Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gators in the Mangrove

Alright, I know I've been horrible about posting the past few weeks but I sincerely have had legitimate excuses. Enough is enough, though and I do plan on getting better!

Here are, yet again, more pics from Florida. This time we took a little excursion on an airboat through the mangroves.This picture needed a little spooky mystery about it, thus the ghostly black and white effect.

Butch was our guide and he was exactly how you would expect a guy named Captain Butch would be out in the mangroves maneuvering an air boat. He's pictured there behind my sister-in-law. There's Kev-Dog and Hantie on the left...they are the newlyweds that had the great idea to get married on the beach and let us be a part of it for an entire week! Oh, and that guy on the right, that's Nano. Neon Nano, I might add.

Oh look, another family portrait...the fiery pit below has for sure frozen over yet again!

And my boys...

Alright so I know you are probably wondering what we saw, right? It was definitely all about the wildlife and whether or not we were going to get to see a gator, because why else would we travel to the middle of nowhere to have a big boy named Butch steer us into the middle of a mangrove! Here were some cool things we saw:

This guy flew right onto the front of the boat. Why hello, what's your name? I could lift my hand and touched him if I had wanted to, he was that close to us.

The pelicans are so ancient looking, it really looked like I was peering into the eyes of a prehistoric pterodactyl. Oh and this could only have been taken with the telephoto lens that I rented. Love it!

And the best part of it all? This ridiculous gator lurking in the mangrove. What can't see him? Exactly the reason why I wouldn't play hide and seek with a gator in the mangrove!

I would venture to guess he was 6-7 feet from tip to tail and his head alone had to have been 2 feet long.

I can't help but think of the alligator (or was it a crocodile?) in the Peter Pan movie with the clock-ticking music and his eyes jumping up and down.

Ol' Butch was a-hootin' and a-hollerin' (I'm from Arkansas and reserve the right to talk like that on occasion!) for the gator to come to the boat. And boy did he come to the boat...that over-exposed bottom right corner? That's the boat and he, too was within touching distance!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Reflecting on Memorial Day

While I'm sitting here typing away, editing pictures and thinking about the delicious food that is in my immediate future for today, I quickly was reminded about how much I/we/Americans take for granted these simple luxuries that have been bought with other's lives.

Take a moment to thank God, a veteran, and a member of the armed services for the fact that we Americans get to live in a country where we have so many freedoms. While there are so many contradictory hypocratic idiosyncrasies (whew! that was a mouthful and does that even make sense?) in this country, I am proud to call myself American and thankful that there are others making the sacrifice for our freedom.

It also makes it even more clear to me how much more that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our eternal freedom.

Please be safe and respectful of others today while out celebrating this important day of reflection. Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saving the World One Turtle at a Time

Last weekend, after our return from Florida, we discovered a little visitor in our pool return. It was a sprite, little fellow that obviously loved water but I'm sure was not thrilled to be spinning in the trap...I hope he wasn't there long!

Lawyer was very excited because he's into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (FYI...scroll to the top of my play list on the right side of this screen and I have the theme for the TMNT) and had to check out the real deal. He quickly found his brand new bug catcher that Granny got him and he thought he was going to get to keep this little guy.

Aww, isn't he so cute? Carson, as Lawyer immediately named the tiny turtle, was very curious about us and didn't mind that we were all up in his face. He even gave a few tiny yawns like he was bored and had been around our "type" before.

Now, it needs to be pointed out that Lawyer was NOT HAPPY about letting the turtle go. A huge tantrum full of tears, stomping and shouting "NO, MOMMY!" ensued and it was a battle of our wits to figure out how to let the turtle go and get the child calmed down.

Jason quickly thought to take "Carson" down to the park to let him go find his mommy. The tears subsided and the stomping stopped but Lawyer wanted to secure the fact that he would get to hold the turtle all the way down to the park.The two turtles near the edge of the pond were dubbed the "Mommy & Daddy" of Carson the Turtle so that's where Lawyer was headed.

