Category Archives: Nature

Solar Eclipse

Tonight there will be a Full Solar Eclipse/New Moon. It will be the last one of 2012.

If you believe, as some people do, that the planets are lining up so that they will be in complete alignment by 12/12/12–the Solstice– then tonight is the evening that you should stop for a time and think about your intentions.

What! Intentions? What the heck does that mean?

It is time to open yourself to all possibilities. It may sound insane, but try it anyway, especially if life, this year, has beaten you down. Don’t worry, no one is looking. There is no one to stop you, but you.

So, let’s get started. I personally am going to send out my intention to heal myself. I AM going to feel better overall.

Yours might go something like this. Ask that all that has been done against you, now will bless you in the fullness of time. Your intention will be to create your new life and shake off all things that have troubled you through the year.

That’s a short explanation of what your intention should be tonight. Some will just take a moment to relish the smell of the roses. but do stop to at least take an honest look at your life–take stock.

Make your intention.

April Fool’s Day Joke

I was driving home from the supermarket when I dreamed up an amusing April Fool’s joke to play on my husband. The day before he had sweat through an entire Saturday planting annuals along the path leading to our front door. And April Fool’s Day was right around the corner.

The day finally arrived. I strolled along our walkway after work and entered the house. My husband was sitting on the sofa sipping a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. I cleared my throat and said, “What happened to all your beautiful flowers?”

“What do you mean, what happened to my flowers?”

I put on a super-duper gloomy face and replied, “Well, they’re all sort of drooping and dying.”

He threw the paper aside and hurried out the door with me trailing close behind.

When we were both standing looking down at his still-blooming flowers, a real explosion of color, I clapped my hands and shouted, “April Fool’s.”

My husband turned and stared at me. He didn’t think it was funny.

(I still say it was a great April Fool’s joke.)

Animal Lover

For years, I used to carry gardening gloves in the trunk of my car, in case I ever had to rescue an injured animal.

Don’t laugh too hard. I knew a fellow who carried a long, heavy rope in his trunk, in case he ever had to rescue someone from drowning.

See–my gardening gloves don’t seem so strange now, do they?

Anyway, as it happens, I have moved a turtle or two out of the middle of the road to safety wearing those gloves. But this is a story about a bird.

Many years ago, I was driving on a narrow two-lane street when a Mourning Dove swooped down and I hit it with my car. It lie limp in the road. I wasn’t sure if it was dead or not.

With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my gloves out of the trunk and had just slipped them on when a man, driving on the opposite side of the road, stopped his car.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“I ran into a bird.”

He laughed hysterically. When he looked at my gloved hands, he sneered, “Are you going to operate?”

Then he drove off.

I couldn’t stop crying. The idea of killing a bird horrified me. I walked over to it. I’m sure it was dead, although people have since informed me that birds go into shock and the dove may have been perfectly okay later. I didn’t believe them then and I don’t believe it now. At any rate, I carried the bird to the side of the road and placed it under a bush.

Over the years, I’ve actually saved a lot of birds who went into shock for one reason or another. They fly through badminton nets and into windows. Birds are simply not always equipped to handle human obstacles.

But no matter how many I’ve rehabilitated, I’ve never been able to forget that poor dove, or that guy’s repulsive, insensitive mocking.

Pensacola Beach After The BP Oil Spill

Photo from

How sad! And the oil is still gushing. It’s like the Exxon Valdez all over again–only this time on a daily basis.

A lot of people and politicians are asking why the well can’t be blown up.

From Rep. Phil Gingrey

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why BP couldn’t go into the ocean floor, maybe 10 feet lateral to the — around the periphery — drill a few holes and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite, in those holes and detonate that dynamite and seal that leak. And seal it permanently,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.) said earlier this month.

Could it be BP is more worried about their bottom line? Do you think they care nothing about people or nature?

Oh, forget I wrote that. No one could be that greedy.

An Unforgetable Event–Whale Watching

One of my unforgettable events – a whale watch off the coast of Cape Cod.  When you board a whale watching boat, the crew is quick to tell you that you don’t always get to see a whale. They just do their best to locate one.

Not all that reassuring, so I wasn’t expecting much.

What I got was almost unbelievable–even for the crew!

  1. A rare sighting of two (not one) Right Whales. They were playing together. At the time, there were only an estimated 800 in the wild. They have been hunted almost to extinction.
  2. Picture a school bus pushing itself  up and out of the ocean– front end first. That’s the only way I can describe what it’s like to see a Humpback Whale breach out of the water. The one I was lucky enough to see, stayed by the boat, waved with his fin several times and jumped completely out of the water landing again and again with a huge splash. Glorious! Wonderful!
  3. As if that weren’t enough, on the way back to port, over a hundred Dolphins swam around and under the boat. Did you know dolphins appear to be green when you look down on them from above the water?

