaches are THE best. Happy new Year and speedy healing.

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Unknown said...

Gulf coast beaches rock! I grew up in SW Florida and your pictures of Casey Key and Venice Inlet bring back fond memories. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Gordon said...

What a wonderful trip you had, Kate, and I do hope you're feeling better real soon.

I wish you a bright and beautiful New Year.

DesertHen said...

Beautiful color in your photos! Love the bird shots! Happy New Year to you, George and your sons!

Sabrina Steyling said...

Beautiful photos!

How is your back doing now? Interestingly I also suffered from back issues over the holidays. Spent one entire day in the chair with the heating pad on or in bed exhausted because I only got about 3 hours sleep the night before. I've had this happen before, but haven't gotten to the root of the problem yet. Hope you're feeling much better!

Hedy King said...

Kate, these are lovely pictures of your trip, I love birds, too. I never can do them justice on film though. I wish the best for you in 2015. Thanks for the supportive posts this year. Hedy

mudmaven said...

I love those bird pictures and the sailboat makes me lonesome for ours - soon though. Sure hope that you are feeling better very soon. ~chris

Nan said...

One reads a lot of negative press about Florida, but you have shown the great, great beauty. I so loved these peaceful, wonderful photos. Hope your back is better soon. Do you do yoga?

Jan's camera said...

Hi Kate, sorry you are not feeling well. I love your bird photos. Wonderful captures. I love Florida. I lived there for 2 years in the 80's. Wouldn't mind going back and forth one bit. Get some rest and feel better soon.

beth said...

don't you love the southern birds!!! and wait, what about your back???

becky up the hill said...

Hello! My computer had a bit of a crash, so catching up. What is a that beautiful pink flower? I know, Love your Spoonbill too.