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Our Beautiful World

Everywhere I look there is so much beauty and diversity, I can't help but try and make it my own through photographs. I've spent some time this week purging old stuff from my library in order to make way for new things. Turns out, Picasa, my photo keeper, is not necessarily designed for people who take photographs daily, rather for the casual photographer. As such, on occasion it struggles to keep up with me, however, Matt has worked things out, for which I'm grateful.

So, what do we have to look at today? Plenty, as it turns out. If you've seen a more beautiful color of gerbera daisy, tell me about it. Almost raspberry colored, wouldn't you say?
More often than not, when I see something I think will please a friend or family, I stop on my ride to capture the scene. Karen Howard loves our Florida clouds.
In our yard we have SIX gigantic long needle pine trees--the above is a short needle version taken down the street. Bruce spent about a half an hour Saturday picking up all the "cobs", or what I'm calling them, in our yard. The squirrels are feasting on the pine cones, dropping the remnants, and in general, making a huge mess. Surely, you're not surprised.

Finding this plumeria petal on the ground, I put it in my bike basket to have fun with it at home.
Bonus points for awesome fragrance!
Is there anything more cheerful than a sunflower? Well, maybe a daisy....

The other evening, just before dark, following another rain storm, I went into the side garden and saw something flying around my declining salvia. The light was poor, and the insect's wings were going a mile a minute, but I still tried photographing something entirely new to me. I'm wondering if it is some type of cricket? Checking the web, I did not see one pictured as such, but the web doesn't know everything. Or does it?
Any ideas?

Yesterday morning Dave and Michelle needed a ride to the airport. You know who played the part of the chauffeur. Killing a little time before the store opened, I drove through the "peacock neighborhood", hoping to find some babies. Apparently I missed them when they were tiny, but I did see these two before they are all grown up.
Oddly enough, there were very few peacocks to be seen on either street. Very puzzling because at times I've counted nearly fifty of them. Where could they have gone?

This morning, wondering where to ride my bike, I decided on a visit to Eric's house as it's been a while. It's so weird because he lives with his parents, and I feel as if I must knock on the door to ask if he can come out to play. Well, he couldn't because he was off to serve, something he does with great regularity. This time he was on his way to teach gardening and healthy eating at our city neighborhood centers. Other days he delivers donated food to the Russell Home, and other places where donations are always welcome. Thus I was left on my own.

Spraying myself liberally with insect repellent, provided by his Mom, I roamed the gardens. It takes a real gardener to know what to plant for year-round color. Eric would be one of those. I'll show some of the blooms another day because by now I have probably taxed your attention span. What I do want you to see is a hawk; pretty much the closest I have been to one in the wild. He was right under my nose, however my attention was focused on a shore bird. But then I saw it a mere 20 feet in front of me.
In truth I am the worst at estimating distances, but it wasn't just the same. Perhaps he sensed me because he flew up into a nearby oak tree laden with spaghnum moss:
Some wing span, huh? I'm thinking he's looking for insects in the bark below. I was pretty darn excited, I'll tell you that much!
Now, if only my eagle would come so close! Generally I see the eagles in trees that are 100 feet tall, rather than 30.

Tonight is FAVO, and although I'm mostly ready, there are a few last minute details to work out. Wish me luck because I'll need it, between the ever-present threat of rain, and no ac in my space!!!
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