Oct 16 – BOTD – Northern Flicker

Norther Flicker perched on a tree limb in Bozeman, Montana.
Northern Flicker – click the different links – they go to different pages.

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge.

This was day 9 of our vacation and it was our birding day. We saw a lot of birds while on our trip to Yellowstone & Grand Tetons, but none of those days were dedicated to just hiking & birding. On this day, we saw several life birds (will be featured on other bird of the day posts). The Northern Flicker was not a life bird, but this is the best photo of one that we’ve ever gotten. This beautiful bird is part of the woodpecker family & is 11-12 inches in length (28-31 cm).

We were exploring and heading down one of the trails at Glen Lake Rotary Park in Bozeman, MT when we spotted an opening to a very green patch of grass. Turned out to be a public golf course. We walked around the edges where the woods and the pristine maintained lawn was as to not disturb the golfers. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday, so there were players scattered from the tee boxes to the greens & in between.

I circled around this pond observing 9 mallards. I wasn’t paying attention to anything else until I looked up. Frank & I saw this Northern Flicker up in the tree about the same time. This image is the result of Frank’s master photography. I can only take credit for spotting this magnificent species. The Northern Flicker is found in every state in the lower 48 states in the US, Alaska & Canada.

Oct. 16 – Are You Square? Lines & Square Challenge – Waves

Thank you to Becky for hosting this awesome challenge.

For Life of B’s October “Are You Square” Challenge

Tide coming in with waves in a straight line one Little Talbot Island State Park, Florida.
Little Talbot Island, Atlantic Ocean waves

Oct. 15 – Are You Square? Lines & Square Challenge – Beach Sand

Thank you to Becky for hosting this awesome challenge.

For Life of B’s October “Are You Square” Challenge

Ripples in the Sand on the beach at Little Talbot Island.
Ripples in the sand as the tide goes out.
Veins left behind in the sand & shells after the ocean retreated during low tide.
Sand, shells and veins left in the sand by the power of the ocean at low tide.

Oct. 14 – Are You Square? Lines & Square Challenge – Palm Trees

Thank you to Becky for hosting this awesome challenge.

For Life of B’s October “Are You Square” Challenge

Palm Trees damaged by beach erosion and salt water encroachment.
Beach erosion from several hurricanes
Close up of remnants of Palm Trees in a line after several major hurricanes.
Remnants of Palm Trees on Little Talbot Island, Florida

Standing in as straight of a line as they can before the next major storm takes them down.

FOTD – Pretty in Pink – Haiku

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Pretty in Pink
Attracting insects
Pink buds pollinated bloom
Garden is beauty.

Oct 13 – BOTD – Great Blue Heron w/Wood stork

Great Blue Heron & Wood Stork fishing in shallow water at Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, FL.

It’s been a while since I featured a bird of the day. Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge.

You are getting a two-fer today. In the foreground you are seeing the stealthy Great Blue Heron. In the background, you are observing the Wood Stork. Both are avid fisherman…fisherwomen…fisherbirds…well, that’s what they do for a living…they fish! 😉 This photo was taken at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida.

I was inspired to feature the Wood Stork because of a fellow blogger, novelist & emmy award winning journalist da-AL. She posted an Australian White Ibis & I responded to her about how much it looks like the Wood Stork. She had never heard of the Wood Stork. Check out her blog by clicking on the link above.

Living in the Moment – Day 2 – Sept. 14, 2019 – Traffic Jam

We left Mammoth Hot Springs and headed into the heart of Yellowstone. If you missed that blog about the hot springs, click here and see my obsession with the cone.

Today we had planned to visit Lamar Valley, a must see for anyone visiting the park. One of the things to remember when visiting Yellowstone is that you are on the park’s schedule. This is truly a wild place and you have to adapt yourself to any and all things that occur in the natural world. That being said, we were hungry and anxious to get into the valley and cook a delicious lunch. Good thing we had some snacks to stave our hunger pangs.

We came through the park from the North Entrance outside of Garner, MT.

We’re heading down the road enjoying the beauty and wonder of this majestic park when all of a sudden the traffic stops. Traffic jams in a large city or even your small town can be a nuisance & cause stress & anxiety. Getting in a traffic jam in the middle of Yellowstone is quite something else. Granted, there were roads under construction in the park and we chose to avoid those areas. It’s a great idea to check with the Park Ranger when you enter the park to get the 411 on what’s going on with road crews. We had been stopped for several minutes and were very hungry at this point. We thought of every possible scenario as to why traffic was stopped when we started to move slowly forward. We were creeping, but we were not moving much. As the cars creeped around the corner on the downslope of a hill, traffic stopped again and we could finally see why.

Bison crossing the roadway in Yellowstone National Park
Just the beginning of the crossing.

What a site! This traffic jam wasn’t due to road repairs or an accident. Nope, this was the boss of the plains! BISON HAVE THE RIGHT-A-WAY! PERIOD! I was in Buffalo Heaven. Couldn’t believe it! Seeing bison and getting a nice shot of one (or a few) was on our bucket list for this park and this crossing gave us our first “up close and personal” look. And wow….what a look! These majestic animals grazed pass us less than 8 feet from where I sat in the minivan.

When travelling, often times, you will see a yellow diamond shaped sign that has an animal on it (Deer or Bison for example) with the large words “CROSSING” on them. You almost never see anything. Like, they are going to take that exact path at that moment like a traffic cop stopping you right then. Animals don’t work that way, but it is good to be aware so we don’t smash our car.

In Yellowstone, you always have to be aware of all wild creatures as they don’t follow the same traffic laws as us humans. Know the signs are everywhere, even when there isn’t a yellow diamond reminding you of such things. The bison just step out onto the road with their entire herd in tow. This wasn’t our only bison crossing while visiting the park on our 10 day vacation. It is quite common & thrilling each & every time. But your first time…..well, I’ll just leave it at that.

They strolled right next to me as I sat in the minivan with my window rolled down.
The lone straggler.
Bison moving off the roadway after 30 minute delay in Yellowstone National Park.
Took about 30 minutes for them to get passed our vehicle.

