Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Orchids

A few of my orchids are in full bloom. First up, a Vandaceous hybrid. I've only had this one a year so it's nice to see it re-bloom on schedule.

This Dendrobium Aggregatum is a compact plant with a lovely delicate display for about 2 weeks per year.

This Pink Phaleanopsis is lovely and showy with many blooms from two stems.

This smaller red phal hybrid likes my front porch even with limited sun, and blooms twice a year for me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update on my Garden Cats

I first introduced you to my "garden cat friends" about a year ago, and there's been so much going on with them I need to share updates. Soon after this post, Mama became pregnant again. She was looking like she'd be due to give birth when we were in Japan, so I asked our new next door neighbors to pop by daily to keep food and water fresh and they happily agreed.

We came home on April 4th, Mama was clearly no longer pregnant, but we didn't know the outcome until June 1st, when she showed up with 4 new kittens in tow.

Over the next few weeks, we didn't see the kittens much, but one stuck around. I'll assume the other 3 found some happy ending, but given the harsh reality of feral kitten life.....

Anyway, so the one little black kitten joined her Mom and brother and made our back yard her own. Oh, I should probably tell you by now the bird feeder is gone. It basically became a cat feeder once the brother figured it out, and his name became Shithead for a while as a result. He's now just Shitty, but we say it with love. Little Black Cat just naturally became Boo Boo. Shitty is very much the caring big brother to his little sister.

I then set about finding some help with TNR (how to trap, find a vet, all that stuff). And I found Melissa from Animal Matters who runs a local small charity for animal rescue. She lent me a trap, showed me what to do, and referred me to a local "feral friendly" vet. One by one, Mama, Boo, Shitty, I got them each trapped, spayed/neutered, tested and vaccinated and back home. I ended up buying my own trap so that Melissa could continue to use hers for helping other cats, since it took a few weeks to get all 3 in and out. They each acclimated back to home within a day or two.

They have the best possible life for Feral cats - I spoil them rotten. They are often treated to fresh chicken and catnip. Boo is the most "socialized" of the three - I swear she just stops short of rubbing against my leg when I'm feeding them. All three will eat from my hands, but she'll lick my fingers and climb on me sometimes. I've managed to pick her up a few times and while she's clearly not a fan, she doesn't fight me too badly for a minute or so.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - morning surf in Florida

Hurricane Sandy spared Florida, but the winds and impacts over the Bahamas brought some great looking waves to shore this morning. These pics are from Delray Beach around 8am today:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boca Raton hosts the Debate - minutes from home

A major event is just minutes from my house this week. On Monday the third and final 2012 Presidential Debate is being hosted at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL. The weather today made for a perfect walk to take a look at the preparations. I parked at Patch Reef Park and made the loop around to Military Trail - which will be closed all day Monday 10/22/12. The debate tickets are reserved for students or I would have loved to go!

Lynn University has had a little facelift work done to prepare, and the campus looks great.

This countdown sign has been in place for the past few weeks - 2 days to go:

News crews, security teams, and other involved groups have been arriving on the campus the past few days. A helicopter is circling overhead nonstop now.

The ducks on the outer perimeter pond are not impressed...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June Hailstorm - South Florida Style

Friday afternoon the clouds darkened a little and the wind picked up...nothing unusual this time of year. Shortly after the rain started it was obvious this was no normal storm. The house was being pummeled with ice - in spite of being over 90F! Not cute little pea hail, but chunks like ice cubes slamming down. So incredibly loud, I was worried perhaps my car would be covered in dents (fortunately not). It lasted only a few minutes, and then finished with some normal rain before passing.

I captured a few shots around the house afterwards. This hanging orchid captured a melting chunk:

In the front of the house, ice nestled among these Crown of Thorns:

In back, hail gathered around this newly planted baby coconut palm:

Just walking on the grass was slippery!

I've never seen hail like this in Florida before!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Branching Out

I've been interested in partnering with a local boutique or two, and one recently found me: "Uniquely Palm Beach" the gift shop at the Cultural Council of the Palm Beaches, in Lake Worth.

The council building features a gallery and sponsors many local art events. Proceeds from sales in the gift shop also benefit artist programs so it's all for a great cause! The Council recently moved into the new facility on Lake Avenue (a lovely bohemian street of boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and such), and the gift shop opened earlier this year. They feature works from several local artists and a wide variety of items, and I'm proud to be included!

The shop is also very cute and stylish! I'll have a home for my items in the jewelry case shown here:

I'm excited to see how things go over the coming months.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cherry Blossoms in Japan (just starting)

I'm back! Our Japan trip was amazing, and I am already planning our return. The Sakura trees decided to wait a bit longer than expected this year so we saw a lot in bud, but at least few that decided to show off while we were there:

In Kamakura:

In Nara:

In Kyoto:
 And in Tokyo: