The Vinery was the last section of the gardens that I explored.
Just as it sounds, there were plenty of trellises and loads of vines. The sun was trying to decide if it wanted to shine, or give way to the rains.
The rain won out. It stormed while I was out in the Vinery, but because of the thickness of some of the vines, I didn't get wet at all. It was pretty amazing. I could see heavy rain, but none of it got to me. I was protected under the trellises and vines.
Traveling from trellis to trellis was a network of sidewalks landscaped with wooden fences, and trailing flowers. Really beautiful!
No idea what kind of flower this is but I really liked it. It reminds me of Christmas, for some reason. And it was really tiny, probably less than an inch across.
And at this point in my visit to the botanical gardens, the intense Florida heat did me in and I had to leave. I plan to go back in a month, when it cools down some more, and see the rest of the gardens. If you get a chance, you should really check it out. Quiet, peaceful, still, restful, serene, and right now - hot as can be!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
My day at the botanical gardens started out beautiful. Sunny. Gorgeous skies.
There were lots of beautiful plants growing along the pathways.
And many beautiful blooming flowers. There were signs identifying the different plants, but I really didn't pay much attention to them. That's never been one of my strong points.
But I know what I like and these were all beautiful!
Now these look like some I recognize :). I've taken similar photos in Orlando, Cedar Key, and Gainesville.
I found 3 or 4 of these gazebos. There are frequently weddings at the botanical gardens. I can just imagine these gazebos have witnessed a lot of beginnings :).
But, the sun shining through the trees is what really captured my attention.
True beauty can not be hidden by the trimmings that try to blind us. True beauty - God's beauty - finds a way to shine through and reach us no matter where we are.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I realize my food photo isn't as pretty or neat as those on the Pioneer Woman's page, or on Bakerella's, or Bake at 350.
I started back to Weight Watchers two weeks ago. I've lost 11 pounds so far. Several people have emailed, or facebooked, me asking how I am losing weight.
At this week's meeting, our leader encouraged us to find healthy alternatives for the things we enjoy eating. Things that might be too many calories, or too many points since WW tracks points. Take those same foods and find substitutes for them within the structure of healthy foods.
So that's was this is a picture of. A healthy substitute. If I had used the brands I used to eat, this little dessert would have ran me about 700 calories. Using the products I substituted, this dessert is a mere 240 calories, 3 points in the Weight Watchers tracking system.
I used a 100-calorie Vitamuffin Very Chocolate muffin, added one Weight Watchers Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cup, and topped it off with fat free Cool Whip. Yummo! It's all about subsitutes and alternatives. And a healthier lifestyle.
Last night I posted some shots from the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Here are some photos taken in the Water Gardens there.
There are four waterfalls in the Water Garden. Everything was landscaped and organized so beautifully - it made getting great pictures so simple. I do wish my son Jason had been with me, though. He knows a technique that makes this water flow like milk over the side of the falls, I really need to get him to teach me that.
The same waterfall from the other side. Not big waterfalls like you get up north, but for us down south this is pretty cool.
The trail winds around until you get to this pond. There is a beautiful bridge you can walk out onto and stand looking out over the lily pads and the koi.
It was feeding time when I got there. One of the workers had just sifted food out over the water, so I got to watch the fish eat :).
It was interesting to watch as they came right up out of the water to grab the food off the top of the pond. I didn't realize that koi had whiskers/feelers like catfish.
These cool lily pads are called Water Platters. They originate in the Amazons and are the world's largest lily pads.
Now, these are the kind of lily pads I'm used to!
The Botanical Gardens were beautiful. I'll post a few more pictures another time. I enjoyed it so much, for $45.00 I bought a family annual pass. That way I can go back as many times as I want to :). And take all the pictures I want to.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I've been really bored lately. I decided to ride into town and visit the botanical gardens today.
I had never been there before but had checked out their website and thought it would be a good place to click a few photos. In this post I am going to feature some of the statuary around the gardens. This dragon was in the Entrance Garden. You approach through this section to make your entry into the grounds.