Best advise for visiting Yellowstone National Park is to have a loose schedule because there will be delays from time to time. Enjoy those remarkable moments that may have you running a little late. Even if you’re hungry and late for lunch. After all, you are on vacation, so soak it all in & enjoy what nature has to offer. Today was the perfect example that this amazing park belongs to the animals that live there and we were lucky to have them share it with us. Open your eyes and feel the magic in whatever it is you are doing!

“Pancho & Lefty” by Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with Drifter/Loner/Transient/Vagabond Songs. Pancho & Lefty was written by Townes Van Zandt who passed away at the early age of 52 in 1997 from cardiac arrythimia caused by years of health problems stemming from substance abuse. His story is interesting & you can read more by clicking the link. Van Zandt first recorded Pancho & Lefty in 1972 on his album “The Late Great Townes Van Zandt”. Ironic, don’t you think?!?

Townes Van Zandt, country music songwriter
Townes Van Zandt

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard took Pancho & Lefty to #1 on the Country charts in 1983. In the year that CMT was all videos…all the time. Watch carefully & you will see Van Zandt appear in the video.

The song & video portrays Pancho, a Mexican bandit & drifter who is betrayed by his partner Lefty. Lefty was paid off by the Mexican federales to kill him. Van Zandt never ruled out that this song was based on Pancho Villa, a well known Mexican revolutionary general who led a raid against a small US-Mexico border town in 1916, but met resistance by the US Government, causing Villa to flee from capture.

Pancho & Lefty
Willie Nelson
Living on the road my friend was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron and your breath's as hard as kerosene
You weren't your mama's only boy but her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye and sank into your dreams
Poncho was a bandit boy, his horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to feel
Poncho met his match you know on the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dyin' words ah but that's the way it goes
All the Federales say they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away out of kindness I suppose
Lefty he can't sing the blues all night long the way he used to
The dust that Poncho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth
Day they laid poor Poncho low Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go there ain't nobody knows
All the Federales say they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away out of kindness I suppose
The poets tell how Poncho fell and Lefty's living in a cheap hotel
The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold and so the story ends we're told
Poncho needs your prayers it's true but save a few for Lefty too
He only did what he had to do and now he's growing old
They only let him go so long out of kindness I suppose
A few great Federales say could've had him any day
They only let him go so long out of kindness I suppose

Source: Musixmatch

SoCS – Ground Hog

Ground Hog in Bozeman, MT

Linda Hill has prompted us with the word “ground” this week. This post is part of SoCS: This ground hog messed with me for over 20 minutes. Playing peek-a-boo. I’d raise my camera & he would duck back into his hole. I’d lower my camera in disappointment. I finally got a decent one after all my patience (or lack there of). Photographed in Bozeman, MT on our last day of vacation.

Here are the rules if you would like to participate:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Living in the Moment – Day 2 – Sept. 14, 2019 – Mammoth Hot Springs

Elk cow & calf lounging on the grounds of the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs.
The elk cow & calf were just chillin’ outside the visitor center.

On our first day visiting Yellowstone National Park, we entered from the North Entrance just outside Gardner, MT. One of the stops on our list of “must sees” was Mammoth Hot Springs. We stopped at the Albright Visitor Center upon arrival into the area. Great restrooms, but pretty much standing room only in the entire building. We didn’t stay to see all the history that this beautiful landmark had to offer. Next time, I would love to tour the historic Fort Yellowstone where the US Army kept order from poachers, offered medical care, fought fires & managed wildlife. Speaking of wildlife, there were at least 80 elk entwined between the buildings once known as the barracks. We were on a tight schedule and just wanted to be outside. Will have to save the history for another trip.

We drove over to the hot springs area where we found more people. Frank dropped me off to go find a parking space. I began to explore. I was in awe of the beauty. It’s easy to understand why so many of the geothermal sites in the park are so crowded. It’s not just the beauty, but the uniqueness and raw power that is so mesmerizing. The Liberty Cap was one of the features that caught my eye, standing 40 feet in height. Not sure why, but it had me frozen there for a while enthralled. How did it get there & how long had it been in that spot? Click on the link to find out a little history about this amazing limestone tower.

Liberty Cap - A dormant hot spring cone
Boardwalk leading to Palette Springs

I fought the crowds to get up to the end of this boardwalk (above) where the elk were lying on the warm ground in the sulfur ash and salt (below). It looks like they’re relaxing in the snow but they aren’t. Just another example of the diversity of this volcanic landscape. This area is known as Palette Springs.

Elk lying in the sun atop the sulfur ash left behind from the hot spring.

The sun was shining brightly and the temperature rose into the low 80’s. This was the warmest spot we explored in Yellowstone. It got so warm, the elk decided to take refuge behind Liberty Cap and the small amount of shade it provided. See the video below. They are so accustomed to people being in the area, they walk around as if they are oblivious to the interlopers all around them. In fact, the crowds bothered us more than they did these gentle animals. We found all of the geyser basins and geothermal areas in the park to be like going to an amusement park & fighting to get in line for a roller coaster.

Elk seeking refuge in the shade.
Lisa selfie with Liberty Cap

Apparently, I couldn’t get enough of the cone. I just had to take a selfie in honor of it. We walked around and took in some other views throughout the boardwalks on our way back to the van, intrigued to see the environment we’d only experienced in pictures and on TV. One of the aspects of Yellowstone that can’t be overstated is how much more impressive the park is in person. The beauty speaks for itself, but the power of all your senses come to life with all the sounds and smells. It’s a true primordial landscape everyone should experience at least once.

Elk cow lounging in the shade from the rising temperatures.

On our long walk back to our vehicle, we met up with this elk cow relaxing in the shade, happy to be out of the sun and to poise for a picture. Near the cow, we observed two American Robins & a Cedar Waxwing feeding on berries and traveling through the trees together. An appropriate end to our first hike in America’s first National Park. Next stop….the wilderness!

