Monday, December 13, 2010

The Most Beautiful Video EVER

This has to be the absolutely most beautiful video I've seen yet.  "O Come O Come Emmanuel" plays in the background - instrumental, while the video plays out showing Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem.  It makes me cry it is so very lovely.  Joseph tries so hard to secure a place for Mary to give birth - and finally, he has to settle on an animal enclosure.  If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and you happen to like the hymn, "O Come O Come Emmanuel", do yourself a favor and watch this - I've watched it about 10 times and after I post this, I'm going back for more.  The best part about it all?  It's true.  Jesus did come and He did live to show us His way, and He did pay the price for our sins in His death.  The human race need not fear death - He has conquered sin and death.  And it all started by God allowing Himself to be limited to the body of a human being, from birth to death.  

What a miracle.   My mind cannot encompass the whole idea.  I am in awe of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Great Freeze

It's not even technically winter yet!!  It's still December 13 and winter begins on December 21, officially.  I know not many people will feel sorry for us South Floridians, but feel free to feel sorry for my flowers, my plants and the critters that are here and may not be able to withstand freezing temperatures. 

It's been a lot of years since South Florida has had temperatures like this before Christmas.  And back then, I didn't own a back yard full of butterfly and hummingbird plants, most of which determinedly like warmer temps.

So tonight, when I get home from work, my husband and I will take the blankets and sheets (pretty much the sum total of my "linens") that I folded and left on the porch from last weeks cold weather(why put them away when more cold temps are coming??).....unfold them and attempt to drape, pin and tie them over my large and small vulnerable bushes.  We have to get out the ladder so my husband can throw a sheet over the top of the trellis. 

It's supposed to be very windy tonight - so others in the neighborhood could be watching my sheets fly by in spite of whatever we do to keep them in place.

I love cold weather.  I love when it gets into the 50's at night.  To us, our critters, the wild things and the plants - that's cold enough.  You get a little cozy inside, you have some hot chocolate, you maybe go for a brisk walk to enjoy the cool air - and you sleep with the windows open to get that crisp, sweet air flowing over you as you put a few extra blankets on the bed.

I do NOT love it when it gets into damaging temperatures.  The farmers down here have lots more at stake than I do.  I may not have enough blankets to put some extra on my bed because they'll all be in the back yard.  It sure looks funny when the bushes are all covered up.  I'm not taking the sheets and blankets down tomorrow morning either - it's going to be just as cold tomorrow night, so the bushes get to huddle in the sun tomorrow with their "coats" on. 

I wish I could just press a button and a giant dome would rise up out of the ground just in front of our fence on both sides and keep going until both halves meet in the middle.  Voila - house and yard in a bubble.  Or just yard.  Then we could control the temperature, much like a greenhouse - and we wouldn't have to fumble around in the wind on ladders with sheets, blankets, safety pins and clothes pins. 

I can hardly wait for January, when it is normal for us to get a few extreme cold fronts.  The fact that it has begun in December does not bode well for the rest of the winter. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Lyrics

My husband has an endearing/sometimes annoying habit (mostly endearing) of picking a song - usually Christmas or Amazing Grace or Home On The Range or Oklahoma - his repertoire is quite limited.  He'll sing the tune of the song, but put another song's lyrics in instead.  So, We Three Kings tune is sung, but the lyrics are Amazing Grace - and he embellishes and adds/subtracts his own words as substitute to the established lyrics.  In short - he is a music rule breaker.  But I happen to think it's quite clever - we are made for each other, after all.

Yesterday, on the drive to downtown Miami, we got in a boisterous exchange regarding the lyrics to "Let It Snow".

My husband thought that the couple in the song were walking somewhere outside in the snow together, which is patently wrong - he cannot have listened correctly to the lyrics.  And so we started.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful,
And the fire is so delightful"
"I don't think there's a fire outside unless they're homeless people, sweetie."

"Sure - they could be walking home after being somewhere that there WAS a fire."  

"No," I say, "it's a present tense fire, not past tense."

"You're such a literalist" he says.

I toss off the thought that she should not be letting her boyfriend drive home in the snow - he'll get in an accident.  Especially since the song was written in 1945 and the roads were usually windy two lanes (no super highways back then).

My husband says, "How do you know they're not married?" 
I say, "Because he's going home after their date.  If they're married that's pretty strange behavior."