I’ve  had a few unforgettable events in my life–mental pictures that I cherish. This is one I recall often. I’ll never forget it.

Do you have any?

10 More Great Places to Visit in the U.S.A.

This is my second Top Ten List–the Recap. Have fun planning your vacation.

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Cape May, New Jersey
  3. Outer Banks, North Carolina
  4. Key West, Florida
  5. Macon, Georgia
  6. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  7. Natural Bridge, Virginia
  8. Salem, Massachusetts
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. The State of Maine, including Acadia National Park

I have written at length about all of the above places in my previous posts. Enjoy!

If you’d like to see my first Top Ten List, go to 10 Great U.S. Cities to Visit


Acadia National Park

I’ve never been to Maine, but I’d like to go someday. Here are some of the places I’ll be looking for:

Presque Isle is the starting point for the world’s largest scale model of the solar system, which runs along U.S. Rt. 1 to the town of Houlton, 40 miles away. The center of the solar system is the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The town rests on the eastern edge of the great North Woods, so it is the ideal home base for those who come to Maine to snowmobile, hunt, fish, hike, or mountain bike.

Bar Harbor is adjacent to Acadia National Park, home to 1,532-foot Mount Cadillac. Its summit is the first spot in the United States where the sunrise can be seen.

Other things you’ll find in Bar Harbor: 125 miles of hiking trails, brewery tours, rock climbing, sailing, boat excursions and golf.

Portland, located on Casco Bay, is Maine’s largest city as well as its creative hub. Many craftspeople, artists, and other creative types have chosen to live and work here.

I’m going to take the ferry over to Nova Scotia, and go up in a hot air balloon. And if you like deep-sea fishing, this is the place to go.

Naples is packed with antique shops, restaurants, art galleries, gift shops and two miniature golf courses. It is also the place to rent boats, kayaks or jet skis, buy a ticket for a sea plane ride, or catch a ride on a 300-passenger replica of a Mississippi River stern paddle wheeler. For evening entertainment, establishments on the Causeway offer live music, and the nearby Bridgton Drive-In shows first-run movies on two screens under the stars.

This is only a small sampling. There’s Bangor, Kennebunk, Bath, Rockport, Cape Elizabeth, and Stonington.

Oh, did I mention the food? Zowee!

Natural Bridge, Virginia


A friend of mine had a temporary position in Virginia, a few years ago. She wanted some visitors because she was lonely. So, I told her to find some places in and around where she was staying and we’d go exploring. That idea culminated in a visit to Natural Bridge. We stayed two nights at the Natural Bridge Hotel. What I remember most about the hotel was their restaurant. The food was good and so was the music. Don’t go expecting a high-end resort, though. The hotel is historic, but quite charming.

There’s a lot of history connected to the Bridge.

The Natural Bridge was a sacred site of the Native American Monacan tribe, who believed it to be the site of a major victory over pursuing Powhatans centuries before the arrival of whites in Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson purchased 157 acres (635,000 m²) of land including the Natural Bridge from King George III of England for 20 shillings in 1774. He called it “the most Sublime of nature’s works”.

At nighttime, the Bridge is lit up with a rainbow of colors. It’s lovely. And while you’re there, visit the Wax Museum and the Toy Museum across from the hotel. There are also caverns there to visit. The kids will love it.

What I remember most about this trip, though, was the view out my window. In the morning, I watched the clouds in the valley slowly rise to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I never saw anything like that before. Awesome!

Atlanta, Georgia


It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Atlanta, but I remember my visit fondly. Probably one of the most innovative places in Atlanta is their underground shopping, where you’ll find unique shops and restaurants.

Also downtown, tour the World of Coca Cola. The kids will love it and so will you.

You won’t want to miss Atlanta’s Botanical Gardens. It’s a very special place. Among other things, it houses the country’s largest orchid garden.

If you are traveling with your family and have kids accompanying you then you should visit the Children’s garden that educates your kids along with some entertainment. The Children’s garden can be accessed by crossing over the Flower Bridge.

The best thing I did in Atlanta, though, was spend a day at Stone Mountain. [And if you home school, you’ll be interested in the Homeschool Day coming up in October at Stone Mountain.]

Stone Mountain has something for everyone: hiking the trails, a skyride to the top of the granite mountain, a scenic train ride, a sky hike,  an antebellum plantation, a fireworks/laser light show nightly showcasing the world’s largest relief sculptured mountain. There’s a campground or you can stay at Marriott Stone Mountain Inn. There’s more–much more.

Atlanta is a fun city.