FOTD – Wildflower- Haiku

Purple Wildflower located in Targhee Mountains about 8,500 ft elevation.

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Purple Mountain Wildflower

Wild in the mountains
Flourish with others like me
Admire my brilliance.

Living in the Moment – Day 1 – Sept. 13, 2019

Highway 90 heading east towards Livingston with the mountains in the background & a train coming around the bend.
Traveling from Bozeman to Emigrant, MT

Arriving in the town of Belgrade, Montana is like being in another world. Belgrade hosts the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. Compared to Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago & even Jacksonville, it is quaint with views of mountains in every direction. There are only 7 gates & 3 baggage claim check points. You can’t really get lost in it.

If you hadn’t read my first blog on the flight from Jacksonville, we were lucky enough to take this trip flying first class on American Airlines. What is great about flying first class is you are the first to board & the first to debark. We got our luggage, rental car (minivan) from Hertz & headed out on our adventure. The photo above made us smile and feel like we were in the west, with the train coming around the mountain (on the left) & perfect weather. Had me singing “She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes”.

Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast Guest Cabin sign
Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast in Emigrant, MT

We had done some shopping in Bozeman and picked up supplies before heading to our first destination, Paradise Gateway in Emigrant, MT. This bed & breakfast is tucked away in the mountains & sits right on the Yellowstone River. We stayed in the Wildflower Room the first 3 nights in the main house & the tiny house the last night. The tiny house is located a few yards away from the main house overlooking the Yellowstone River. See the 3rd photo below. Pete & Carol Reed are exceptional hosts. Pete has an encyclopedic knowledge about the area including Yellowstone, and Carol makes a delicious breakfast.

Decorative Railroad Crossing sign in the gardens at Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast
Decorative RR Crossing sign with a birdhouse.
Mountains & foothills in Montana with bird feeders in the foreground
View of winding road at Paradise Gateway in the late afternoon.
Fire Pit with the tiny house in the background on the property of Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast in Emigrant, Montana
Fire pit at Paradise Gateway. Tiny house in the background.

Once we unloaded the necessary luggage into our room. We walked around the grounds of the bed & breakfast, taking in the majestic views surrounding us, excited about staying in such a beautiful place and anticipating what was to come. Daylight was dwindling and we were too excited to hang out at the B&B. We found Pete and asked him where he thought we should go to see something special before it got dark. He smiled, gave us detailed instructions and said with confidence “you should see some elk there”, pointing to a spot on a hand drawn map. We headed down the road to look for birds & elk.

Ferruginous Hawk with prey in its talons

Driving down the highway, I spotted a bird of prey flying over the roadway just ahead of us. When we pulled over, we saw there were two birds feigning, swooping and scoping out the alfalfa field below. They were hunting and flew in to roost in a large tree overlooking the field. These hawks were huge. Before getting a close look at them through the binoculars, we thought they might be Golden Eagles. They were Ferruginous Hawks, an adult and an older juvenile. Excellent, two birds we definitely wouldn’t see in FL. We think that it was a parent teaching the younger bird to hunt. We got a photo of the younger one (above) which had something in its talons. Way to go young one!

Brilliant sunset over the mountains in Montana.  Hues of pink, purple and blue lit up the sky
Perfect sunset!

Light was waning now and we had to find the elk to make the day complete. As we continued down our patch of the unknown, we found the elk in a field way in the distance from the highway. They were right where Pete said they would be. In the days that followed, whenever Pete told us where to find something specific, we could dang sure set our GPS to it.

On our first night, we counted 60 head of elk cows & calves just from what we could see with our binoculars. We could here the bull bugling to his cows, but we couldn’t see him. Then as the light was giving way to darkness…there he was…tucked up against the trees next to his harem. No photos this evening as the herd was too far away & the light was dimming quickly.

Frank & Lisa enjoying the sunset over the mountains near Emigrant, Montana

We drove a bit more and pulled off in a wilderness area along the Yellowstone River, where we would eventually launch our kayak a couple of days later. We watched our first Montana sunset as the temperature began to drop into the 50’s. That’s 50 F/10 C. It was quite invigorating since we had left Florida in the upper 90 F/32 C. Tired and happy, we headed back to Paradise Gateway excited about what tomorrow would bring.

Milestone – We thank you!

Yesterday, we hit 1000 likes! For part-timers, Frank & I were pretty stoked. Thank you to all who have supported our ramblings for the past few months! Look forward to seeing you soon! We love what you are doing!

Love to all!

Mountain Bluebird on Fence

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge. Entry also for Becky’s Life Of B “Are You Square” October challenge Lines/Squares.

Mountain Bluebird sitting on the fence post off the Old Yellowstone Highway in Montana. It was really skittish & was lucky to get a shot at all. I found it interesting that the fences are made of round logs set in intersecting lines. So rugged looking!

“Convoy” by C.W. McCall – Song Lyric Sunday – Trucks

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with Bus/Truck/Lorry Songs. Talk about an interesting song that gave truckers a true identity. Written by Bill Fries & Chip Davis and performed by C.W. McCall, Convoy reached #1 on both the US country & pop charts in 1975 & hit #1 on the Canada RPM top singles chart in January 1976. Rolling Stones Magazine has listed “Convoy” at 98th of its 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. This song led to an onslaught of Americana trucking movies. Smokey and the Bandit leading the way in 1977. “Convoy” was turned into an action film staring Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw & Ernest Borgnine in 1978. Truck driving Pop Culture and CB radios in America had hit an all time high.

This was a household song for my family. It almost became an anthem in a way. My uncle & my future step-dad drove a truck. Eighteen wheelers were constantly passing by my grand-parents house located in the country in Texas. Whether they were on their way to pick up a load or heading back to town with a full load, it was an exciting part of our day. As soon as we heard them coming a mile up the road, my cousins & I would run towards the cattle guard before they got to the homestead. The cattle guard was located next to the main road to keep the cows on the property. It also served as a thru-way allowing cars to enter the driveway. Otherwise, we’d be trapped.