He says, "Maybe they're at his house and SHE has to walk home." 
Me - "Oh - that couldn't be in the 1940's.  That would go against all conventional ideas at the time of the roles of women and men.  It would be improper for her to go to his house, and he could never let her walk home alone in a storm - you know that.  What a dumb idea!!  And even if there was a lout in the 1940's that would behave that way (and I'm sure there were), it would not be a feature of a widely known, popular song.  The song would reflect the better mores of the time, not the worst ones."

He reluctantly agrees.

He finally got me, though.  "How do you know he's driving a car home?  Maybe he's walking?"

Aha.  Let's check the lyrics

"And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
And I've brought some corn for popping,
The lights are turned way down low
Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,
How I hate going out in the storm,
But if you really hold me tight,
All the way home I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying
And my dear, we're still goodbyeing,
But as long as you love me so,
Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!"

Darn.  He's right - there's no mention of a car.  He's probably walking home in a small town.  Sigh - the small towns of 1945 before huge thick ribbons of bland, banal highways connected everyone everywhere.

But they're not married, obviously.
And she's not walking home, it's him, of course.
And they're not walking together (he thought since she was holding him tight all the way home he'd be warm - that they were walking together.  Really clueless.)

My husband has some wonderful talents, but musical ability, both tonal and lyrical, is not one of them.  But he sure keeps me laughing and we sure have a great time discussing these oh-so-important subjects.

Miami River Cruise

I know I haven't written here in a while.  I could say I've been busy, but I haven't been any more busy than usual, really.  The actual truth is - I wasn't motivated enough to post about anything.  I even went on a brief vacation to Myrtle Beach.  When I go through the pictures from that lovely interlude, I'll post about that. 

Today, hubby took me on the Miami River Historic Cruise - an early Christmas treat.  I love history and although there is very little left of old Miami along the river, I like to imagine what it used to be like.  Those are my favorite stories - about the early Miamians who had a jungle around their house and panthers in the back yard.  It must have been beautiful, but buggy, at least in the summer.

Without further ado, here are today's pictures from the cruise up and back down the Miami River. 

The picture at top is all that is left of some Indian Chieftain's palace or worship center from 2000 years ago.  It is the Miami Circle, right at the meeting of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay.  This must have been the only cleared area for miles and all around it must have been jungle.
Below is what is at the mouth of the Miami River and Biscayne bay today.  I guess it's beautiful in it's own way, but I always prefer nature and the original way things were.

Below - the Miami Skyline - pretty impressive if you like city skylines.

Above - what is left of a wall created for a big Bicentennial plan that fell short.  This wall is just at the north entrance of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay.

Above - Julia Tuttle's house.  This is what was originally on the North side of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay.  It was part of Fort Dallas.

The building above was slave quarters in the same area on the north side of the Miami River mouth.  In the 1830's William English built a plantation here and these were the slave quarters.  Later, during the Seminole Wars it became part of Fort Dallas.  Today this building resides in Lummus Park along the Miami River.  You can see the picture below on Flickr.  It is not my picture.

Above and below - Fort Dallas in the early 20's

Above is Sewell Park - a little piece of land on the Miami River that looks like it should.  The land back of the river slopes up on a limestone shelf - interesting in an area that is characteristically flat.  This is called Sewell Park after E.G. Sewell, a four time mayor of Miami.

Two photos up - the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami next to a much more modern building.
Above is what the original dredge marks along the Miami River look like from 100 years ago.  that is limestone and the dredge cut right along the edge to both widen and deepen the original shallow river.

Above shows some rare greenery along the Miami river.  The little hillock looks interesting among the trees - wonder where it led?

Above - original Miami River edge - at least the rocky part.

I  cropped out the city looking edges and just left the trees and the old house.  It's a commercial building today, but it looks like I imagine the old river might have looked before all the greenery was bulldozed.

Above - the Miami River Inn bed and breakfast.  It's the only bed and breakfast in Miami.  I cropped out the bottom of the photo because it shows what is across the street from both old wooden buildings that comprise the bed and breakfast:

Above is the uncropped view of one of the wooden houses.  Sigh.

Above - a canal that leads to an Indian cave - yes, a small cave - that is next to Sewell park, but is on Indian land, so it is not open to the public. To the left is a piece of a brochure about the Miami River, specifically about the "Indian Cave".

