Monday, February 28, 2011

spring things

yea!  it's almost here.
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.
the weather in north florida is warming up...
into the 80's during the day!
it's still nice and cool at enough
to open the windows and get some fresh air. good sleeping weather!

one sign of spring are the Redbud trees...
beautiful bright dark pink buds

and the Flat woods or Chickasaw Plum trees...

...AND the POLLEN!
giving everything a fine's my car window...
(i thought i'd be more creative than the usual 'wash me')

i've been working a lot in the yard....
raking all the fallen leaves out of the flower beds...
and planting a few new plants...begonias, pansies, mums...
and some sunflower seeds!
it's so nice to see a little COLOR!!

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."  
~Margaret Atwood

spring. time to find a mate.
well, not me. i have a mate.
the other evening, just before dusk...
we could hear the familiar cries
coming from the back woods.  screams actually.
pretty scary sounding. like a baby screaming its lungs out. we'd heard this sound before...
last year...and the year before...and when you hear it,
it makes your heart race. it sounds like someone's in trouble.
so we looked it up...thinking it might be an animal...hoping so, anyway. it was.
 the female fox, the vixen. mating. wow!  what a screamer!
after about 5 minutes of listening to her howls...
here she comes...out of the woods and into the backyard.
her tail held high.  yikes!  (i'm surprised she could even walk!)
anyway, she started wandering...and i ran to get the camera.
it's a little dark...already dusk...

and now...for more
(an older picture...but thought it fit nicely here...)  :)
two florida anoles.

well, we found a newly built nest in the weirdest of places!
sam was going to change the oil in my car. he popped the hood.
and there was a...mouse...staring at him...with a surprised look on her face.  
she had built a nest under there...out of  the fire wall  insulation STUFF.
she had piles of crushed up acorns in various locations.
she went into hiding...under the motor soon as she saw sam.
well, at least none of the hoses or wires showed signs of being chewed.
we removed the nest, vacuumed  up the acorn pieces...
and i sprinkled cayenne pepper under there. 
(at least i heard this works to keep squirrels away) sam said...he hopes my car doesn't run HOT now! :)
of course, i couldn't help thinking...uh-oh...what if that little rodent
decides to come visit me INSIDE the car while i'm driving!
forget it...i don't even wanna think about that!

spring also brings out the BIRDS!  they're baaaaack...
 flocks of Robins pecking around the yard all day.

and the Cardinals!

and the Mockingbirds...florida's state bird.
we have a planter dish sitting on top of a tree stump,
that we keep filled with water for the squirrels and birds.
...and just before take off...

this little guy...hmmmm...not exactly sure what he is.
i've looked in my bird book, and online...
i think he's either a Gnat Catcher or a Kinglet.  cute little guy either way.

spring...also means BUTTERFLIES! yeah!
i've been seeing them flutter through the yard...but there's not too much
blooming right, unfortunately i haven't been able to get pictures yet!
BUT i took LOTS of pictures last year...
and if you need a butterfly can search my older posts...  :)

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"  
~Robin Williams

sam spotted this grasshopper. so i ran for the camera...luckily it was still there.
i'm pretty sure it's a Slant Faced Grasshopper...
those big eyes, the slanted face, and the antennae, kind of front & forward on the head.
((added 3-29-11. thanks to Shawn...of...Stokes Animal Library  .
for letting me know that this little guy is a southern green-striped grasshopper.
he may not look green...and he may not look striped...
but they look a lot like the 'slant faced', and they can be solid tan like this one!))

i mentioned in my last post...or maybe the one before that...
the nocturnal Orb Weaver has come out of hibernation...
or suspended animation...or just plain thawed out...
and has started weaving its web just after dusk.
they catch other insects and eat all night long...
only to take down their webs before dawn.  
then they do it all over again the next night.
this Orb Weaver lives in a bell 
on a wind chime 
on the front day.
the other day, he/she didn't take down the whole web.
i'm still  practicing with my night shots. this one's not too bad.
the Orb Weaver.
(i know, they're kinda creepy to many of you...
but just LOOK at those markings! wow!! so cool! he's beautiful!)
(sorry JP! :) )

well...on a more personal note...
i MIGHT have about 4 new clients! yay!
every monday, i drive to palatka...about 50 min see a few clients
who i used to see when massage was part of the Developmental Disabilities waiver.
but...due to cutbacks...a few years ago, 
massage was just ONE of the services eliminated from this waiver!
to make a long story short...because believe me, i can go on and on about this...
as massage is SO beneficial to these people...
with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, Autism...and so on.
anyway...due to the eliminations...IF my clients could afford it...
they continued with their massage therapy...but now had to pay out of pocket.
soooo, i still see some of my clients from the waiver...but now they're private pay.
most live in Group Homes or assisted living in apartments.
the owner of one of the Group Homes i travel to...wants me to see
4...maybe 6 new clients, next time i go to monday!
again, YAY!
so things are starting to look up...for me.
sam's still job hunting 
and it's dwiving him cwazy! (no typo...i just felt like elmer fudd for a sec...)

this week, though, is a little i'll start to work on those deer jawbones.
i was thinking of maybe painting...drawing...on them rather than the pressed flowers.
maybe next time i get on here...i'll have something NEW to show...

in the last picture. one of the Barred Owls.
they have stayed with us all winter.
this is the He-Owl i think!

take it easy. stay cool.
have a safe journey.
laura  :]

"You don't really suppose, do you, 
that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, 
just for your sole benefit."   
~Gandalf to Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien


  1. I congratulate you on the first day of spring!!! wish you to discover smth new every day! >^.^<

  2. Such a lot of food for thought (and for the eyes) in this vernal post!

    Is that really all pollen on the window? I'm beginning to sneeze just looking at that.