With our arms in an “L” shape like flexing your muscle and fists clinched, we began our motion “up and down” for the driver to blow his horn. Sometimes, they ignored us, but other times they blew it not once, but 2 or 3 times! Wow! What a rush for a bunch of 10 & 11 year olds. We could recognize a Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner or Mack as soon as they cleared the hilly pavement. Breaker 1-9, anybody there? This here is the Firefly! That was the call name that I gave myself.

Was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
In a Kenworth pullin' logs
Cab-over Pete with a reefer on
And a Jimmy haulin' hogs
We is headin' for bear on I-one-oh
'Bout a mile outta Shaky Town
I says, "Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck.
"And I'm about to put the hammer down."
'Cause we got a little convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a little convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.
By the time we got into Tulsa Town,
We had eighty-five trucks in all.
But they's a roadblock up on the cloverleaf,
And them bears was wall-to-wall.
Yeah, them smokies is thick as bugs on a bumper;
They even had a bear in the air!
I says, "Callin' all trucks, this here's the Duck.
"We about to go a-huntin' bear."
'Cause we got a little convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a little convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.
Well, we rolled up Interstate 44
Like a rocket sled on rails.
We tore up all of our swindle sheets,
And left 'em settin' on the scales.
By the time we hit that Chi-town,
Them bears was a-gettin' smart:
They'd brought up some reinforcements
From the Illinois National Guard.
There's armored cars, and tanks, and jeeps,
And rigs of ev'ry size.
Yeah, them chicken coops was full'a bears
And choppers filled the skies.
Well, we shot the line and we went for broke
With a thousand screamin' trucks
An' eleven long-haired Friends a' Jesus
In a chartreuse micra-bus.
Well, we laid a strip for the Jersey shore
And prepared to cross the line
I could see the bridge was lined with bears
But I didn't have a dog-goned dime.
I says, "Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck.
"We just ain't a-gonna pay no toll."
So we crashed the gate doing ninety-eight
I says "Let them truckers roll, 10-4."
'Cause we got a little convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a little convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Chip Davis / William Fries
Convoy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Sides of Things

Cee’s Black & White Challenge – Sides of Things

Shrimp Boat just offshore taken from Ft. Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach, FL
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Great Blue Heron

The Journey’s Start – Sept 13, 2019

Sunrise over Georgia looking out at the Atlantic from an Airplane
Just after take-off

After packing for a month in anticipation of our 10-day trip to Montana, Wyoming & Idaho, the day finally came to begin our journey. We got ourselves out of bed at 3 am, after a few hours of restless sleep. Too excited to sleep, but managed a few winks. Everything was completely packed except a few items that were needed to start our day. I hurriedly ate a bowl of cereal, put on make up (I rarely wear makeup), curled my hair, got dressed, brushed my teeth & packed it all up into the suitcase. Meanwhile, Frank was doing the same, plus loading the car.

We left for the airport at at 4:15 am. Our flight was at 7 am. We parked the car in a covered lot, loaded the luggage onto the tram and headed to the airport. Filled with excitement, we arrived, checked all 4 bags. Yes, I said 4 bags. 1 bag had the inflatable Sea Eagle Kayak. 1 bag had the accessories: seats, paddles, life vests, camp table, backpack stove, pots and pans, kitchen utensils and other items for our outdoor needs. We were not camping overnight, but wanted to do what we wanted, when we wanted while exploring Yellowstone National Park & Grand Tetons National Park. The other 2 pieces of luggage had our clothes & personal items. Each bag weighed over 50 pounds and one was over 60. Yep we were packed for bear, literally. Not to mention bison, elk, antelope, wolves, coyotes, big horn sheep, moose, beaver, otters, all other mammals and any birds that happened our way.

We got through security pretty quickly and headed to the gate. It was only a short wait & we began boarding. We were one of the first to board as we were flying First Class. Knowing that we wanted to bring the kayak with us, the extra amount it would cost to bring those bags, we could almost purchase a priority ticket. In this case, it only cost us $22. We had earned enough miles on our credit card to cover it. You can do it to, more on how in a future post

All settled into our seat, getting pampered by the flight attendant, my heart was just about to beat out of my chest in anticipation to get off the ground. Not because I’m a nervous flyer (which I’m not), but because I wanted to hurry up and get to Bozeman, Montana. Get this Party started!

Sunrise after taking off from Jacksonville, Florida taken from the seat of the airplane.

Just before take-off, you could start to see a shimmer of light on the horizon. The dark morning when we left the house was slowly turning like a butterfly from its cocoon. As the plane lifted itself into the sky high above, my heart skipped a beat or two with the true beginning of the day as the sun peaked slightly from cover. I had the window seat leaving Jacksonville, Florida. Frank really wanted the window seat when we arrived in Bozeman and I agreed. Making my hubby happy, makes me happy. I can’t say I was disappointed because the sunrise on this morning was spectacular. I took 10 photos & 10 videos between take-off & leveling off to 34,000 ft. These photos were just a sampling of what occurred over the first 10 minutes of our flight.

The Southeast coast is a beautiful sight from the air especially during a sunrise or sunset. The meandering waterways are dimly lit and stand out against the dark coastal canopy with Atlantic in the backdrop. We had the ocean, the rivers the salt marsh and the intracoastal waterway all laid out in front of us. It was magnificent.

Brilliant sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean with blue, pink, purple, yellow & orange hues of color taken from the airplane.

The clouds continued to change the pattern of the sun & it’s rays. We were flying over land but could still see the ocean in the back drop. By this time we had been smiling and giggling so much my cheeks began to hurt. Giddy would be an understatement.

Clouds float by while the sun peaks out among them in hues of purple, blue, yellow and orange.

The world was waking up before our eyes. The sun rising at its pace with the acceleration of a jet plane and we were blessed with this awesomeness!

Rays of the sun reflect through the clouds high in the sky while on a jet plane.

