Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "B" is for Battlefield

This is the sign to the Olustee Battlefield, a state battlefield park between Jacksonville and Lake City, Florida. On February 20, 1864 a Union expeditionary force out of Jacksonville met a Confederate "army" of roughly equal strength here in the pine woods near the small railroad depot of Olustee. Over the course of a few hours that afternoon over 2,000 soldiers became casualties out of the 10,000 total men engaged. This makes Olustee one of the costliest battles of the entire American Civil War in terms of percentage of casualties per man engaged. Even though it was a small battle by Civil War standards (there were well over 100,000 men at Gettysburg the previous year in 1863 in Pennsylvania) it was still by far the largest battle fought in Florida and helped buy the Confederacy a little more time before the untilmate defeat in 1865. Florida best served the Confederacy by supplying vast quantities of beef, salt, and other food products to the Confederate armies further north, though over 14,000 Floridian men did serve under arms - including many of my ancestors, some of whom fought on this very battlefield. I grew up just 15 minutes away by car and could hear the cannons each year when they would hold the annual reenactment. I still enjoy going out every year to watch the reenactment, visit the camps and suttlers, and enjoy a trip back in time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Civic Duty

Primaries were held today in Florida - I could only vote on a state constitutional amendment though because I am registered "No Party" and therefore can't select a presidential candidate until the final election in November.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A nice place to relax at work

The bridge I posted as a close-up a couple of days ago is here in this image on the left. There is a gazebo on the right under the trees but the shadows were too strong in the midday sun.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Terrible lizard king

This "little" guy is an icon of sorts in our part of the city - for many years it stood as part of a putt-putt miniature golf course named "Goony Golf" where each hole had some sort of giant mechanical animal or object that you had to navigate around. This tall, orange T-Rex was one of the most visible of the animals because it was so tall and bright orange. Alas, the golf "course" closed down years ago and recently a developer bought the land and decided to turn it into yet another strip mall of shops. However, due to many sympathetic requests from residents he agreed to save the T-Rex and incorporate it into the new design. And so now it stands by the side of the road with a fresh new paint job, eyes made from bright red lights that shine brightly at night, protected by a fence, and the shopping center now bears its name. One of the shops even went as far as to call itself "T-Rex Food Mart".

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cross Over?

A foot bridge over a narrow section of one of the lakes that grace the campus of the company that I work for - we have nicely landscaped grounds so I decided to walk around at lunch and take some photos for the blog yesterday.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

I took this photo this past Sunday and have been holding it for today - bring on Sky Watch Friday! I thought it was one of the most unusual cloud formations I had ever seen, like a many fingered hand stretching forth across the sky.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flowers in Epcot

These nice flowers grow in the England section of Epcot in Disney World, Orlando, FL.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "A" is for Anteater

Round two of ABC Wednesday! "A" is for Anteater, one of my favorite animals at the zoo. I just find them endlessly amusing. I had always imagined they were rather small - until I saw them in real life - but those are Aardvarks, which are small (about the size of a pig) and found in Africa. These big fellas are South American Giant Anteaters: 2-3 tall and 5-6 feet long from snout to tail and with bulky bodies, strong muscles, and large claws on their feet for digging into hard soil in their search for ants, termites, grubs, and other insects. They are beautiful creatures in their own special way, perfectly created for their purpose in life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Rain water collected in the nook of a large tree.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Peek-a-boo with

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Outdoor courtyard of sculpture at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of the Arts in Sarasota, FL - summer home turned art museum of the circus mogul. A beautiful estate with fabulous art, lovely landscaping, and a 1926 mansion which I shall post some photos of in the future. The website for the museum can be found at: If you are ever near Tampa or St. Petersburg, FL and have time to cross the bay to Sarasota it is well worth the trip.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Looking skyward at a corner of the large Catholic church in downtown St. Augustine, FL.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "Z" is for Zookeeper

A zookeeper in the aviary at the Jacksonville Zoo, holding one of our legion of stuffed penguins - Rocky (he's a Rock Hopper penguin...) on a day we took him to the zoo for a little photo tour as part of a fun little series on a website where people would take their favorite plush animal with them somewhere and take a number of photos of them "doing" different things. We chose the zoo. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

