Archive for the ‘ Photos ’ Category

In the Sand

On a recent trip to Fernandina Beach, I took photos of different textures in the sand:

Portuguese Man-O-War

Seafoam

Crab

Perfect footprint

My dog Darwin’s huge foot prints

Shells

Jeep tracks

Darwin’s shadow

 

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Some of you may have the blessing of experiencing fall leaves and cooler temperatures, while others like me are in perpetual summer. But no matter where you live, now is a great time to spend a day with your four-legged best friend at a neighborhood park. Here are some pics of my best buddy, Darwin, the XXL standard poodle at various parks in my neighborhood and on our family travels.

 

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How often do you actually see ducks with geese? Ducks on the left, geese on the right – Lake Guntersville, Alabama

 

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Cathedral Caverns State Park

637 Cave Rd.
Woodville, AL 35776
Phone: 256-728-8193

Visiting Cathedral Caverns in Woodville, Alabama is an awe-inspiring experience, arguably one of the best caves to visit in the USA. Visitors can explore the cave with a scheduled tour group after purchasing tickets in the welcome center. There’s a small gift shop and a fabulous wooden porch with rocking chairs for you to relax while waiting for the 90-minute tour to begin.

The opening of the cave measures 126 feet by 25 feet, making it the largest commercial cave openings in the world. The interior measures over 2 miles in length. If you visit during the summer months, as soon as you step inside you’ll notice the sudden change in temperature inside the cave. It stays 60 degrees F year round and the humidity is 100%. Don’t be surprised if water drips on you occasionally as you hike through the cave. Wear closed shoes with non slippery soles, as the ground is wet.

The caves were purchased by a man named, Jay Gurley in the 1950s. He spent many hours exploring, and when his wife finally saw the inside of the caves, she said she thought it looked like a cathedral inside. thus the name.

Welcome Center

The view of the outside from just inside the cave.

Paved walkways allow visitors to safely explore deep inside the cave.

A shark’s tooth imbedded in the ceiling of the cave proves that Alabama was once covered by ocean water.

The largest flow stone wall in the world (32-feet) in the cave was carved from years of water falling.

Stalagmites (floor) and Stalactites (ceiling).

The well-lit Stalagmite Stalactite Forest deep inside the cave is magical.

The many unusual formations have earned the caves the name Cathedral Cavers.

A break in the stalagmites, evidence of an earthquake.

 

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I just returned from a trip to Chicago. It was spectacular in most every way. The weather was great, and as you can see by these photos of Lake Michigan, the views were incredible.

Yet I was I happy to get home yesterday. The main reason for that is the fact that I could not get away from noise in the Windy City. At my sister’s house, construction workers started hammering at 4:45 am. Walking down the street, the traffic noise was so loud I could not hear my phone ring, despite the fact that I was holding it in my hand waiting for a call to meet a family member. At the restaurants, the chatter was so loud that I could not have a conversation. But by far, the worst noise was the piped in music at the hotel I stayed at – The Hilton Palmer House. Loud unpleasant music was piped into the lobby, the hallways, over the Concierge Desk, in the elevators and even outside the hotel. Once my husband pointed out to me that the music was everywhere, I couldn’t escape the noise. There wasn’t music inside the hotel room, but the EL, the elevated mass transit train, ran directly out our room window, rattling us to the core.

At home today, I felt pure joy and gratitude for the silence.

I guess you have to travel sometimes to appreciate home.

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Fort Lauderdale, the seventh largest city in the state of Florida, offers 7 glorious miles of beaches. There were more than 11 million visitors here in the year 2011.

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I eat at least 4 tomatoes every day and give at least 4 away. I cut them up in my salads, salt them and eat them over the sink, put them in soups, sauces, dip them in hummus and cook and can them. The deep red color is indicative of the deep, complex flavor. I will be sad in a few weeks when the Florida tomato growing season is over. But the good news is that I will plant the seeds for next season on September 1 – not that far away!

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Believe it or not, this is a BIG couch! However, Darwin is a BIG dawg! He actually fell asleep like this with his feet on the ground!

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