Sunday, February 28, 2010

Florida Journal - Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve

I've come to my last night in Florida for this trip. The drive back to New York ought to be fun, what with the way the weather has been recently. As of this writing, because of the snow, I have no idea if we can even get the car into the drive-way once we get there.

We spent a day at Loxahachee in Boynton Beach. We were fortunate enough to see another Everglades Snail Hawk patrolling the the grassy waters looking for food. We also ran across a small (7 to 8 foot) alligator sunning itself on a grassy bank. It had it's eye on an egret but the egret also had it's eye on the 'gator. Also spotted a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks and the usual water birds. It's a great place to bird watch and fish.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Florida Journal - Nassau, The Bahamas - Part II

Paradise Island is located just across a narrow channel of water from Nassau in The Bahamas. It has a great golf course, some beautiful homes and the Atlantis Hotel and Resort. The later, with it's aquarium, casino and beaches, has become as much a tourist and cruise ship passenger destination as Nassau's Straw Market.

However, as far as luxury accommodations go, there's now a new kid on the block: Ocean Place, a nine story building with beautiful condominium residences. It has it's own marina and is located just across the road from the Golf Club. 

The view from the pool.

The bedroom in one condo. This one had two balconies. 


The view from the balcony.

After the tour of Ocean Place, we boarded our cruise ship and sailed into the sunset. The Nassau harbour lighthouse pictured here is the oldest in The Bahamas, having been built in 1812.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Florida Journal - Nassau, The Bahamas - Part I

We took a short cruise over to Nassau in The Bahamas. Above is a pinwheel sign which was prominent on a building in the downtown section. The sentiment sounded good to me.

The following photos were also taken in the same area which is just a few blocks from the cruise ship docks.

On the main shopping street, most of the buildings are painted pastel colors.

One of the local taxis; there were taxi cabs also if one preferred.

The police (also on the main shopping street).

We took a water taxi from the main dock area over to the Atlantis Hotel/Resort where we were to meet my cousin who lives in Nassau. 

Most of the mail arrives by boat.

The water taxi at the Paradise Island dock.

A Bahamian native who kindly posed for me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Florida Journal - A Day at the Track

We drove down to the Gulfstream Race Track in Hollywood, Florida for a few races today. It was a good day - we came away with more money than we had going in.

The bugler announcing the  pre-race parade.

My pick.

And they're off.

Alas, not my pick.

Florida Journal - Grassy Waters Preserve

Tuesday was a bright sunny day, not too hot and not too cold. It was perfect for going to see the Grassy Waters Preserve on Northlake Blvd. in Palm Beach. It is a wonderful wetlands with a variety of birds, small mammals, deer and alligators.

Below are a few of the locals who kindly posed for me. I am not sure if the squirrel had eaten too much or a tummy ache.

A better photo of a Red-Shouldered hawk than I was able to get in the Orlando Wetlands. 

This is not the greatest photo I have ever taken but it IS a photo of a Snail Kite, a rare and endangered species which I have only seen once before this. Actually, there was a pair and the preserve rangers are hoping that they will nest there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Florida Journal - The Rainy Day Beader

While in Orlando, we had some rainy and/or cold days which kept me indoors where I did quite a bit of beading. Even thought the bangles are not finished yet, the earrings are done. This is what I have been up to and will be putting into my etsy shop, CabArray in March.

And just for a little extra, a view across the fields on an east coast Florida Highway, taken on our way to Palm Beach.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Florida Journal - Orlando

The first evening in Orlando we went with our nephew David to a great little Irish pub in Winter Park called Fiddler's Green. While we ate (and the food was excellent) we played Trivia. We came in 3rd against the other tables and won a $20 gift certificate to use at our next meal.

Thursday and Friday the weather was cold (for Florida) and rainy so I stayed in and did some beading. Saturday was sunny but not too warm. We went out anyway, back up to Winter Park where we walked around the shops, listened to a little Bach being played in the park and had lunch. After lunch I spotted an ospray sitting in a tree and got a rather good picture of it.