The release was exciting. I'm gonna miss that little guy (tear)!

Lawyer watched as Carson was able to stretch his wings and fly, er, I mean, stretch his webbed feet and swim.The tiny turtle is directly straight out from Lawyer's toes...what, can't see him?Ahh, there he is, that's better. Carson the Turtle kept poking his head up and looking at us as if he was just as sad to go...judging by that nasty pond water, I don't say I blame him.

It was sweet getting to watch Lawyer release the turtle because this was such a valuable lesson that we were trying to teach him: Just because we find something, doesn't mean it's ours to keep (I have philosophy on this subject but I'll save you, once again, from the nonsense in my head).There he is popping his head up again...goodbyes are always so hard!Thanks for saving me Lawyer, come visit me!Bye Carson, I'll never forget you!Goodbye!Bye!

And with that, there's not a dry eye in the house after that emotional departure...oh, look green ooze!Wait, isn't that how the Ninja Turtles became the ninja turtles...the green ooze? The baby turtle is headed right for the ooze!Okay seriously, if a 5 foot tall, nunchuk-wielding, eye mask-wearing turtle shows up at my door talking like he's from the Valley, I might freak out. Oh and then I'd take some pictures to post here. I really need to get out more. And watch movies that aren't about talking turtles with mad ninja skills.

The End.

Friday, May 23, 2008

More Marco

I can't seem to get anything done this week so my postings haven't been that great but here are some more pics of our trip.

These birds were my favorite thing about sitting on the beach...there were hundreds of them and they remind me of a cross between a toucan and a penguin. The funniest thing about them to me was that I thought I saw lots of "dead" ones but upon further inspection they were actually just snoozin'. They look like they crash-landed to sleep.See what I mean...I love this picture. You can see the cool bird, the beach, the soft waves and the buoy. And I really like the vintage feel to the picture...

These were little sailing boats you could rent and I was loving the colors:

Dinner in Naples (aka Jason's contraction of a nasty bout of food poisoning...don't eat the pulled pork sandwich!):Holy Cow, people, STOP THE PRESSES...Jason and I actually have a picture together!

Sunset Time at Naples Pier. These pictures ended up being some of my favorite pictures that I've ever taken. The light was beautiful and Lawyer's expressions are never lacking.With all the beauty of the sunset, the ocean, the pier, the people, the fishing, the beach and the birds...this is all this kid had on his mind...ICE CREAM!

And prepare yourselves for the world's best picture of Lawyer. I love how completely serious and contemplative he looks, almost like he's thinking of how to conquer the world and that ice cream cone is so the opposite of his facial expression. This wins best photo that I've taken, according to me!

Is this a joke? All three of us in ONE picture?And I'm not much of a sunset-taking individual (I have a philosophy about people and sunsets but I won't divulge on can breathe a sigh of relief!) but the sky was really orange and the ocean was very dark blue. This is really a study in color-theory...they are both colors opposite from each other on the color wheel.

Bye Naples Pier!

I am actually going to post beach pictures later since, after all, we did go to the beach. I've got some good ones to share! Until next time...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stop the Whining...

Check out this article in regards to gas prices today. Somebody please explain to me why everyone feels like they should get something for nothing...if you use it shouldn't you have to pay for it? This goes for gas prices...why would you expect that you should pay the same amount per gallon today that you did 20 years ago? Did your pay increase over the last 20 years or is it too the same as 20 years ago? This article covers a lot of areas and I like it. If you don't want to pay for gas then you have options: ride a bike, walk (I'm sure the obesity rate would really decline then!), hitchhike or ride a horse.

I'm off the soap box but nothing aggravates me more than people complaining about things like this!

PS: This type of "rambling" won't become a regular thing on my blog...I like happy things but this subject interests/aggravates me, especially since once-upon-a-time I did study to be an economist! More happy things are to come really soon!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Day at Naples

My favorite pictures from our last day in Florida...