Thursday, June 30, 2016

Don's Blog Plane ID 6-30-16



The plane I photographed right over head at the SRB beach house is a Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
It has the capability to takeoff and land like a helicopter and also fly like an airplane.






Thanks Jerry and Kieth for the ID.

Don's Blog Plane ID

The plane I photographed right over head at the SRB beach house is a Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
It has the capability to takeoff and land like a helicopter and also fly like an airplane.






Thanks Jerry and Kieth for the ID.

Don's Blog Beach Scene IV June 2016





The charm of the beach is that  it is never the same day to day and moment to moment. Since we are located on the panhandle just east of Pensacola Naval Air Base and from Fort Walton's  Eglin Airforce Base we always have air activity above our heads. We have the usual gulls and great blue heron's but one day a big group of pelicans flew over us at the same time that there was a flyover by an F-4 Phantom. We howled as it really appeared that the pelicans had put on the after burner. The plane pictured below made several passes on different days and as you can see it was very close. Can anyone identify it?




Late in the week there is usually a beach wedding at the Santa Rosa Beach Club just down the way.
It is usually later in the afternoon and as you can see there is very little slowdown in beach activity.
That is my grandson Will in the red shorts behind the wedding party.



You may know that I have a long term project of taking photos in rest rooms. (See The Art of the Comfort Room, 2016 on my website: www.donsessions.blogspot.com) Our room had art in the rest room that included these historic post card images from Fort Walton. We have long been interested in the history of Fort Walton  as Billie Sloat's relative John Brooks played a prominent part and Billie grew up in one of the resort hotels. Does anyone know about Tower Beach?


Peaches in Florida





Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Flower for the Day Hydrangea 6-29-16

This is the year of the hydrangea. I have two substantial hydrangea bushes. This one has not bloomed for two years but this year better than ever and in multiple colors. 

This shows some early blooms.


And later on all these colors appeared - all on the same bush. I do not add anything to the soil.














 "In some species (notably H. macrophylla), [flower color] can be blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. In these species the color is affected by the presence of aluminum ions which are available or tied up depending upon thesoil pH. For H. macrophylla and H. serrata cultivars, the flower color can be determined by the relative acidity of the soil: an acidic soil (pH below 7), will have available aluminum ions and typically produce flower color that are blue to purple, whereas an alkaline soil (pH above 7) will tie up aluminum ions and result in pink or red flowers. This is caused by a color change of the flower pigments in the presence of aluminium ions which can be taken up into hyperaccumulating plants. Lowering the pH of potting soils or mixes typically do not change the flower color to blue because these soils have no aluminum ions. The ability to blue or pink a hydrangea is also influenced by the cultivar." Wikipedia

Don's Blog Beach Scene III June 2016







The first few days we had this idyllic situation with a waist deep area of still clear water sheltered by a 3 foot high sand bar which allowed us to see the various little fish, rays, and even a 2 foot long sand shark which got everybody's attention. 


When the surf came up it added to the possibility of skim boarding. Here is Blake with his board  coming off the sand bar into the little lagoon.
    

One of the reasons we love the beach is that the urgency of life disappears. The difficult choices that we do have to make include which swim suit to put on and what kind of fresh fish to get for dinner. We would go to Goat Feathers Seafood Store about 8 minutes east on C 30A. We could choose between fresh grouper, snapper, pompano,  huge shrimp and more. We just had to get there before 7 in the evening. In between dips in the lagoon Jan was on her iPhone and reading a book. I was reading "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami.

The June sun is hot so we made generous use of some old beach umbrellas. The beach quilt  in front of Jan was picked up at an antique store along an Alabama highway 20 years ago for $40. I have used my surgeons skills to keep it together. Its charm is that it was already ruined before we bought it so we can use it without worry.



 When we first started to come to this area we stayed at a beach rental, the Sunshine House, owned by John and Billie Sloat who lived next door. It was the perfect gulf front beach house and was seemingly indestructible. Through the years we lengthened our stays to two weeks. Unfortunately both houses were condemned after a hurricane and we had to move up the beach to the west. Initially when we started coming in the early 70's there were literally no gulf front houses west to a public beach access and east to Blue Mountain Beach.  Because of this we could skinny dip in the mornings  by walking a ways to the east.