The piece of land above is more inland.  It is the original site of the tower shown below in the old postcard view.   It was called Car Dale Tower.  Look at the clothes on the ladies - it must have been the 1890's - that's ancient history in Miami.

An old dingy along the river.  It's seen better days, just like the river it's on.

Two photos up - a very small condo of three stories, facing the river.  Each had different color closed curtains, so I thought it made an interesting picture.

Under that photo is a scan from a book called,"Highways & Byways of the South", published in 1904, so the picture is earlier than 1904.  I believe a Seminole Indian is one of the peole in the boat and it is coming down the Miami River from the Everglades.  Below is a map of the Miami River up to the point of the "Miami River Rapids which is indicated by the small number 18 on the far middle upper left of the map.  The rapids are where the original boundary of the Everglades were.  From the Everglades, the river dropped about 6 feet gradually and that difference made the rapids.  Remember, you have to click on the image to see a larger view of it - this is true of all but the old images in this post.  Unfortunately, some of the old pictures I've copied from web sites do not enlarge when clicked on.

Above is another scan from the same book as above.  It shows a man about to enter the rapids.  You see how shallow the river was.  It didn't have very solid banks in some places.  This man is just coming out of the Everglades and heading to the coast.  The rapids, such as they were, are in front of him some feet away.

Above is "Musa Isle", another attraction that once existed along the Miami River not far from the original entry into the Everglades.

Below is one of the only remaining WWII training buildings left.  It's in pretty bad condition and so are the old docks.

I did take other pictures, but they are pretty much all the same story - "progress" in the form of development.  I love to imagine what it must have been like from the remaining records of early settlers.  Dirt roads, jungle like growth everywhere, lots of wild animals - and the beach, river and ocean clean and pristine, unpolluted by chemicals and sewage.  

Looking South at the mouth of the Miami River, which is pointing west.  I think the house is Brickell's - lots of jungle like growth.  Look into the distance - just more of the same.  It must have been wonderful right on the beach.  Today this whole area comprises the Miami skyline (picture above).

Above is an early view of Miami Beach, South.   A little different than today's Art Deco area. 

Above is the Miami river on the left, in 1913.  Already by that time, the Miami River canal was being dug and dredged.

Just contrast the pictures above with my photos - just a little different, isn't it?  It's like any big city - like Manhattan - it's very difficult to imagine the original. 

Oh - and if you are curious about what Manhattan was like before the white man came - this is a fabulous web site where you can look at any address in Manhattan and see what it was like - literally at that spot - before 1620.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving day.  This afternoon it was a bit dreary out and rainy.  I would never have thought to go outside to photograph anything, but, as I was typing on my computer I glanced out my window and saw.......a hummingbird darting near my Cape Honeysuckle bush.

I think it was a female Ruby Throated, since she had no ruby throat.  That's about the only kind of hummingbird you see in South Florida in the winter (they are migrants here) - that I know of. She - or her kin - has been here before.  Last year, to be exact.  There was a tiny female Ruby Throated last spring who was so tired she was resting with her eyes closed on a branch in our yard.  Even though she was resting, she rocked side to side a little bit, kind of like a child with ADD who can never sit still.

We have lots of bushes that hummingbirds like.  The Spot Breasted Oriole loves the same things.  While he chews the whole flower to get the nectar, the hummingbird pokes her long beak into the center of the flower to sip.

I'm going to have to keep a sharp eye out because I know there are lots more critters out there than I ever see.

For instance, after I came back into the house, I happened to glance out the same window again - and I noticed a "flower" on the bougainvillea that didn't match the colors of the other flowers on the same bush.

I got a closer look and knew it was an unusual and beautiful moth.  Back out I went to photograph.

I'd like to say I got a good photograph of the hummingbird, but I did not.  I can prove she was here, but the photo is from way too far away and is blurry as well as shot against a too bright background.  But I've got time and patience and I'll be looking for her every day now that I know she's here.  The photos of the moth came out MUCH better.  Here they are.  Remember to click on each to "embiggen" them.

Yup - you can tell it's a hummingbird, but that's about it.  I'll be watching for her and for better photos!!

A beautiful Io moth.  Above - wings closed.

