Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Treasure jar

I put together a few of my beach treasures in a glass jar and put it into my kitchen a teeney weeney chihuahua that showed up out of thin air!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beach photos- Part 3- Happy Cactus Monday!

First I will say a late (9pm) Happy Cactus Monday to my CM friends, with a selection of beach succulents as my contribution! I found some amazing little plants growing right out of the sand! I am thinking of taking a pot ready for sand and a few small cuttings over there ASAP. Especially the red one you will see.

Below is another purple flower which blooms from those long runners I showed in the first batch of beach sure looks like a sort of Morning Glory, doesn't it?

A rocky little cove.

A beach succulent that turns red in the bright light...I have a second pic right under this one that is bright scarlet red...these were really neat to find. I know no names as of yet on these beachy plants...but will need to try and do some research!

A little plant just growing right out of the sand!!! Amazing!

This one below looks like the same succulent as the red ones above, that just hasn't turned red yet...but this one has little round balls on it. I am wondering if the leaves start out round, and elongate over time...Interesting!

Here are a few scraggly looking plants growing directly out of sand.

As I was leaving, I decided to look about for some insect life for my friend, Cindy at Bug Safari, and I found this giant darn web...

And then I found the female (due to size) Golden Silk Spider (Nephila clavipes). Commonly known as a Banana Spider. As I was taking pictures, a guy who was nearby watching, me commented on their name and that "they get huge"! I couldn't wait to get home and find out about them. The females get much larger than the males...and their webs can be monterous in size! I actually ended up passing many more as I was leaving. Amazing what you can find in the insect world, if you take the time to look! Cindy will be proud of me...even though I haven't yet found a praying mantis for her here in Florida! Ha.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emily's 2nd birthday party!

I interrupt my beach photos to bring you a few shots from Emily's party today! It was perfect, overcast and breezy, so not too hot and everyone had a great time! It was a pool party and the kids loved it. My daughter in law made the Elmo cake from a home baked 9 x 13 pan...cut up and decorated. He was coated in red coconut over top of the frosting. So cute! My little sweet granddaugher is growing up too fast! The last photo is of her back at their home enjoying her new Elmo table and chairs and some of her new toys!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trip to the beach- Part 2

Where are all the rocks in Florida?????
UNDERWATER!!! The secret is out now! Rocks in Florida...who woulda thunk it??? Hehehe!

Here is the underside of one of my favorite shells from childhood! It is called an Atlantic Slipper Shell. These small, arched shells have a shelf underneath which protects the animal inside. When turned upside down, the shell looks like a slipper. It is sometimes known as a "Boat Shell". I used to call them Moon Shells! The little shelf inside is very smooth, and it was soothing to rub your thumb along it. I've never seen an animal inside.

The little tiki thatched roof leading to a condo! Sweet!!!

Seagrasses lining the beach, to help with erosion of the sand. They are so pretty in large groupings! Swaying in the sea breezes!

What is this little sea bean-like thingy? It was laying in the sand. It felt like coconut fibre. I picked it up to shake it to see if I could hear a bean, or anything inside...but no. Silent. It was a really neat little compact something-or-other, though! It was about 1.5 inches long.

A Halloween Pennant - Celithemis eponina dragonfly! There were many skimming around on the foliage! They are so pretty and you can see how they get their name! A yellowy-orange and black winged insect! Very beautiful, I must say!

Tomorrow I will post both the succulent plants and the spider I saw at the beach! Both VERY exciting for me to find. I'm hooked...must go back now more often to look for treasures!
xoxo- Julie

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trip to the beach- Part 1.

I decided to venture over to the beach that I live only 2 miles from! Sad but true. We rarely go, but I want to make a commitment to go at least once a week and have a look around!

I am walking down the boardwalk to get out there...

I passed by this Black Eyed Susan-like plant growing there quite nicely...and others were around as well.

I have no idea what these long runners are above...but below, you can see that they have purple flowers!

Found some driftwood just laying around...I was thinking about grabbing it and running...but the lifeguards were right there...I would have to come back after dark.....LOLOL!

Below is one of the marked Loggerhead sea turtle nests...they are all up and down the beach. The babies will be hatching out in September!

A fastly fleeting sandcastle, complete with shells for decoration!

