Beauty thru my Lens: Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia – Bird of Paradise

I feel like I am in a whole other world. I have spent a lifetime learning the plants that would grow in the colder climate of Michigan, and even learned those that were exceptions given the unique micro-climate of my gardens. Now I am having to start over because so many plants here in Florida are “foreign” to me. Today I found a book that will help, published by Southern Living – a big book of over 700 pages of plants that grow in the southern regions. What I am learning is that almost anything that grows anywhere will grow here – especially if giving a little extra treatment. Spring bulbs need to be dug up and placed in the frig each year.

Travel Theme: Bright

This week Photo Travel Theme is “Bright”, in contrast to all the “dark” of last week. To see Ailsa’s wonderful photos on this theme and to join the fun go to

I saw the theme this morning before I went on my neighborhood walk so I kept my eyes alert for “bright”. I thought about taking a photo of the bright purple trash can used by the local garbage collector but somehow that didn’t seem very romantic. A bright yellow VW Bug went by with mouse ears and tail – I think it is a tech service. But it was gone before I could get my camera up.

Not to worry – I did find nature’s versions of bright in a couple of flowers growing in yards around the neighborhood. They were soaking up the morning sun after a nice rain during the night.


Walking Delights: Banana Tree

I don’t like exercise – I think I have written that somewhere else. I’ve never liked exercise, maybe because my body doesn’t exercise with grace or comfort. Exercise is work, it makes me sweat, it hurts, and it isn’t much fun. I’m changing, however, and have found that I feel a lot better if I exercise a little every day. It doesn’t have to be much – just 10 minutes of walking results in less pain and fatigue during the day plus I sleep better which also decreases pain and fatigue. Here is my commitment. I will walk or ride my bike 5 days a week – allowing two days for my muscles to heal if they need it.

Walking has become much more fun now that I have a purpose. I love trying to capture, with my camera,  the beauty that I’m seeing and then sharing with readers of my blog. I also find that I walk a lot further when I have my camera because there is always something interesting up ahead. This is especially true now that I have the unfamiliar of being in a sub-tropical region of the US.

I didn’t have to walk far for this first photo. It is a banana tree that my neighbor is growing – I have one growing outside my kitchen window but it is very small and doesn’t have any green bananas. Last year Marianna gave us a bunch and they were sooooooo good.

Those are brand new bananas starting to grow at the top of the purple blossom – a purple pedal had just fallen off and this is the fruit that is ripening. A process that is so familiar but also a wonder when we see it happening with a fruit that we see most every day but haven’t watched it grow.

Sorry this is posted a day late. We stayed up to watch the Detroit Tigers get beat last night and I got distracted and tired. Congratulation fellow bloggers on the west coast. Your team played excellent ball.

Floral Friday

The stronger light and contrast between light and shade in southern Florida created a new challenge for me as I eagerly went out to photograph all the blooming plants and vegetation that I am familiar with as house plants in the north. I am finding that I am having to do more editing as I am learning. This seems to be Hibiscus paradise and there are several different colors blooming around our condo.

Here are Hibiscus Blooms for Floral Friday.

Story Challenge – Letter Q: Queen Anne’s Lace

There is a long history of lace making and lace has been used to decorate both men’s and woman’s clothing although in more recent history, women have been more able to enjoy the pleasure of wearing lace. Lace has also been used to decorate homes – remember the lace doilies on tables and chair backs.

But nature is beautifully decorated with Queen Anne’s Lace. In late summer and early fall, these lovely wild flowers decorate the roadsides with their floating flower heads.


Queen Anne’s Lace Bud

To join the fun of the Story Challenge visit