A Blustery Day at the Beach

The wind was blowing hard, and the waves were rumbling.

A blow-your-hat-off blustery day at the beach.

On Thursday night a front went through that lowered the temperature and humidity here in southern Florida. I sat on the lanai watching the lightening and listening to the thunder exploding and rumbling around us and felt cool rain, misted through the screens, fall on my warm skin. Jim joined me so we ooh-ed and wow-ed together, then laughed out loud.

The next morning Jim saw on the local news that the waves were 11 feet high at the pier but I had physical therapy so I couldn’t think about checking it out. That evening we went for supper at Alice Sweetwater (isn’t that a wonderful name for a pub/restaurant) and split a wonderful baked cod with crab stuffing. Our supper was so very enjoyable but I was also thinking about our plan to go to the beach to see if the waves were still high. High waves are a treat for me because the Gulf is generally calmer than the Atlantic coast on the other side of Florida.

We were over an hour early for sunset but the sun was low, sending rays down through the clouds, and down the beach to the right were some wind surfers taking advantage of the wind and waves.

Is that an urban skyline reflected on the beach? Naples doesn’t have building more than three stories high.

The Naples beach is a long, public beach with every east/west street ending at the beach with parking. Where we parked the beach was narrower than at other places and it was close to high tide. I had to point one eye down to make sure the surf didn’t come up over my shoes as I was keeping my other eye looking through the viewfinder. We have had a super tide (when high tide, a full moon, and extreme change in atmospheric pressure converge) and high tides due to hurricanes but I have never been on the beach when it was this high.

What fun to watch the waves reach out long onto the beach and then retreat, only to return to stretch even further, leaving behind white foam that would blow further inward toward the high side of the beach.

Is that snow I see?

This sand structure touches my personal story somehow, but I’m not sure how. If and when I figure it out I can use this as the lead photo for, as Paul Harvey used to say, “and that’s the rest of the story.”

Thank you, Amy, for this wonderful Lens-Artist Challenge: A Day of my Week. Check out her post for her beautiful images, links to other’s posts, and to participate yourself.

Challenge Your Camera: Palm Cottage Kitchen

When I saw the Challenge Your Camera topic this week was kitchen I immediately thought of The Palm Cottage kitchen. The Palm Cottage is Naples, Florida’s oldest home, built in 1895, just a block away from the Naples Pier. The pier was the only way people could reach Naples for winter vacations to hunt and fish and how food and other provisions were received. The cottage is now a museum where I learned about life not too long ago when Naples was well beyond the edge of nowhere.

The challenge requests photos be of things in our kitchen (sorry, but this isn’t mine) and be macro shots (sorry, I think that the items in this kitchen are better viewed within the context of the whole). This kitchen is actually an addition to the cottage made later. When this cottage was built the only electricity (produced by a generator) was at the hotel where everyone gathered for meals.

Saturday’s Farmer’s Market

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I enjoy visiting the 3rd Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings in Naples, Florida. The past couple of years we have tried to go but it was so crowded we couldn’t find parking and the street was so full of people we lost interest. Between October and the first of the year when the tourist season begins, the market is in one lane of a parking lot parallel to 3rd Street South. When we arrive at 8:30 there were lots of parking places and we could walk through the market without bumping into anyone.

And I enjoyed the live music – the singer you see in the middle of the photo above and at the other end…

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Today there were only two venders selling vegetables and one selling tropical fruits. The rest were local artisans or small business owners selling their goods. I didn’t buy much, just some zuchinni, tangerines, and a quiche to split for our lunch. I think I’ll go back next Saturday without my camera.

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As we were leaving I heard a familiar sound before a saw them. The Parrot Man of Naples was taking his parrots for a morning outing and stopped to talk to the man who had been singing.

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A third parrot is sitting on his right shoulder.

Transition Time Again

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I’m taking a break from packing and laundry and cleaning out the refrigerator. It is time to make our transition to our other environment. I have nine orchids growing on trees around our condo here in Florida – and I spoke to our son and he said the grass has turned green in southern Michigan. As we drive north we see spring unfolding in reverse; leaving lush green foliage and flowers blooming and arriving in our northern neighborhood in very early spring.

This is not just a weather transition for us. Many of our condo friends here in Florida have left for their northern homes or will be leaving in the weeks after us. It is hard saying goodbye even though we know we will see them again in October or January. We also look forward to seeing northern friends that we haven’t seen since December – and we have a 3 month old great-granddaughter who met us when she was born and I think is missing us.

The main topic of conversation at the pool this past week was packing. So many of us seem to fill our cars twice a year taking things back and forth. We talk about how we can carry less back and forth, how we need to have sufficient clothes at both homes, figure out what we don’t need to take north. I decided to not worry about forgetting something because Michigan has stores and I can buy anything I can’t live without.

What I need to do now is say good-bye to my favorite places and things here in Florida so I can feel excitement about going back to all the things that I love in Michigan. We have been saying good-bye to our favorite restaurants, we went to the beach for a sunset, and I made my last trip to the Naples Botanical Garden. On Sunday we attend the Easter service at the church we fell in love with and consider our home church, and as is tradition every Sunday in Naples we will have breakfast at the counter at Blueberries. Then we will change clothes, shut down the condo, and hit the road.