    And on the subject of sneezing, I tried sprinkling cayenne pepper to drive out the fat little mice living in my kitchen in Melbourne. The mice stayed and the pepper was transformed into a modern art project by lots of little murine footprints!

  3. Wow great piccys as always! You have so much colour than we do at the moment, still pretty cold here! My flowers in my garden haven't appearred yet :( So much wildlife too! Loving the fact that the mouse made its home in your car, of course if it happened to me I'd probably scream

    Lisa x

  4. Laura, it's always such a joy to visit your blog. You share so many wonderful little stories and creatures and intersperse all of this with delightful quotes and personal commentaries. It ends up being a magical experience, a blissful escape from an urban lifestyle. While we have created a pretty garden, we live on a busy, suburban thoroughfare with continuous sounds of traffic for most of the day. You seem to live in such peaceful surroundings, completely in harmony with nature. My dream lifestyle!

    Today's post is no exception - I've loved everything you've shared here!

  5. I so enjoy visiting to watch the progress of the year that grasshopper how big is it ?...I have posted a Dinosaur skull on my blog today ...I thought of you when I took the pic of that and also a great big dish with a snake in the middle and various fauna and flora on it ...I'm pleased work wise is improving for oyu ...I have still got a computer virus but I am doing some blogging after school to catch up ...have a good week ...x

  6. Hey Girl! You always have so much to say...I LOVE it! All the pix are great ESPECIALLY "the orb weaver"!!!...:)JP

  7. Great post, thanks for sharing your spring with those of us still waiting!! Love all the photos, but I got stuck on the Redbud as I haven't seen one in soooo long.
    When I moved here, I learned the rock or ground squirrels will crawl into the car engine and chew up all the wires. I had never heard such a thing! But it is true-I fell victim finally in 2010.
    Out here they use peppermint oil. It will melt paint or plastic, so if you decide to try it, put it on cotton and stick in between wires or in places it won't come loose.
    Good luck!

  8. Oops-I forgot- will be keeping my fingers crossed for your possible clients!!

  9. Snow V- hey, thanks for taking the time to send a note...i feel kinda guilty...having such great weather...with so much of the states here and around the world...still covered with
    but i'm taking advantage and getting some pretty cool spring pic's! :]

    Snail, yes! that's pollen!! it coats everything right now.>ha! about the mice and the cayenne...hmmmm, i guess i better try what Calling Ravens suggested farther down here...those little mousies :) will eat anything! :]

    Lisa, oh, i know...snow and ice still hanging in so many places! i THINK we're done with the below freezing temps here, but you never know. the weather's been weird all over this year!>as far as the mouse...don't worry...if he visits me while'll prob hear me scream all the way over there!! :]

    Desiree, thanks! we don't live very far outside the city...just a few miles...but it's wooded here...feels secluded. i'd love to be right in the middle of at least 10 acres of woods...with a stream...aaaahhh. but i do love it here, so much to see... :]

    artymess, sorry to hear your computer is still sick :( i'll definitely drop by and see the skull and snake...AND your art!!>the grasshopper...not too big...a prob under 3". :]

    Home in the Hollow, as i was posting the spider...i was thinking of you...that's why i put him near the end! so he wouldn't sneak up on you right at the start! :]

    Calling Ravens, yeah, those Redbuds are sure something to look! >i will try what you suggested...the peppermint fact i have some essential oil (massage) and will definitely do that. last year i had a squirrel living in my car...not under the hood, but IN the car...under the back seat which i kept down so i could fit my table in there! i'm just a critter magnet, what can i say?! >thanks for the good luck on my clients too! :]

    thanks all! i appreciate your thoughts...and stories...will be dropping by YOU real soon too! :]laura

  10. Fellow Redbud lovers rejoice! As always a pleasure to stop by your blog. Feels like I'm there with you.

    You could publish your blog maybe through an eBook. I definitely would buy it. Think seriously about it. All your lovely thoughts and pictures there for others to enjoy!

  11. Hi Laura K,
    Feels good to be out and about visiting again....

    This beautiful Post Journey brought tears of quiet pleasure into my eyes.
    Thank you for filling me yet again with wondrous experiences.
    Reading the Comments from your Friends is also a pleasure.

    Crayzis's suggestion is worth considering and looking into... your Posts are always wondrous.. your whole Site is wondrous, and your Visitors are lovely.... could only result in a very absorbing interesting book.