We started planning this trip in February. 7 months later, God blessed us with a smile giving us the most brilliant sunrise of purple, pink, bright yellow & orange skies. As a graphic artist, I just wanted to grab a paintbrush & put it on canvas. Oh yeah, I don’t paint very well. Thank goodness for my I-phone to capture this wondrous moment. This seemed to be a way of God saying…enjoy your time off and the magic of the mountains to which your are headed. In my heart, plus I cheated by looking at the weather forecast, I knew our days would be as close to perfection as you could get. Our Eyes were Open and I hope whatever you Open Your Eyes to in the future, will give you the same sense of excitement!

FOTD – Daisy – Haiku

Daisy being pollinated by a fly
Take oh mighty fly
Spread my goodness to others
Bloom another day

“City of New Orleans” – Arlo Guthrie

Song Lyric Sunday

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with Train Songs. City of New Orleans was written by Steve Goodman in 1970 while traveling with his new wife to meet her grandmother. The train ride was from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central line and was called the City of New Orleans. Arlo Guthrie recorded it in 1972 on his album Hobo’s Lullaby. It reached #4 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart & #18 on the Hot 100 chart.

Willie Nelson recorded City of New Orleans in 1984 which reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot Country Sings chart & the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. Willie’s version earned Steve Goodman a Grammy Award for Best Country Song at the 27th Grammy Awards in 1985. The video below is from a Live at Farm Aid Concert in 1985 featuring Arlo Guthrie & Dottie West.

The music video tribute linked here was put together by YouTuber AK Dian. Other than hopping a train when I was 15, I can’t say I know a lot about trains except they are loud, a pain when they are switching tracks while blocking an intersection & something I want to ride some day through the mountains.

Music Video Tribute by AK Dian
City of New Orleans
Riding on the city of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulled out at Kankakee
And rolls along past houses, farms and fields
Passin' trains that have no names
And freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles
Good morning, America
How are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son
I'm the train they call the city of New Orleans
And I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done
Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car
Penny a point ain't no one keepin' score
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumblin' 'neath the floor
And the sons of Pullman Porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpet made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep
Are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rail is all they feel
Good morning, America
How are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son
I'm the train they call the city of New Orleans
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done
Nighttime on the city of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Half way home, we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea
But all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings his songs again
The passengers will please refrain
This train has got the disappearing railroad blues
Good morning, America
How are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son
I'm the train they call the city of New Orleans
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Steve Goodman
City of New Orleans lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Betrayal – Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #5 – September 28, 2019

Tell that Floozy to stop calling!!!

Chasing a Magpie – #writephoto

Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt – Magpie

First of all, I want to thank Sue Vincent for this writing prompt. It was like it was meant to be as I was already formulating my “Chasing a Magpie” story while on vacation the last couple of weeks. Sue, it was like you were reading my mind.

For those of you who have been following me the past few months, know that I post at least 3-5 times a week. But the last two weeks, I went completely dark, except for a few scheduled posts. I posted a late Sunday Song Lyric upon my return from a wondrous vacation in Montana, Wyoming & Idaho. (More to come on that in future posts). I was unable to submit anything on my blog as I had next to no cell service or internet connection on our trips through Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Grand Targhee. The R&R was well received & extremely needed.

Prior to our trip, I was anxious to see a Magpie. I had never seen one before & was afraid I wouldn’t have a chance to. Certainly, a life bird for both of us and as birders, it was going to be a highlight for sure.

Within the first hour of landing in Bozeman, Montana, we retrieved our luggage, picked up the rental car (a minivan) & headed into town for supplies. Right there in the parking lot of REI, 2 magpies flew gracefully across and landed in a tree within 50 yards of where we had parked. I was beyond excited. Just as I got my camera up, they flew off. I thought to myself, “well, I’ve got 10 days to get a really nice shot of one. NO big deal”.

Many opportunities & days later, I still hadn’t gotten a good shot. And they were everywhere we went! It was like they knew I wanted the photo, and like a teasing toddler, ran away with their tongues sticking out at me, taunting me to come closer & daring me to raise my camera in their direction. Every time….just as I grabbed the camera to even think about taking a shot, they flew off or into cover never to come out again. At least not until I left the area. Ugh!

After 9 days of amazing views, wonderful food, miles & miles of hiking, over 2000 amazing photos & videos, plus many close encounters with the Magpie, still no good shots. The day before we left, hubby & I were at Story Mill Community Park back in Bozeman. Sitting in the van, I heard 2 of them. They were calling to each other, back & forth across the parking lot. My heart started pounding with excitement. The squawking was coming closer to our location as I stayed in the van, waiting & watching. I knew they were close, but was unable to see my nemesis. Finally one showed itself, landing on top of the recreation center behind us. I knew I had him now! Not wanting to be the harbinger here, I slowly opened the van door, stepped out, pivoted slowly & planted my camera on my face & started shooting. The results are below. My camera was showing precision shots. Auto focus was clean & clear. Got it! Click….click….click! OK, don’t got it! All blur! WTF? I thought something was wrong with my camera. I don’t take blurry photos. Especially of birds. It was a curse. The Magpie cursed my camera. Below is a slideshow of the results.

For good measure & to check my settings, I decided to take one more photo after my disappointment to make sure my camera was ok. The shot was flawless. See for yourself. This was not me! This was not my camera! This was the Magpie placing a bewitching spell upon me & my camera. The only logical explanation is the illogical one!

Perfectly clear! Everything in focus! Nice fall colors though.

All in all, we probably saw over 50 of them in 10 days. I suppose another trip is in order to once again chase my nemesis….the Magpie. I will get you my pretty and your little friends too!

FOTD – Sept 23 – Plumbego


Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Life as a Plumbego
Butterflies love me
hardy, I am...in blue purple
blooms best in summer

FOTD – Sept 16 – Hibiscus

Pink Hibiscus

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Tropical Grace
By day, I'm alive
I fade away at darkness
Enjoy me today.

WWE – Ocklawaha, Florida Sept. 10

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s Water Water Everywhere (WWE) challenge.

