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Thunder and Lightning, Oh My!

While selling photography those many years, I was often asked if I had a photograph of so and so...butterflies, giraffes, elephants, cars, you know, all manner of things that captivated people. One request that came often was for dragonflies. I do have a lovely pink dragonfly, but I never had any that looked like this one perched on my clothesline the other day. Is this little guy cute, or what? Maybe it's a girl...who knows?
Let's see what I can find out about one that looks like this....way too many for me to sort out! Anyone else familiar with dragonflies?

Wonder of wonders, we finally heard the glorious sound of thunder last evening. I had to run up to Publix a little after six last evening, and I thought you would enjoy seeing this fantastic yellow tree against the stormy sky.
While talking to Bruce about twenty minutes later, I told him I thought it might just pass us by, however, much to our relief, I was wrong. Going to sleep to the sound of rain was such a blessing. I'm thinking we didn't get that much, but at this point, we will take anything the heavens offer!

Well, my friends, a lot has been going on around here. As you know Mr. Peck was not here for his birthday, but I went to his party nonetheless. Cheryle and David were having a get together, and when I told her that both Pam and Bruce had birthdays last week, we decided cake was in order. I made two, with the first one being this Ina Garten Beatty's  Chocolate Cake.  As you can see, mine looked nothing like hers!
Sort of a leaning tower of cake; at least the name of cake shared the last name of our hosts! The Beatty's do such a wonderful job entertaining, they put most of us to shame. The garden is always put to use in the centerpieces.
Having only just returned from a road trip to New Orleans, along with several of their airbnb guests, David had fun making Hurricanes, going so far as to use freshly squeezed juice.
Cake and ice cream is served...
How do you feel about serendipity? I'm pretty much a believer in it, while at the same time believing that everything happens for a reason. Last weekend, our son David called, asking me if I wanted to hang out with him on Saturday afternoon because both Bruce and Michelle were busy. Not something I ordinarily do, I agreed because, really, why not?

During our conversation David mentioned that a unit two buildings away from him was up for sale, and the owner did not want to use a realtor, relying on word of mouth. He claimed it was a fantastic unit that was fairly priced, as well as having a wonderful location in the complex. He suggested we think about it for an investment property, however, he also knew that his Dad has been talking for several years about us living in Lake Pineloch Village. So, David arranged a showing on Sunday afternoon. The moment we went in the front door we were pretty much sold because of the view of Lake Willasara. The folks who lived there spent 24 years enjoying that view, however, they never upgraded a thing, which turns out to be perfect for us because we can now make it our own. The view from the bedroom..
As are most of the lakes in town, it is low, but not nearly so much as some. The folks put in serious sliding doors against the screens so you can shut off the living area and open the sliders for breeze on the porch, but if it is too hot, you can shut them and open the others so it can become an air conditioned space. Pretty clever, I'd say.
It is smaller than our home, but not by much. Then too, I am so looking forward to having a larger shower. While I've become accustomed to a 1960's sized shower, I can't say as I haven't wanted more for a while now.
As if we didn't have enough to think about, now this, right? Bruce got home last Friday night after midnight, but he was up bright and early, so we went to see it at 9AM before signing any papers. What I neglected to mention is that both Bill and Dave looked at it with me last Sunday, and it was quite the show with both of them "double teaming" the owner on price. You had to have been there, but I will say, I could have never done what they did, negotiating about a 10% discount. :)

In Texas, Bruce's job is nearly finished, on time, and mostly on budget. The managers take over on Wednesday meaning any further work has to be accomplished over night. I am so proud of his team there because they have done an outstanding job, so much so that Bruce can almost say they walked across the finish line, something he is always striving for. Woo hoo! The opening is about three weeks from now.

In my last post I mentioned I was holding back some photos, but now is the time to share them. The green heron from my last post was quite the find, as was these Limpkin chicks who were valiantly trying to catch up with their parents.
Eventually they did..
We learned from an earlier post that they primarily eat Apple snails, and here is one of the parents with just that for the chick.
So all very exciting. This was on Lake Cherokee, situated a block from Lake Davis. I parked by the former, than walked over to the latter, where I saw an Ibis in breeding colors.
Those legs and face are crazy red this time of year! Lake Davis is SO low with all these weird circles along the shoreline. At least fifty, I'd say.
After walking around the whole lake, I'm thinking perhaps reeds were there and withered from the drought?

I saw a Mom on her nest in an oak tree.
As well, a heron that I'm not quite sure if it is a Great Blue, or not. Seeking all kinds of input from readers today, aren't I?
Walking back over to Lake Cherokee, I was struck by how much I oftentimes take our beautiful lakes and scenery for granted, having seen the same thing over and over again. Then too, most of the millions and millions of the tourists that visit our area yearly, never do see the "real Orlando."
Yet another puzzling thing I saw were quite a number of nests (?) amongst the reeds that looked like this.
I'm heading back over soon to see what is happening with these reed tepees. It is such an awesome time of the year for photo enthusiasts, that is for sure!

Days for Girls went well yesterday with quite a few volunteers in attendance including my friend Leslie who has taught me a thing or two.
She has been with Sharleen since the beginning two years ago. In another room, several women were putting together the 53 kits, packing them into boxes by panties size.
Should you be reading this blog for the first time, here is a link to Days for Girls International, obviously an organization I feel strongly about. We learned yesterday that there are five countries that now have woman making the kits to sell to their own countrywomen! Fantastic, right?

I'm still moving photographs, watching ten years of our lives pass by. The scrappy quilt continues as well.

As I type, the sky is a gray mass of clouds that we all hope will bring more thunder and lightning, followed by a big downpour. A girl can dream, can't she?

yours truly,

Gail
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