    Hugs from Magda (Australia)

  12. Hi again LauraK,

    Doesn't the writing from Anonymous look beautiful?
    Wondrous realising that the intricate style of writing can happen with a brush by hand.

    The Redbud Tree's Flowers remind me of the Chinese Cherry Blossom Tree.

    Reason for my return, (which is a delight to be doing,) is while searching information about some Flowers discovered Florida's Flower is the Orange Blossom - Citrus sinensis - legislated to be so in 1909.....
    thought you may find the knowing interesting if not already aware.
    Search one thing and discover a whole lot of other interesting things also.

    Hugs and good wishes from Magda (Australia)

  13. Hi Laura, so very glad to hear that things are looking up in the work department for you.

    Well that was one satisfied little fox sauntering out of the the woods!
    I just love your sense of humour.
    Lovely post, always full of surprises.
    Beautiful spring blossoms and new growth stirring. Always a beautiful time in nature.
    We're coming into Autumn and I look forward to that too. Lots of gardening now that the hot days have gone.

    The spider shots are great too. They're incredible how they spin their fine webs - I'm always in awe.

    Cheerio for now and enjoy your week :D

  14. Love the flowers! It will be while before we see those here. We have plums trees, but no red buds--they are one of my favorites and I will need to make sure I plant some.

  15. Your posts require repeated visits :)
    Back here today, to revisit your latest!

  16. crayzys! YES! i love those redbuds too!! thanks for your kind ALL really know how to lift a person's spirits! i appreciate it very much! thanks! :]

    Magda! as always...thank you TOO for your kind words...i am truly humbled to know that others enjoy wandering through here...i too, love wandering through everyone else's space!! :] and YES, the orange blossom...when the groves are in!! love that scent. i use some citrus scent in my massage lotions. very uplifting & relaxing!! thanks! :]

    Susan! thanks!! yes...all the little things...the blossoms...webs...spiders & foxes...i'm in awe too!! amazing what we might miss if we just walk through too quickly! :]

    Kateri! oh, i know...there's still snow and alot of the country...the world...BUT...spring is on its way...just takes a little bit longer in some places! i love the fact that i can enjoy the warmness & sun here...but go get a little chill...from you...and others! thanks! :]

    Desiree! thanks for the second go around...and the same goes for your blog...your part of the!! what adventures!! :]

    Thanks to everyone for sauntering through...and stopping to rest...leaving a note... :laura

  17. Beautiful post...beautiful blog as well.
    I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation.

  18. 'Khubsoorat tasweerain!!!'

    Hey that means 'beautiful pics!!!' in Urdu :)) so mockingbird is your state bird? Cool. Just out of nowhere, To kill a mockingbird's one of my fav books! Wasn't it beautiful?
    Yaaaaay!! Seeee I told you, things would start working out :D I'm so happy, like someone says up there, fingers crossed for those clients! Just keep on believing in yourself Laura!! :)

  19. Hi Laura my Dear,
    just stepped by your side, once the week and i always be so happy, to hear and see you are in a good mood and everything is o.k. with you and Sam and your wild and calm animal friends.
    In Florida spring is more to see like in Austria spring is starting. I feel so good if sun is lightning my face and flowers are growing again. I'm waiting to collect herbs again and oh Laura my Sammy gets better with the medicine and he can see again-it is a little wonder, but at least he has bad "Nieren", so i have to take care wath he is eating.
    So lovely Laura wish you a very sunny nice weekend and much fun.
    Take care so long

  20. Laura, how great everything looks in your neck of the woods! The birds-oh, that Cardinal. And, really, even tho some of us aren't fond of spiders, that one you have is very interesting...taking down it's web at nite-how cool. The blooms are beautiful and love the car window! Ugh! So glad you're getting new clients-you sound really upbeat and with great quotes! Have a great weekend!

  21. Hey there Susan! many more birds...spri ng is on it's way for sure! still trying to catch a picture of a butterfly...but they're just not into sitting still time...

    haven't seen the orb weaver for the past few nights? i think because it's gotten cooler...
    yeah, hanging in there as far as the home front'll get better...
    and last but not least...the pollen! ugh! it gives a thick yellow coat to everything! aaaaargh!! take care...thanks!!

  22. Amused Medic!! yeah! To Kill a Mockingbird...i LOVE to read!! have read so many books in my's hard to keep all the stories straight! :/ oh, thanks for the LUCK and encouragement! i'm hanging in there...hoping things will get better...keeping my fingers and toes crossed...which makes walking and massaging people a little difficult! :]

    covnitkepr1, thanks so much for stopping by...and taking the time to leave a note!! i appreciate it!! thanks for the kind words...:]

    Doris/Hexenessel, that's my problem...up and down...up and down...good mood...then a little down...oh well...hanging in there. i am SO happy that your Sammy is doing much better!! it's your healing powers for sure!! take care...and c'mon spring!! :]

    thanks everyone!! for all your kind
    seeya! :laura

  23. hello there laura! i love the picture of the little bird just about to take off, there's just something about that moment that makes it so wonderful!!

    your bone art is really amazing, thanks for always generously sharing your yard to us ^_^

    the best of cheers!

    -The Midnight Writer-


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!