Moments of Beauty

Archive for ‘October, 2013’

Genuine Beauty, In My Opinion!

Ahh…I feel like I can breath again.  The trails have finally dried enough to go hiking again.   It’s my opinion, that natural beauty of life can be found hiking in the woods.  It is unparalleled to any walk, in any neighborhood. The sight of plants growing freely, dancing in the wind, spinning, and turning in every direction made me fall in love all over again with morning hikes in the woods.     I will take wild and free any day, and any time over “meticulous, over-manicured, and overly planned lawns”…That’s just my opinion…Call me a “tree-hugger” if you must…I will gladly say yes…and proud of it!   It’s the difference between genuine and fake.  I prefer the same quality in people as well.


Spirits of St. Augustine

St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., has had a tumultuous history.  With such a colorful past one can expect many legends and tales of ghosts.  What I didn’t expect was to be told about these ghosts almost the moment I stepped out of my car, with my camera around my neck.

“Mam, you like to take pictures?  You need to go to Old Town and find St. Francis Inn.  The garden is beautiful, and some people have even captured ghosts in their pictures.”

“Have you ever seen them?”  I asked.

“Not there, but I have a very dark presence in my apartment.  I have a spare room that I rent out, and everyone who rents it ends up crazy.  I won’t go in there.”

“No, I don’t think I would either.  Thank you for the tip.”

Well…I’m always up for an that’s exactly what I did, I walked to Old Town.  Walking down some of the oldest streets in the country gives you a sense of “place” a sense of “history”.  Thinking of the struggles and hardships of living in this harsh land in the 1700’s is almost unfathomable.  I finally came upon St. Francis Inn. I didn’t see any ghosts, but what I did see made me smile.

St Francis Inn

This beautiful cat looked exactly like Smokey.  Smokey was my sister’s cat, when we were young.  We lived on farm in rural Indiana.  We had many pets, but Smokey was a favorite.  However, she died a horrible death.   She froze to death on a Sunday.  We went to church on a snowy, sub-zero morning, and when we came home, we found her lying by the door barely alive, almost completely frozen solid.  She must have walked out outside when we did.  We tried to warm the life back into her…yea, that didn’t work.  But I remember sitting with a blow-dryer in the bathroom in the garage, blowing warm air on her, rubbing her body, and anointing her with our tears of sorrow.

Shawnita, my sister, will be happy to know she came back to live in St. Augustine.  🙂  I do believe Smokey was possessed by the Ghost of Slumber on this day.

What memories….  How fitting to be flooded with memories of my own past while walking these old streets.  Old St. Augustine the sacred keeper of human triumphs and sorrows. I suppose there’s bound to be a few restless souls left to linger.  You may want to visit the Inn’s website to learn more fascinating tales of ghosts.

cat on table



No Fences!

These pictures were taken with my little panasonic camera while running with Winston.  Not the best quality, but what a morning full of wildlife.  I felt like I was in a zoo without fences!  

American Alligator 

( careful golfers don’t reach in the water for a stray golf ball)

Florida Mottled DucksP1010863_HDR

I really wish I had a better camera for this photo…I felt lucky just two see a pair of eagles together.  Winston has a story about how we came upon this treasure.





Landing in Florida…

If Birds could speak English…this would be the translation! 🙂

“Oh No!  Here comes Fred Ibis.

“Haven’t they revoked his license yet?”


“Move aside…give me room…here I come, my eye sight isn’t what it used to be”

“Yep…he missed his landing again.”

Behind every obstacle…there is the promise of a new day!

I almost didn’t run this way, because of the number of homeless people.  I ran by many.  I watched one man brushing his hair, another man had found a box of pizza, one man was talking to himself,  and yet another curled up on the bench sleeping…and then I saw the sun begin to rise…the promise of a new day!  May we all feel the promise of a new day…and seek to help each other.

I didn’t see the note when I took the picture.  Now I wonder who left that note…and was it promise?  I love photography!

Jacksonville, Florida

iron fence_HDR

A Most Unusual Choral Production at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm

I feel so privileged to have been in attendance at this unbelievable musical.  When an alligator makes a vocalization it is called a “bellow”.  The associated movements from one “bellow” to the next is called a “bellowing cycle”.  A number of bellowing cycles produced in a series is called a “bout” and combined “bouts” of individuals is called a “chorus”.  The bellowing of one animal stimulates others in the population to bellow.  When bellowing begins the chorus spreads rapidly.  The bridge I was standing on vibrated from the choir’s performance.  It filled my entire body.   It was beautiful, eerie, scary, and absolutely magical all at the same time.  Without further adieu I present you the choir:


This is the conductor…he started the the first bellow…







This one scared me…he also needs to see the dentist.  It felt like he was thinking of leaping straight up and chomping my camera into bits…and if he got me, that would be ok too 🙂IMG_5046