This guy was located just below the spitting dragon. You can see her vaguely in the background. I found at least one more of these gator statues back in the Vinery Garden.
As I wandered along, I found this little angel. I love angel statues and take pictures of them every chance I get. One day I will do a post of nothing but all the angel statues I have found.
She was really beautiful!
I thought this little guy was pretty cool! So much so - I bought one to take home with me. Coloring is a little different. Every frog was different. I saw these at several locations around the gardens.
Also this gator. Pretty cool!
But she is my absolute favorite! The favorite thing I saw at the botanical gardens. I wonder where her feet are?
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Borrowed from YouTube, this video shows former President Bush and Laura Bush welcoming many of our troops back home at the Dallas, Texas airport. These troops were returning from Iraq and Afghanistan on August 11, 2010. It's really sad that President Obama is never seen in this type of role. There is so much he could learn from just watching President Bush and seeing the compassion and pride he has for the American soldiers and the American people.
Here is a link where you can say thank you to President Bush for always putting our troops first. http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147497560
Sunday, August 15, 2010
This week the photo challenge at I ♥ Faces is Got To Wear Shades! My mind immediately went to this photo. It's one of my favorites shots of one of our speech and debate students. I clicked this photo at a speech conference during a simulation our students played. I love his huge over-sized shades! What a hoot he was! So funny! To check out other shades shots, or to enter one of your own, head on over to I ♥ Faces and join in the fun :).
I hope you are having a blessed and wonderful Sunday. As I checked my email and facebook messages this morning, I came across this drawing that a fellow blogger had posted on his facebook. With his permission I am sharing it with you. Many times what he has posted has been the perfect thing for me at that moment. This being one of those. Please go over to his blog and visit for a few minutes. You can check Rick out HERE. And when you are finished visiting Rick's page - go enjoy the rest of your day :).
Saturday, August 14, 2010
A couple months ago when Kali heard that she had been selected as in intern with the Institute For Cultural Communicators, one of her first assignments was to make a 30-60 second video for posting on the ICC website. It would be used to help introduce her as one of the team.
Kali knew right away that she wanted to her video to be of her and Rascal. So, Mark gathered up his video equipment and out to the horses we went.
This is Rascal. Kali's paint. She loves him. He loves her. The End. Oh! Wait! There's more to this story.
Kali knew exactly what she wanted to say. She had 30-60 seconds to explain what ICC and Communicators For Christ is all about, what she learned from her first experience with them, and to convince the watcher of the video that they needed to attend an ICC conference - where she will be one of the instructors.
She nailed it pretty good, actually. I think it took us two takes to get the video the way she wanted it, maybe three.
Of course, Sawyer wanted to be in the video. We tried to explain to him that he wasn't Kali's horse - that Rascal was, thereby making Rascal part of the video. Not Sawyer. He wasn't having any of that - as you can see when you watch the video.
We had also just brought this baby home a few days before. Luna was 15 weeks old - a miniature donkey. She wasn't too excited about all that was going on in the next field - she just wanted a nap.
Too bad Mona wouldn't let her get one.
Kali and Rascal did a great job making the video. Time for some hugs, and brushing, followed by more hugs.
And some gentle words. "You were perfect!"
Then we relaxed a little to check out my swing I got at Tractor Supply. Pretty sweet!
Meanwhile, Mona was still bothering .... I mean waking up the baby!
And as we were leaving, I wondered why Gus hadn't been bothering us. He's usually fairly nosey and wants to be involved in everything.
Hey! Wait! I thought I was going to be a star! You know? The new Mr. Ed? Fury? Black Velvet? Oh! Well, that one just won't work, hehehe!
To check out Kali's video, please click here. It's under her bio.
And, if the ICC/CFC Interns bring their conference tour near where you live, you should definitely check it out!
Hey! Lady! I'm hungry! When are you going to come out here and feed me?
People keep asking what I'm doing with all my time since Kali's gone. Well, this is what I'm doing today. Editing horse shots and heading out to feed this big ol' baby Sawyer :). And, Gus, and Rascal, and Mona, and Hershey, and Luna :). Just in case you wanted to know.