Monday, December 10, 2012

Catching Up

Thanksgiving this year had to be different since my dad was gone and my mother needs a rest.  My oldest sister is an interior decorator and hostess deluxe.  She has a beautifully decorated home in Naples, FL and she picked up my mother a few days before Thanksgiving and brought her there.  No cleaning, no chores, no laundry - just relax.  My husband and I joined the "party" on Thanksgiving Day.  It is less than a 2 hour drive to the other side of Florida and we took off early.  We would have dinner with our family, then stay overnight in a nice hotel and sightsee around Naples for a while before we headed back east to the Atlantic side of Florida.  It was absolutely beautiful weather - cool and dry and brilliant.  My sister's house has a huge screened in porch that looks out on a preserve, so it is wild behind her house - and so beautiful and restful.

We ate dinner out which saved lots of work and extra calories.  No leftovers - no extra fat.  When we retired to our hotel room, it was so comfortable.  We could have stayed at my sister's, but I'm an oddball in that I'm SO much more comfortable NOT staying with people in their homes.  I need my space and my husband is the same way - I'm so very much more comfortable in surroundings of my own choosing.  

Next morning, we went into the preserve - called the Rookery - to enjoy the brisk breeze and bright sunshine.  I took a few pictures of the birds and a beautiful raccoon who thought perhaps we might have a snack for him.   

First - a tiny blue-gray gnatcatcher in flight:

Below - a Phoebe flycatcher waiting for breakfast to fly by

A tiny warbler- not sure what species.....such a sweet face

Some pretty Florida Holly to celebrate the season

And a big 'ole fish under the crystal clear water

Last but not least, the hesitant raccoon as we were leaving the Preserve.

Once we got home, it was mornings in the back yard to view the birds and butterflies as usual:

The Sparrows are crowding in and sometimes one pushes another off temporarily.

One morning there were two of these within inches of each other, fresh from their chrysalli

I think she looks a little surprised below.....

Finally, I was playing with my camera trying to take some pretty shots of parts of my Christmas tree and other decorations:

OK - this is downright silly, but what the heck.....

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