This trip I called Susan Meyers who is Billies daughter who lives in Fort Walton and we had a great time telling stories about her folks. One story: John had mentioned to Gordon that sea turtles make specific marks when they come out of the gulf to lay their eggs. Many years later Gordon came into our room about 11:00 one evening. To quote him, " one night I saw what appeared to be atv tracks heading from the ocean to the dunes and I immediately knew what it was.  If John had told me perhaps that is why I knew almost instinctively what it was.   I followed the tracks to the dunes and there she was digging with her back fins and laying eggs." We all got to see this amazing phenomenon. Several years later on another trip a little later in the year we  observed a sea turtle hatch and watched the confused little turtles walking toward the gulf and the full moon. It is spectacular to see a mass of baby sea turtles trundle their way to the safety of the water.

Gordon and I walked down the beach to where the Sunshine House had been. 

 Behind me are two vacant beach front lots (180 feet) where the the two houses had been. There is no doubt that 'you can never go home' especially to the Sunshine House -but you sure can come and play at the beach.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flower for the Day Horse Mint 6-28-2016

Horse mint showed up in my front yard by surprise. It is mentha longifolia and does have a minty taste.As for its value let me quote: Nicholas Culpeper's Complete Herbal (1653) states that "It is good for wind and colic in the stomach...The juice, laid on warm, helps the King's evil or kernels in the throat...The decoction or distilled water helps a stinking breath, proceeding from corruption of the teeth, and snuffed up the nose, purges the head. It helps the scurf or dandruff of the head used with vinegar."

Don's Blog Beach Scene III June 2016





The first few days we had this idyllic situation with a waist deep area of still clear water sheltered by a 3 foot high sand bar which allowed us to see the various little fish, rays, and even a 2 foot long sand shark which got everybody's attention. 


When the surf came up it added to the possibility of skim boarding. Here is Blake with his board  coming off the sand bar into the little lagoon.
    

One of the reasons we love the beach is that the urgency of life disappears. The difficult choices that we make include which swim suit to put on and what kind of fresh fish to get for dinner. We could go to Goat Feathers Seafood Store about 8 minutes east on C 30A. We could choose between fresh grouper, snapper, pompano,  huge shrimp and more. We just had to get there before 7 in the evening. In between dips in the lagoon Jan was on her iPhone and reading a book. I was reading "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami.

The June sun is hot so we made generous use of some old beach umbrellas. The beach quilt  in front of Jan was picked up at an antique store along an Alabama highway 20 years ago for $40. I have used my surgeons skills to keep it together. Its charm is that it was already ruined before we bought it so we can use it without worry.



 When we first started to come to this area we stayed at a beach rental, the Sunshine House, owned by John and Billie Sloat who lived next door. It was the perfect gulf front beach house and was seemingly indestructible. Through the years we lengthened our stays to two weeks. Unfortunately both houses were condemned after a hurricane and we had to move up the beach to the west. Initially when we started coming in the early 70's there were literally no gulf front houses west to a public beach access and east to Blue Mountain Beach.  Because of this we could skinny dip every morning  by walking a ways to the east.

This trip I called Susan Meyers who is Billies daughter who lives in Fort Walton and we had a great time telling stories about her folks. John had mentioned to Gordon that sea turtles make specific marks when they come out of the gulf to lay their eggs. Many years later Gordon came into our room about 11:00 one night. To quote him, " one night I saw what appeared to be atv tracks heading from the ocean to the dunes and I immediately knew what it was.  If John had told me perhaps that is why I knew almost instinctively what it was.   I followed the tracks to the dunes and there she was digging with her back fins and laying eggs." We all got to see this amazing phenomenon. Several years later on another trip when we were there a little later in the year we got to observe a sea turtle hatch and watched the confused little turtles walking toward the full moon and the gulf. It is spectacular to see over thirty baby sea turtles trundle their way to the safety of the water.

Gordon and I walked down the beach to where the Sunshine House had been. 

 Behind me are two vacant beach front lots (180 feet).  There is no doubt that 'you can never go home' especially to the Sunshine House -but you sure can come and play at the beach.