Today we drove over to the Orlando Wetlands Park were we set out on what we thought was a loop trail about 2.5 miles long. Somehow we got going in the wrong direction, we think.... Anyway, we realized that we really didn't know where we were and it was getting toward sunset, so we turned around and went back the way we came. We agreed that, all in all, we probably walked about 3.5 miles, much longer thab I was prepared to walk for the first hike of the season. We saw all the usual birds, herons, egrats, coots, anhingas and vultures. We also saw a beautiful Red-shouldered hawk.

Below are pictures I took of a Great Blue Heron, a large turtle (the shell had to be at least 18 inches long) and did I mention the gators?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Florida Journal - part 1 for today

Northern VA, along Route I-95.
Shot this through the car window just to let you see how much snow Northern VA had. The roads were fairly clear of snow so the driving was easy. There wasn't much traffic at this point but around Washington DC and Baltimore it was a nightmare.

Florida Journal - part 2

This was taken on Feb. 8, on the way south. It shows some of the residue of the storm that delayed our departure from NY. Notice the icicles on the sign.

VA Welcome Center

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mohonk Lake

Mohonk Lake, originally uploaded by MarthaHorman.

I have yet to figure out how to post new pictures using the laptop. So instead of Florida photos I thought you might enjoy ta video. I took this when I was at Mohonk on February 2nd of this year.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Florida Journal

We arrived in Orlando about 4PM this afternoon. It was not a long trip, only two and a half days, but it was eventful.

We left Long Island on Monday, February 8. Strangely, the snow piles kept getting higher and higher as  we went farther south. Around Washington DC, I-95 is normally 3 lanes, but only two lanes were open in most places because the road crews were still working on cleaning up after the February 6th and 7th storm. South of Richmond, VA the snow was mostly gone and by the time we reached Emporia, VA, where we spent the night, the ground was bare.

That night, when we got back to the motel from dinner, we were just in time to see a lady slip and fall on a patch of muddy grass. We tried to help her up but, because the ground was slippery, she could not get a firm footing and she could not kneel well either because she had had knee surgery. So, I went over to the motel lobby and brought back one of the sturdy breakfast room chairs. We planted this in the soggy ground and I held on to it to make it as steady as possibly. The lady was able to use it to get better leverage and between that and Paul's assisting her, we were able to get her up off the ground and sitting on the chair. After she caught her breath and stopped shaking, we helped her to her room. I should add that after I took the chair, the motel clerk came out to see what she could do to help and she stayed to turn on the heat for the lady and make sure she didn't need any other assistance.

The morning of the 9th dawned clear and sunny and we thought that it would be a great day for driving. Unfortunately, the sun didn't last long and the overcast sky was the least of it. We drove though torrential rains all through most of North Carolina and the northern part of South Carolina. At one point we had to pull off the road because we couldn't see here we were driving. Meanwhile, Paul had developed a low grade fever and, while not too unwell, spend quite a bit of time sleeping. The fever broke about noon and he started to feel better right away. We have no idea what he had.

We spent the second night on the road in Darien, GA. We stayed at a Hampton Inn where the clerk kept baking chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. This was a true hardship because I am trying to be good about what I eat. On top of that, right across the street was a place called Smokey Joe's Bar-B-Q. You know we had to eat there. If you are in Darien, you have to eat there too. The food is excellent.

Well, we are here, staying at our nephew's. The three of us had dinner at a great little Irish Pub in Winter Park where we won third place in a trivia contest while eating some more good food, and wonder of wonders - they had Murphy's Stout.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mohonk - The view from my balcony

Early last week I spend a night at the Mohonk Mountain House. This is the view from my balcony out over the winter gardens and the lake. Unfortunely, the day was over cast and it had started to snow.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Florida Journal

I can't begin to tell you how glad I am that we decided to delay traveling for a few days. Our new departure date is Monday, February 8.

In the meantime, it was cold and windy here which makes it soup day on Long Island. I make a soup from scratch that I call Sopa de Peña because my late friend, Susan Peña, gave me the basic recipe.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Florida Journal

Well, today is the first day or our trip. That is, it was supposed to be. The problem is El Nino which is messing with the weather and facilitated a bad storm hitting the MidAtlantic States. We would have been driving right into it. Commonsense prevailed and we stayed home. This is actually good because I thought of a few things I forgot to pack.

Our friend is still awaiting our arrival.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday



It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry Davis Thoreau