I touched her/him - and he opened his wings so I could see his "eyes", meant to scare off predators.  After that I left him alone, not wanting him to feel in danger here.  How beautiful!!!  I love the fuzziness of the head area. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Musical Words

Some words are just fun to say, aren't they?  Words like "serendipity" or "jaguar" (pronounced the British way, which adds a syllable - Jag-you-are).  Some word combinations sound like something else and if you have a punnish sort of brain, you'll immediately think of the alternate meaning.  For instance, you're in a prayer group and the leader says, "Let us pray".  In a split second I see a head of lettuce in my mind's eye and the words look like this in my head, "Lettuce pray".  And I absolutely LOVE the name of those huge orange industrial machines that you see on the road every now and then - Asplundh.  Aaahs-ploond!! 
like a German sneeze.  Every time I see one of these vehicles I HAVE to say the name out loud.  Several times.  Yes - I'm weird.  I know.

One of my all time favorite word "treats" is the names, past and present, of most UN leaders.  These names, many of them, are just SO fun to say, so musical. 

The first one is pretty normal in an English way, so no fun there - Gladwyn Jebb, although the name ,"Jebb" brings to mind Jed Clampett (I know Jed is not exactly the same as Jebb, but it sounds similar).   "Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jebb,  poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed".......

The next name?  I have no idea how to pronounce it.  Trygve Lie.  It looks like it might be fun, though.  Since both Mr. Jebb and Mr. Lie are from the late 40's to early 50's I did not hear their names repeated on the news (I was born in 1956), so I have formed no attachment to their sound.  Hnmmmmm - Trig Vee Lie (or Lee??).  That definitely has great promise, if that's how the first name is pronounced.  The last name could sound like either Lee or Lie and it would still be cool.  I think TrigVee Lee is going to be a new fun name to pronounce for me.

Dag Hammarskjold.  Hammarski-old.  Dag.  It's ok, but it doesn't light my word spark. The "skjold" part makes me want to yodel a little.

U Thant.  NOW we're getting somewhere.  "Hi, what's your name?"  "U".  "No - not me, I'm asking YOU what your name is"  "U". 

Yeah - I love that one. 

Kurt Waldheim.  Boring.  German with possible shadows of Nazi Germany over it.  Wald means "woods" in German.  I don't know what "heim" means, but it's unattractive sounding.  Many German words are silly sounding, like a run-on word.  For example - "Schutzstaffel", which was the full word for the feared "SS".  "SS" is evil sounding...."Schutzstaffel" sounds like a German dessert.  Blitzkrieg sounds like what it is - powerful, awful, frightening.  How about the full word for Nazi?  Nationalsozialistische.  Nazi sounds scary.  Nationalsozialistische sounds spitty, like there is spray when this word is spoken (and there may have been, who knows?). 

Javier Perez de Cuellar.  Totally normal.  Lovely name, Spanish and very musical, but no fun whatever.

My all time favorite - Boutros Boutros-Ghali.  You think I'm weird?  Wait until you hear this.  One of my 10,000 nicknames for my cat Squeebles is "Boutros Boutros Ghali".  Why?  I have no idea.  I like to make songs out of my cat's names and nicknames, so this particular nickname for Squeebles goes like "Boutros (2 low notes the same)  Boutros (2 same notes one step up) Ghali (the "gha" part is one step up and the "li" part is one octave and one step up - I'm NOT singing this for this post).  Then the song ends with "golly golly gee, golly golly gee" - use your imagination for how it sounds.  Note to self - need to get a music program for my computer that will allow me to insert simple tunes into my blog posts.

One time, years ago, before my present husband (who is equally nutty) and I were married, but dating, I thought he was on the phone when it rang.  I picked it up and said, "Boutros Boutros Ghali" and the person on the other end made a funny noise, stuttered and said my name tentatively and fearfully, like he'd dialed the insane asylum by accident.  I was extremely embarrassed and proceeded to try to explain my nuttiness.  It did not go well.

Then there's Kofi Annan.  Lots of coffee jokes there. 

And now (drumroll) - Ban Ki-moon.  "By the light......of the Ban Ki-moon"  "I want to spoon", etc. etc.
I've just begun to play with this name, so that's all I've come up with so far, but it is DEFINITELY fun to say.

And that, my friends, is all for today.  (Oh - I meant no disrespect for any of the above named gentlemen).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Beautiful Day!!