Moss Bluff Lock & Dam, Ocala National Forest, Florida
Moss Bluff Lock & Dam – Ocala National Forest

Made a stop here on my trip from Tampa back to Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago. Moss Bluff Lock & Dam is just outside of Ocklawaha, Florida in the middle of nowhere. Amenities at the dam are a boat ramp, picnic tables & restrooms (beware of biting insects in the summertime). Great place to throw in a line, but a fishing license is required.

I was by myself on this trip. I stopped to use the ladies room. Walked into the building, really needing to go. Nope, some of the biggest mosquitoes I’ve ever seen in swarms. Turned right around and walked quickly out. They would have chewed my butt up! Decided I didn’t need to go that bad after all.

I wondered over to the dock. Of course, I left my camera in the car. Walked back to the car, retrieved my Nikon so I could capture these images to share. The view off the dock of the Ocklawaha River was spectacular.

Lily Pads in the Ocklawaha River

Weekly Song Challenge Round 30

Laura, of “Lauravent69”, has started the week off with her fantastic series, Weekly Song Challenge.  


Copy rules and add to your own post, pinging back to this post.
Post music videos for your answers to the musical questions.
Tag two people to participate!

1. Post a video of a song that is about getting spiffied up.

2. Post a video of a song that makes you cry for no particular reason.

3. Post a video of a song that is a great work out song.

How do you tag people? This was fun! Happy “almost” Tuesday! Thanks Beckie for turning me on to this!

FOTD – Sept 9 – Purple Orchid

Purple Orchid Flower

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Orchid Innocence

Royal, I am queen
my pedals reflect respect
humbled by beauty.

“Silver Wings” – Merle Haggard

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with Bird/Fly/Sky/Wing. Silver Wings, released in 1969, could be taken as a heartbreak song, but I was left behind because of military orders when my children were small. I want to dedicate this blog to all the men & women in uniform who have to leave their loved ones to do the job they signed up to do! This song is for those family members who watch them take off on the next airplane flight.

I was so excited to see this prompt, Jim. Thank you! I knew a couple of weeks ago when I saw it on your list that this would be the song selection for me. One of my all time favorite songs by Merle Haggard, much less ever! Merle had a rough life, self-inflicted mostly, but was quite the singer & songwriter.

Interesting fact: Merle passed away on his birthday at the age of 79 in 2016. It was a sad day! Learn more interesting facts here.

Chris Stapleton – Live at Berkeley – April 23, 2016

Silver wings
Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines
Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away
And leaving me lonely
Silver wings
Slowly fading out of sight
Don't leave me, I cried
Don't take that airplane ride
But you locked me out of your mind
And left me standing here behind
Silver wings
Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines
Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away
And leaving me lonely
Silver wings
Slowly fading out of sight
Silver wings
Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines
Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away
And leaving me lonely
Silver wings
Slowly fading out of sight
Slowly fading out of sight
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Merle Haggard
Silver Wings lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

#6WSP – Hope

pedals of a flower spread hope.

If you would like to participate in this awesome Story Prompt brought to us by Shweta Suresh, the information is below.

Welcome to Week #2 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt. Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series.

Prompt for Week #2 (September 7, 2019 – September 13, 2019)


Click here for the 6WSP image.

I will do a round-up post each Friday. So please be sure to participate before time runs out!

I can’t wait to read your stories. 😀 I hope that you’ll be back for next week’s Six Word Story Prompt. 🙂

Have fun! Thank you for participating. Until next week, folks!

P.S: If you have any doubts/suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The comments section is all yours!

P.P.S: Use the tag 6WSP and don’t forget to pingback to this post!

Word of the Day #1 – Advice

If you would like to participate click Word of the Day - Advice.
Word of the Day - Advice

What happens in Vegas…

It’s a Van….It’s a Yacht…It’s a, well…I’m not sure!

What happens in Vegas….Stays in Vegas! I don’t think so! When I saw Kammie’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge, I knew I had to bring out these photos. We saw many things in Vegas, but this was certainly the oddest. Made us look twice, turn around in the rental car & take some pics.

Lando Vanyachten

When you put Las Vegas in a sentence, the things that come to mind are Hotels, Casinos, Shows, Freaks, Lights, Elvis….but how about a traveling Lando Vanyachten? At least it has AC and if you notice closely, it still has the registration numbers on the boat part of this interestingly piece of transportation.

WWE – Sister’s Creek

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s Water Water Everywhere (WWE) challenge. Jim King Park and Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek.

Sister’s Creek – Jim King Boat Ramp Area

Video I shot during Hurricane Dorian. Me & hubby got bored at home. This was low tide. Imagine if it had been high tide & the storm surge was being pushed by the winds that we were experiencing. The parking lot would have been totally under water. I was tucked in behind a bush with a little protection. It’s amazing to me that the Canada Geese are hardy enough to find food in a puddle of water in the parking lot during a hurricane. Holy goose brains, Batman!

Off of Hecksher Drive (AIA)

WWE – American Beach

American Beach on Amelia Island Florida

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s Water Water Everywhere (WWE) challenge.

Labor Day – 2019

Waves came in just ahead of Hurricane Dorian at American Beach on Amelia Island this Labor Day. All the Florida State Parks were closed between Jacksonville & Fernandina Beach. NO BBQ…NO BOATS…NO ACTIVITY! HAPPY LABOR DAY!

So, we headed to Amelia Island & found that Burney Park next to historic American Beach was open. There were a few humans, an assortment of birds & a gopher tortoise (whom I named Dorian). The storm had not cleared the Bahamas at the time the photo & video were taken. The rough surf was not a product of any bands coming from the storm but a strong Northeast push that seemed to follow the rotation of the storm. It’s always amazing how everything in nature is so connected and how this push of clouds and wind seemed to be part of a storm 5oo miles away. It was quite breezy & absolutely beautiful.