End of the Road

Literally. This is where Atlantic Blvd meets... well... the Atlantic! Interstate 10 runs all the way from the Atlantic ocean outside of Jacksonville to the Pacific ocean outside of Santa Monica, California. It doesn't actually reach the ocean, but Atlantic Blvd more or less takes over the same route and ends here at Atlantic Beach.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pottsburg Creek

Snapped out the passenger side window (right side here in America) on my way to church this morning of a view I always enjoy - the marshy banks of Pottsburg Creek at the bridge on Beach Blvd. The gray tree trunks and black mud and water with heavy fog and low gray clouds - it makes what little color there is stand out all the more.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bridge into the Clouds

Driving towards, up, and over the Napoleon Bonepart Broward Bridge - aka the Dames Point Bridge - over the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, FL on a particularly foggy morning.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Silhouette of the Grand Floridian Resort at sunset in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bonus Thursday Post: Our New Kitten!

Making her debut in our house (and our blog) is our brand new kitten, adopted tonight - Mischa. She looks a little like a Russian Blue, though she is certainly not a purebreed, so we decided to give her a Russian name. Since the original Russian Blue cats came from the Archangel Islands in Northwest Russia, Michael is the Ark Angel, and Mischa is the feminine form of Michael in Russian (according to the name site we referenced) - hence her name is Mischa.

She is about 3 months old, tiny, and very, very sweet. It only took her about 5 minutes in the house to begin playing and loving on us and letting us pet her and purring, etc. She's adorable. :)

100th Post!

To celebrate the 100th post on my blog, I called in a few insurance company favors and had MetLife send their blimp to provide coverage. ;-)

If you look closely in the last image (zoomed in via Photoshop) you can see the landing ropes which hang down from the front of blimps. It was coming in for a landing just before sunset yesterday at the small airport a half-mile north of our house where they often land blimps when they are in town for sporting events or on their way to others and need a warm bed (warm runway?) for the night, etc.
Thank you to all my blogger friends for your kind comments over the first 100 posts. I hope there shall be many more.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "Y" is for Yacht Club Resort at Disney World

The Yacht Club Resort at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

I know it violates the rule of thirds and whatnot, but I liked the way the sky looked almost like another body of water meeting a shore, like in a dream where you don't know which way is up or down... or perhas something less profound. Who knows? Taken in December 2006.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Horses on a Hill

Taken in 2004 in North Central Tennessee, about an hour and a half east of Nashville, near the town of Cookeville at a horse farm / ranch where we went to do some horseback riding, though the horses in this shot were not used for riding. Having never been on a horse in the hill country before it was quite an experience. Almost all of us felt certain that we were going to die at least once during the hour long ride. The horse riding ranches we've been to in our area of Florida are the type where the horses go one speed - slow - no matter what and follow each other slowly and the land is flat. These in Tennessee were not such horses. They would gallop, go through trees and bushes, stop, and - once we learned out to control them 3/4 of the way through the trip - do anything you told them to do. A little more training would have been nice other than, "Put your feet in the stirrups, hold this here rope thing, and hold on." :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Flowers Fronting a Fountain

In the courtyard of the Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine. Too bad the flowers were in so much shade under a balcony (maybe not for the flowers, but certainly for photographers). :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Canada in Florida

Gardens at the Canada pavillion in EPCOT, part of the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"Art" on a wooden dock

Some enterprising artist made use of the "canvas" that is a dock by a lake in Gainesville, FL.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Below is a shot of a statue at the historic site of the Mission Nobre de Dios in St. Augustine, site of the landing of the Spanish and first mission in what is now the United States. The statue is of one of the former heads of the mission, but I forget his name. He is now either:

a) joining us all in Sky Watch Friday,
b) praying,
c) directing air traffic for landings, or
d) meditating and pondering his insignificance in the vast scheme of things.

I think I prefer option C. :)

And here is the same view, zoomed in a little bit closer. Always a good idea to take multiple shots of the same subject from different distances and angles, especially with modern digital cards that hold a bajillion photos (bajillion is an actual number meaning a really, really lot... look it up).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thinking of warmer places

Since it is rather cold today (for Florida - lows in the 20's F last night) I will post a photo that makes me feel warmer: a shot of the courtyard of the "Range of the Jaguar" exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo, designed to look like a South American village. Great place to head for before the crowds build up and just relax. One of my favorite places around Jacksonville. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "X" is for Xanthophyll

Had to go to the dictionary to find a word for this Wednesday...

Xanthophyll - substance causing yellow colour of autumn leaves