Today South Florida got it's first real cold front.  The past few days it rained quite a bit and felt quite summery - humid and warm and wet.  Then yesterday morning, the wind began to blow from the northwest and it had a slight cool feel to it.  The clouds began to move away fast.  By the afternoon, the sky was clear, deep blue and the air was crisp and bright.  A total about-face in weather!  Last night I lit the Chiminea in the back yard for the first time this year.  It was windy and cool and the stars were quite clear, even in the city where it's difficult to see stars because of the light pollution.  The wood smoke smelled so wonderful - I could just sit and watch the flames for quite a long time - so soothing.  We're going to light it again tonight - maybe I'll take some pics of that.

Meanwhile, since I knew it was going to be brisk today, I knew hubby and I would want to get away into the out of doors, so on the way home from work yesterday, I made sure we had sandwich and other picnic items.  When I arrived home, I made sure our camera batteries were all charged up and packed the digital cards, lenses and lens cloths in preparation.  Now all we had to do was get up with a minimum of preparation and off we could go!

We left the house this morning at around 7am.  It was still windy and the air was very cool.  I had on a short sleeved shirt under a long sleeved sweatshirt and we still had to put the heat on in the car.  Mmmmmm - it felt delicious!!

Once we got out of town, it felt like a burden was lifted.  We could see out over the Everglades grasses;  there were great blue herons and little blue herons in the canals.  There were hawks and belted kingfishers on the electric wires.  We decided to drive I-75 to the Snake Road exit, which is also known as route 833.  Once we passed the Indian town, we were out in the beautiful boonies on a two lane road, very little traffic - and lots of lush trees lined the road.

Here are some pictures I took.  One is of an orange moth I happened to notice clinging to a plant off the road.  I was able to pick him/her up and put the moth on my hand.  What an absolutely gorgeous moth!!  Well - here come the pics:

Isn't that a cute face above?  I love the feathery antenna and the fuzzy orange body.  It's called a Pink Striped Oakworm Moth.  I'm not sure if this is a male or a female.  The female is supposed to be brighter and a little larger, but since this is the first of this species I've seen, I have nothing for comparison.

Next up is a White Peacock butterfly.  One of these pictures shows the face clearly and the others focus on the lovely green spot on his/her back.


Next, farther west on route 833, we saw these two unlikely "friends" munching on some roadkill.  The black bird is a black vulture - pretty unattractive bird;  but the other is a Crested Caracara.  Great name and distinctive looks.  I believe he is the best looking carrion eating species in the Western Hemisphere, but I could be wrong.  Love the big red "nose".

I was too far away to get a good sharp closeup of the Crested Caracara, but you can see his eyes and coloring pretty well here.

 Above are a few ducks that were in a canal as we entered Immokalee.  I think they are Blue Winged Teals, but I see no evidence of the little blue wing spot, so I don't know.

We continued driving, turned onto route 846 and headed past the Hendry Correctional Institution, where we've seen deer before, towards Immokalee.  We had never seen Ave Maria, a completely new town built by the founder of Domino's Pizza, based around a very Catholic college.  Ave Maria is a conservative Catholic college.  The professors and everyone who works there must acknowledge that they are practicing Catholics.  The campus is lovely.  My husband took pictures which I believe he will post.  There is a town center with lovely shops in three story townhouse type buildings.  They are painted bright yellow or ochre - all earth colors and are quite attractive.  The 2nd and 3rd stories are living quarters.  There is a Publix, a Fire dept and EMT dept., an urgent care facility and a few neighborhoods of new houses.  There also appears to be a school - perhaps elementary or high school - we couldn't tell from the name of it.  The whole area is just beautiful.  It looks like someone just plopped a pretty new town right down in the middle of nowhere, which is pretty much what they did.  Ave Maria isn't far from Naples, so the beach and city life is nearby.  After getting coffee at the Ave Maria Bean and touring the college bookstore, we decided to head home.  It's just about time to light the chiminea and toast some marshmallows - hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Interesting Weekend

When I came home from work on Friday, my cable AND my TV were out.  We called AT&T and were told a technician would be out between when we called and 9pm.  They never showed.  

Oh - also - our phone was out.  Saturday came and we were promised a technician would be out before noon.  Noon came and went.  Nada.  Finally, around 3pm, AT&T showed up and fixed the problem.  Really?  Not a big deal.  I worked in the garden all day anyway - and Friday night I read books.

However, this afternoon around 5pm, the toilet clogged.  It clogged so badly that it backed up into the tub.  We tried chemicals, boiling water, plunging until our arms fell off.  Nada.