Fwd: Don's Blog Beach Scene V June 2016





This strange story started at home and ended as part of the beach scene. Several months ago Jan lost her favorite ring. It was a designer gold ring which had rectangular edges and a hole in the top and she has worn it 
every day for over 40 years. She had gone to a jeweler and had taken the ring off and remembered putting it in her purse. When she got into her car she realized it was not on so she looked in her purse and could not find it. 
She described it as like being kicked in the stomach. She went back inside to the jewelers and they thought they remembered that she had put it in her purse. They looked all over, went through her purse with her and offered to check their security tape.
When she got home we went through her purse multiple times and skowered the car. After several days she even had the Lexus dealer remove both front seats to no avail. And that was that.

Then we are at the beach house and I hear a shrill scream, "Don, you have got to come here and look at this right now." I went into the other room and found out that Jan had needed a bite of her special stash of dark chocolate which she kept in a baggy in her purse. When she opened the baggy and then the  covering of the chocolate this is what she found:


And there it was:


It is for sure: miracles happen at the beach.


Don's Blog Beach Scene IV June 2016



The charm of the beach is that  it is never the same day to day and moment to moment. Since we are on the panhandle just east of Pensacola Naval Air Base and from Fort Walton's  Eglin Airforce Base we always have air activity above our heads. We have the usual gulls and great blue heron's but one day a big group of pelicans flew over us at the same time that there was a flyover by an F-4 Phantom. We howled as it really appeared that the pelicans had put on the after burner. The plane pictured below made several passes on different days and as you can see it was very close. Can anyone identify it?




Late in the week there is usually a beach wedding at the Santa Rosa Beach Club just down the way.
It is usually later in the afternoon and as you can see there is very little slowdown in beach activity.
That is my grandson Will in the red shorts behind the wedding party.



You may know that I have a long term project of taking photos in rest rooms. (See The Art of the Comfort Room, 2016 on my website: www.donsessions.blogspot.com) Our room had art in the rest room that included these historic post card images from Fort Walton Beach. We have long been interested in the history of Fort Walton beach as Billie Sloat's relative John Brooks played a prominent part and Billie grew up in one of the resort hotels. Does anyone know about Tower Beach?


Peaches in Florida




Don's Blog Beach Scene II June 2016



The fun of going to the beach is the play involved that triggers memories of past family and beach experiences.
My family took me early in life to the beach at Lakeside Michigan. My mother would have the six boys (three brothers and three  cousins) for the month of July and my Aunt Gladys would have us for the month of August.
It was like paradise. We had to wait for an hour after eating to swim or we would get cramps and die. NO One questioned this edict. But those memories are for another time.

This year by the third day the waves got larger and we had to put away our snorkels and fins and get out the body boards and skim boards.  All of the "boys" in the family have been body surfing the waves since they were old enough to go out in the bigger waves. There is nothing like when you "catch" a wave and it carries you thirty or forty yards. Its even better with boogie boards.

This is my son Gordon, his wife Kelli, and their boys: Blake, Adam, and Will.



Their maniac grandfather was out with them all week.

Will (here) and Adam (below) have been doing this for years but have not tired of it.



And the waves got large enough so even Gordon could catch them.





Monday, June 27, 2016

Don's Blog Beach Scene I June 2016

Th second week of June we met my son Gordon's family at a rental house in Santa Rosa Beach Florida on the panhandle. My wife accused me of playing at the beach like a manic maniac - ten year old. She was right. We have spent more than thirty summers in this area and know the place well. It is increasingly crowded but we love it anyway. The white sand beach is made of quartz so we can walk on it without burning our bare feet. The view west down the beach toward Destin on the first evening at dusk was remarkable. Almost every night there is an amazing lightening light show far out in the gulf.


I always put up my traveling fish lights for a nightly celebration.


As you can see they are a small but mighty lighting display.


The first morning the water was calm and clear and great for snorkeling.


When you arrive on the weekend this is what the beach looks like to the east. On a clear day we thought we could see the lights of Greyton Beach and Seaside.

This is the view to the west. That's the city of Destin in the distance.


We were too far from the public beaches for people to drag their stuff and park in front of us and during our week no one was staying on either side of us. There was great solitude on either side of us.


An amazing private beach. Great job by Kelli.

Flower for the Day Last Day Lilies 6-27-16

These are the last of the day lilies. 






Saturday, June 25, 2016

Flower for the Day Day Lily IV 6-25-16

The day lilies are winding down but many are still very  lush. These are all young (less than ten years old) cultivars.



 




 




 



I love the ruffled edge.


Lily

Pretty little daylily, so gay, so bright... why do you timidly close all your colorful petals to hide in the darkness of the brooding night?
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