I was wrong in previous posts...there are rocks in Florida! In a later portion of this series of pictures, you will see where most of the rocks are in Florida...and it makes sense when you see it in print! (later).

A close up...kind looks like the moon, doesn't it???

Here is a view to the south...later I will post more views of condos...and I actually found some succulent plants growing straight out of the sand!!! How cool. I also have a dragonfly and a spider for you, that I see as I am leaving the beach! So I will be back either tomorrow or the next day with part 2 of the beach!!!

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A zentangle of sorts and apple chips!

This post was actually writen yesterday (Thursday), but Blogger refused to upload my pics yesterday, and it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R this morning...but it is...
I sat with my grandson as he tried some paintbrushes out today that my daughter had found in her room, called Paintastics! There are about 6 colored prefilled brushes, and then there is a white double ended ( a brush on each end), and each end, when painted over a color, changes that color to another if you start with orange, you can change the orange to pink with one end of the white brush, and yellow with the other. Good for kids to play with.
While he was doing that, I was thinking about not much at all, just doodling and came up with this tree in the financial journal...I thought if I blew this up real big, it would be neat art for a securities company! This page mentions Janis, Morgan Stanley and a few others! I wrote "Grow With Us" at the top to reflect my idea after I had done it...LOL...funny what your mind comes up with!

And here are a few shots of my dried apples! They are surprisingly good! Some did not dry as much as they should, most were just right, and some dried a lot and came out kinda crispy like apple chips. Those are intrguing to my brain!

I like the dried and over dried ones the most (the darker they got, the crunchier they are)...and such fun! I have my bag of munchies right now, here...crunching away as I blog! I can't wait to try some of your suggestions also! Gonna spend some time tonight looking up some ideas for the dehydrator.

The next project I want to try is turning shorts into skirts! I wear a lot of shorts down here in the heat, as I imagine a lot of you do as well. I saw where a blogger had done this and I think I would like to try...maybe as a sort of second life for the shorts...and something I can then wear to work...I am so darn cheap the idea really appeals to me...but I hate it takes everyting I've got to pull out the sewing machine. Ohhhhh...groan, bitch, moan. It will happen...and probably today. I will try to show pics!

Looky what I got!

Well, I am just borrowing this from my Mom. I was surprised when I told her I had read about a blogger who was drying apples for snacks, and she said, "Oh...would you like to borrow my dehydrator"? Well, yeah, I think I would! I liked the idea of drying apples since they are much in lower sugar content, and I am always looking for something to snack on late at night or while at work.

I washed up all the trays, and got everyting ready to go...

Stacked it all up to make sure I had it all right...

I washed, cored and cut up a bag of Granny Smiths. I decided to leave the skins, and I squeezed lime juice all over the cut edges, to keep them from changing color so badly.

Every tray is loaded in a single layer, and this top tray is kinda scant as I ran out of apples by then. OK, I am putting on the lid now. The machine is very quiet. Thank goodness. I am leaving it on the kitchen counter till tomorrow evening around 8:30pm...yes, my book says to dry the apples for 23 hours! I will be keeping an eye on them anyway. I cut them thinner than 1/4 inch anyway, so it may not take quite as long. I can hardly wait to see how they turn out, and if they will make a healthy snack that tastes good. We shall see. Stay tuned to see the results tomorrow! I am thinking strawberries would be really good too, and also low sugar. Can you think of anything that would be good dried, for a low sugar snack???

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I got my camera back...check out the okra!

They are all almost 4 ft. tall! Still no blossoms! Pooey...I just go and inspect every morning. Come on, okra...start produciung, will ya???

Below you can make out the red center where the stem meets the leaf...the stem turns read also, and it seems the red gradually disappears. I don't have any really red ones now, but they are quite bright for a period of time. A very pretty leaf! What is astounding to me is that the leaves feel like the outside of an okra...fuzzy, and slightly sharp...they feel very rough, tough, and like they WILL grow and be productive...they really seem to make a statement about their strength!

Here is a side shot showing how tall they are.

The little shiny blue Longlegged Flies are back. They had showed up on my pink eyed peas too! They sure are cute!

And check out Buddha...he sure is attracting all the love from the red vincas!!!

I have my beautiful granddaugher, Emily on my lap as I type. She is having her 2nd birthday party next weekend. I will be sure to take pics!