So we called Roto Rooter.  I remember their commercials from when I was a child - a cheery woman's voice sings "Roto Rooter - that's the name" a man's very bass voice sings "and away go troubles down the drain".  The women's voice pipes up one more time "Roto Rooter!!".

They told us they would be at our house no later than 11:30pm.  Sigh.  The bathtub was full of smelly brown stuff - guess what that might be?  The toilet was full of suds from the chemicals and soap we had put in.  

The good news is Roto Rooter showed up at about 10:45pm, and they roto rootered the whole house.  The main guy got up on the roof (who knew?) and throughout our small house could be heard the sound of the metal rooter going deep into our drain and out into the pipe that connects us to city water and sewage in the back yard.  My husband now knows for sure where that pipe is - and Roto Rooter put a treatment in that guarantees their work for 6 months.  This cost us $385.00.  Yes, that is a lot of money, but when you have and it is out of service, that price seems quite good, especially when the work is guaranteed.  I could hear that rooter thingy going for at least 15 minutes - and my husband said he could hear gurgling under the lawn in the back yard.  Weird....but tres bueno!!  

An eventful, but good weekend has come and gone - tomorrow is a work day.  Night night everyone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So Funny!!

I have not used Messaging on a phone before - until now.  I am at work and had to instant message one of my coworkers who is not here regarding an issue.  After I received an answer to my question, I attempted to be "cute" and use "message spelling" in the form of:

kthnx - this is pronounced 'K (short for okay), Thanks.

Instead my helpful Messaging program in my phone used spellcheck to guess what I wanted to say and when I pressed the "SEND" button, it sent:


Picturing my coworker scratching his head and trying to figure out what the heck I was trying to say, I hurriedly typed, "Freaking spellck".

But my handy spellcheck kicked in again and when I pressed "SEND", it sent:

Freaking speck.

OK - now my coworker is sure that I'm officially wacko.  He sends me:


As I read my two screwed up messages I begin to laugh hysterically.  When things go wrong, slapstick wrong, stupid wrong - it makes me just laugh so hard I cry.  It's just so serendipitously FUNNY.

My final attempt - after laughing - I attempt to type "Are u loling?  I am", which, of course you can anticipate didn't come out that way.

When I pressed, "SEND",  my coworker received:
Are u liking?  I am.

At which he sent me two emoticons.  They were a smiley face with a gun facing it's brain.  That made me laugh harder.

Now that the fiasco of messaging is over, I went through my settings and found that under "Keyboard" I had "auto spellcheck" on.  I turned it off - and should have no further difficulty or hilarity with this feature.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cutest Youtube Video EVER

This little boy is very articulate, and he likes Betty White.  He notes that she has blond hair and that she's beautiful.  How cute is this???


Yes - you read that right.  For the first time in my life, except for MAYBE one time 7 years ago when there MIGHT have been a female Painted Bunting in our yard (their color is all green), we had the apex, the climax, the utmost B.I.R.D. for me in our yard this morning.   Below is the poor photo from 2006 of what I thought might be a female Painted Bunting. 

Wait for it comes......tom ta da da.......a PAINTED BUNTING - MALE.  My husband and I have always joked that once we have a Painted Bunting in our yard, we can move.  We will have achieved all there is to achieve in back yard bird feeding.  We've had a tired Cardinal (he was migrating, hence his bar fight looks), which we thought was exciting, because we never get Cardinals.  We've had American Redstarts, both male and female.  We've had Common Yellowthroats, Nanday Conures (a parrot species), Yellow Rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers. But never have we had a Painted Bunting.

Heck - we've gone out into the Everglades to see them and didn't see any.  We've gone to places where birders said they've seen tons of them - nada.  

This lady doesn't get them until December, so I wonder why this one is here so early - and in Eastern Florida, which is far more rare than Western Florida, where Pollywog Creek is published. 
I've died and gone to heaven.  Life will be on a downtrend after this - what could be better than this???  

Here are some pics of this most beautiful of birds.....IN MY YARD.....omg omg omg omg:

The last fellow is a Spot Breasted Oriole, which we've had in our yard before.  There were 2 of them this morning.  They are my husband's favorite bird and South Florida is the northern limits of their range.  They are really a tropical Oriole.  What a fabulous morning!!!