The history of American Beach is summarized on the Florida Heritage Landmark sign below. After reading the landmark below, please look up the history of American Beach. It’s a great read and a true testament to the American Spirit. The fight for freedom and equality in the Jim Crow era of our history is all here. To be able to enjoy nature and this historic wonderful beach as a diversified nation is a true treasure. There’s something spiritual about walking where great American history took place and is still alive today. American Beach was added to the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places in 2002.

Image courtesy of Amc333 – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11982670

One-Liner Wednesday – #1

Frustrated – Hurricane Dorian

Dock at Sister’s Creek overlooking the flooded salt marsh at low tide.

Hurricane Dorian finally arrived near Jacksonville this afternoon after what seems like a decade since we began preparation for this once Category 5 storm almost 2 weeks ago.

#One-Liner Wednesday

My one-liner is above. Now, I shall elaborate. The anticipation for this slow moving storm has been quite frustrating to say the least. The on-again, off-again forecast has peaked our anxiety. Our hearts go out to the residence of the Bahamas as the islands have been forever changed. Praying the death toll stays doesn’t rise. Jacksonville dodged a bullet today, but our city leaders did a great job with preparedness. We were ready for whatever Dorian was going to bring.

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – Sept 4

Connecting Spirit

I long to see you
oh holy isle of Scotland
traced back to my roots.

FOWC – Instigate

American Alligator vs. Eared Grebe

Don’t Mess with a Resting Gator

Oscar the alligator had just finished a long swim, gorging on fish all morning and was ready for a long siesta.  He crawled up on a branch, ready to close his eyes when he heard The Grebes approach.  "Ugh!"

"I'm going to move in to get a better look" said Papa Grebe.

"I think I'll just stay over here behind the bush, thank you very much. You are out of your mind, picking a fight with Oscar today", Mama Grebe's voice was shaken.

"Oh don't worry, he's just a lump on a log. He's not going to hurt me."
"Hey Oscar, over here! It's me Papa Grebe swimming over to see you".

"I wouldn't do it if I were you! He's a lump on a log that will have you for dessert!", Mama Grebe moaned.

As Papa Grebe approached, Oscar turned his head with irritation in his eye. He had just eaten and wanted to be left alone. Papa Grebe inched closer. Tempting fate as he was so prone to do.

As seconds, turned into minutes, Oscar became angry. He'd had enough. He didn't want to harm Papa Grebe, but he needed to be taught a lesson. Not that it would do any good for the future, but living in the moment, it was a good idea.

Oscar barred his teeth & with the strength he had left, whipped around at Papa Grebe with a loud SNAP! Papa Grebe felt the air forced from Oscars chops, as the breathe pushed him backwards.

"Okay, okay....I get it. I'm going but just so you know, you don't scare me", Papa Grebe shouted.

"Come on Mama, let's go."

"See ya next week Oscar", Papa Grebe shouted over his shoulder.

"Not if I eat you first...."
Back away from the 10 ft Gator!

Sept 4 – BOTD – American Avocet

American Avocet feeding at a pond at Henderson Birding Preserve in Henderson, Nevada.
American Avocet

The American Avocet is a large wading bird measuring 16-20 inches with a 27-30 inch wingspan. As observed in this photo, they spend a great deal of time foraging in mud flats and shallow water for crustaceans and insects. Their population seems to be stable with a bit of an upswing. Their migration takes them to almost every state in the lower 48 states in the US. While we captured the behavior of these & others on this day in the west, we are blessed by their presents in Florida during the winter months.

They are distinct with their upturned bill and their “V” shaped black & white wings. These are two breeding adults as noted by the deep orange feathered head. Watching these two strut around with their blue legs reminded me of two ballerinas prancing on stage in blue-gray leotards.

Sept 3 – BOTD – Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge.

The Snowy Egret is a smaller white egret compared to the Great Egret. It is distinct by its black legs & bright yellow feet. This egret moves with grace when stalking its next meal. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will see them 1/2 fly & 1/2 run across the water. What a site!

Their plumage flares in a beautiful array which caused The Snowy Egret to be near extinction in the early part of the twentieth century. Wealthy people paid big bucks to adorn their hats with the beautiful feathers.

Again, thanks to the Endangered Species Act, the Snowy Egret has made a comeback and has provided all bird & nature lovers with God’s creation.

FOTD – Sept 2 – Iris

Iris Flower with 2 blooms

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Hope & Faith

Iris, is that you?
my blooms are purple and white
I see with 3 eyes.

WWE – Sept. 3

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s Water Water Everywhere (WWE) challenge.

Lush & Green
Lush Green Water

what lurks in the marsh
a gator, heron or snake
home, it is to all.

Pet Peeves – What is yours?

Toilet Paper Roll – Up and Over

My number one….numero uno….biggest pet peeve of all time is the toilet paper roll. Up and over baby! I understand that cat owners have to go the down & under method for obvious reasons. I certainly understand that. That’s one of the reasons I don’t have a cat. Don’t get me wrong, I love all animals, but I’m allergic to cats & dogs. My dog is hypo-allergenic so I’m able to be around her and….. as an added bonus, she doesn’t mess with the toilet paper.

My obsession about the toilet paper being in the correct direction finds me changing the roll if I have the opportunity from the down & under position to up & over. While I appreciate the person before me loading it up and not leaving me stranded with no toilet paper, (another discussion for another day), it equally burns my ass (pun intended) that I have to fix it by flipping the roll! GUILTY!!!

What is your pet peeve?

  • Family leaving “God knows what” in their pockets for you to find before laundry day?
  • People smacking their gum around you?
  • How about someone who eats with their mouth open & still tries to talk?
  • Those who are always late so you have to set your party time an hour early to ensure they are there on time?
  • Telemarketers?
  • Drivers texting while driving?
  • Selfie Queens?
  • Screaming kid on a long flight?

I know…I know….there are so many, but I’d love to hear from you on your thoughts and what “peeves you off”. Please share as this is a serious subject. LoL

Lord’s Water Fountain

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 28th 2019, waterfall

"Give me a drink Lord"
"Ask only for what you need"
Plentiful Beauty.
What a great image to spark the imagination.  It appears to me that this is a weekly writing prompt, that we have the whole week?  Please let me know if I am mistaken.

