Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What I Love About Living in Central Florida

As I sat outside in my Carport Jungle this morning, I was feeling especially grateful that I live in Central Florida.


Although it is hot and humid, since I've lived here all of my life, my body is acclimated  to this type of weather and I love it.  

The gentle breezes that were blowing through were very pleasant and soothing, as were the beautiful butterflies that rode the breezes like a colorful parade. The unknown vines growing on the fence are blooming (one is a bleeding heart vine) and butterflies of all colors and sizes have been gathering around them. I'll have to take a photo of them!  I keep forgetting to take photos!

Ground cover plants that most people buy at the nursery as houseplants are growing wild and begging to be pulled up and planted in containers for use in the Carport Jungle.  Since my serious gardening days are over due to my arthritic knees that have deemed me disabled, light container gardening is all I can do.  But I am so grateful that I can still get my hands dirty and have free plants to play with.

Since we are still without running water, the frequent afternoon storms are welcomed so the plants can get watered properly.  As a result, the plants are green, lush and thriving.

I can say without asking The Captain that he is very grateful for the nearby park he visits frequently that is so beautiful and picturesque, full of nature where he goes fishing.  What I love to do is visit with bread and popcorn and stay entertained feeding the animals who are so happy to see us show up with goodies for them.

As for what I don't like . . . I saw the first snake of this year who took a liking to the Carport Jungle that I had to chase away and haven't seen since.  It was just a black racer, but they still freak me out.  Very early this morning as I sat out there before dawn, I saw the first big, fat, ugly possum of the year run through the side yard and through the fence to the back yard.  I hope the cats chase him away to another yard!  I strongly dislike these animals!  And the mosquitoes are fierce this year . . . gotta start experimenting with the home remedies I'm finding online.

We saw the first huge toad yesterday that kind of scared me at first until I realized what it was.  I heard a loud rustling through the leaves and almost didn't see him since he blends in so well . . . then he jumped.  He's almost as big as a dinner plate and at least 6 inches high.  Very pretty toad!

Although we have been unable to do any maintenance with the plants that are left, they are blooming like crazy and such a joy to see.  Can't wait to hire a yard guy to take care of the Paradise and bring it back to it's former beauty.  My social security checks that I worked so hard for all my life should be coming in shortly!  Also a benefit of being deemed disabled . . . I'd rather have my health though!

The Captain and I will soon be ever so grateful for the Gulf beaches when we have some extra money to spend an occasional weekend retreat on that Gold Coast!  Pier fishing is one of my favorite things . . . especially before dawn. There is nothing like night turning into day on the Gulf of Mexico!  It is simply magical!

Last, but not least, is our membership to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island where it is awesome to get away and feel like we are in a different world. Florida's theme parks are the best!

I've been slacking on photos . . . will catch up soon!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday on the Hillsborough River

River Hills Park in Temple Terrace is one of those hidden fantasy lands that has no admission fee. Its beauty is a testimony to the community and its efforts to provide the simple beauty of the Hillsborough River.  It is best enjoyed just after sunrise.

The squirrels are always looking for a handout.

It was a cool morning along the trail.

Come Join us.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Iceplorations at Busch Gardens

During a recent visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, The Captain and I enjoyed one of the best ice shows I have ever seen in my life that features dazzling, sparkly and colorful Broadway-style costumes from a Tony Award-winning designer. 

Daily performances are held in the Moroccan Palace Theatre.  Check the Busch Gardens website for show times.

Along with the awesome show filled with world-class skaters, more than 75 original costumes, amazing aerial performances, master puppetry and live animal stars, the audience is treated to effects that seem to bring you into the stage production.

Some facts about the production from the Busch Garden website . . .
Iceploration® incorporates 21 live animals including an African ground hornbill, sun conures, Siberian lynx and Siberian huskies. 
Among the award-winning individuals lending their talents to the creation of Iceploration are a Tony Award-winning costume designer and an Olympic gymnast.
Creating the four tons of ice for the Iceploration stage required 10,000 gallons of water.
Iceploration's 77 featured costumes took more than 10 months and nearly 500 yards of fabric to construct.

This video is a sampling of the awesome show . . .