Cee’s Black & White Challenge – Manatee

Florida Manatee at Blue Spring State Park
Florida Manatee

Cee’s Black & White Challenge – M or N

The Florida Manatee, aka Sea Cow is no longer endangered, but is still a threatened species. The efforts of many volunteers, biologists & the protection from the Endangered Species Act has slowed down the extinction level of this large mammal. Florida is known for its beaches, fun in the sun, & being out on the water. We certainly don’t want to change that, but want to bring awareness of what lurks under Florida waters.

One of the largest threats to the Manatee is water traffic. They are often hit or grazed by boats & jet skies leaving scars on their skin. Sometimes killing them. They are tough & gentle at the same time. Like land cows, they are grazers & play an important role in plant growth in springs, rivers & coastal waterways. Since the Manatee is a mammal, it migrates to the warmest water they can find during all times of the year. They tend to favor the shallow rivers & springs during the coldest months of the year. Adopt one of these to help protect this beautiful sea creature and make the planet a better place. Learn more about what you can do to help here.

One of the best places to see a Florida Manatee is at Blue Spring State Park during the months of January & February. Hope you get a chance to visit.

One Word Sunday Challenge – Triangles

Here is my entry for Debbie’s, Travel With Intent blog, One Word Sunday Challenge and her topic this week is Triangles. I was inspired to get off the computer for a bit and walk outside to find some triangles. Didn’t have to go far as all the photos are from my yard. As a graphic designer & a huge fan of “Harry Potter”, I recreated the simplistic symbol of the Deathly Hallows below.

Neighbor’s Lamp on the brick wall between our houses
Our eve at the front of our house. Needs a cleanin’!
Old fence post that we never removed in our backyard garden.
Bird feeder in front yard.
Deathly Hallows from “Harry Potter”.

The symbol of the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter encompass 3 powerful magical traits. The rectangle represents the Elder Wand. The circle represents the Resurrection Stone & the triangle represents the Cloak of Invisibility. When the owner possesses all 3, they become the Master of Death. Too much power for any one wizard to have, in my opinion!

FOTD – Sept 1 – Bouquet

Bouquet of Flowers in a purple vase. Roses, Daisies &  chrysanthemums.
Roses, Daisies, chrysanthemum, Oh My!

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

My awesome employer, Holmes Custom (Promo180) sent these flowers to me recently after I had a family loss. Brightened my day during this difficult time, and I hope they brighten yours. I just wanted to acknowledge their thoughtfulness on my blog. I’m approaching my 11th work anniversary in October with this awesome company.

Back in Saddle Again – Gene Autry

Gene Autry – The Singing Cowboy

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with Cowboy/Gun/Hat/Horse/Western. There were so many to choose from…OMG! This country girl from Texas, transplanted Floridian had a tough time choosing. I had to go with the Singing Cowboy from Texas! When I was a kid, my grand-parents would play country music from the old transistor radio. Gene Autry, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Little Jimmy Dickens, among others would come scratching through the small speaker. It’s my roots! Happy Trails to you….oh that’s another cowboy & his wife for another day.


I'm back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again
Ridin' the range once more
Totin' my old .44
Where you sleep out every night
And the only law is right
Back in the saddle again
Rockin' to and fro
back in the saddle again
I go my way
Back in the saddle again
I'm back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again
Ridin' the range once more
Totin' my old .44
Where you sleep out every night
And the only law is right
Back in the saddle again
Rockin' to and fro
Back in the saddle again
I go my way
Back in the saddle again
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gene Autry / Ray Whitley
Back in the Saddle Again lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Cohen And Cohen

August 31 – WWE

Moored Sailboats in the St. John's River at sunset.

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s Water Water Everywhere (WWE) challenge.

Looks like a postcard. Hmmm, maybe I should try to sell some of my photography. Moored sailboats in the St. John’s River at sunset in Jacksonville. Calm before the storm.

August 31 – BOTD – Domestic Goose

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge.

Domestic Geese in da Hood!

Domestic Geese are mean! Flat out, no bones about it! Don’t they look cute? Where there is one, there are many. They are a nuisance in some areas. Known as the greylag goose or swan goose, they stop being cute when they come after you. I worked at the Florida State Fairgrounds for 5 years in the late 90’s, early 2000’s where visitors & employees couldn’t get into the administrative building without being attacked. Florida Fish & Wildlife had to catch and relocate them. The lovely flock in these images decided to come out and attack us as we were getting into our cars at my ex-husband’s house a few years back. Talk about “gang” activity!

I’m going to hunt you down!

You can learn more about them here.

Coming around the corner from the pond to the front yard.

#6WSP – Surprise!

Man husband upset about pregnancy results

OMG! You’re pregnant again, with twins?

Written for Shweta Suresh’s new Saturday Six Word Story Prompt. This week’s prompt word is “surprise.” Please go check out her prompt.

August 30 – BOTD – Limpkin


Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge.

The Limpkin is a perfect example of why the Endangered Species Act needs to stay strong. Sorry, I’m going to get political on you for a minute. If you are an American, please help protect birds like this by asking members of Congress to stand up for the Endangered Species Act by going to the Audubon Action Center. The Limpkin was near extinction at the turn of the 20th century, but is starting to come back, thriving in Florida. Currently, they are legally protected.

Ok, so back to the Limpkin. When I started birding, I chased after this bird for 2 years without a siting. It was when I was visiting my friend, Morgan in Wesley Chapel, Florida that I spotted my first Limpkin. There wasn’t just one Limpkin, we were honored to observe a family of 6. They slowly came out of the swampy wooded canopy, one by one. Since that day, I have come to learn their screeching calls & will see them on many hikes. And, boy do they get loud, especially when a bird of prey is circling. The only way to see one of these feathered friends in the United States is to visit South Georgia or Florida. Hope you can get this way & observe one of greatest areas for birding. After hurricane season, of course!

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