Summer?

Goldenrod in the Berkshires
tiny school GIF
Back to School

Are you finding your social network feeds filled with kids going back to school and off to college? I am, and I’m loving it. Recently, a friend asked how my summer was wrapping up. Laughing, I responded that life is going so fast recently I hadn’t realized it was summer.  🙂

But I see it’s true. The leaves are changing color, and the Goldenrod heralds the incoming of autumn. 

Goldenrod in the Berkshires
Goldenrod in the Berkshires

It reminds me of a time when the kids were small (although that was my perception of summer in reverse), and we basically lived on the beach one summer while visiting with my in-laws. That year felt like an endless summer. I didn’t realize things were changing until they told me I had limited flavor selection at the commissary where I get ice cream.

Leaves changing color
Summer slips into Autumn in northern NY

Now that the kids are older, we don’t have to tuck our travels into certain months and weeks. Perhaps that’s how I missed summer this year (although I thoroughly enjoyed each day of it). And we had such a nice spring, beach time came in April/May so there were lots of opportunities to swim and enjoy the sand.

Yet now that the leaves are starting to change, and the calendar tells us it’s time to prepare for winter, we’re slogging around in 31-32 C/ 88-90 F temps.

No wonder I’m confused.

Turtles, Flowers, Sand Owls and Friends

Jen wanted to learn more about animals and the trails that they leave. I had to admit, I was curious as well. So on our last full day on Marco Island, Mary Beth took us on a local nature tour. In the pics below she showed us some turtle nests, turtle footprints, and how to identify turtle scat.

 

As we traipsed through the community, I was drawn to the different beautiful flowers. I don’t know what any of them are. If you do, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I will label them 🙂

Updating as we go along. Wendy identified Vinca (the single white flower) and Bougainvillea (the purple ones).Thanks for that! I remembered the Papaya after I wrote this.

We walked back to the house and checked out an empty osprey nest on the property.

old nest and moss

 

I also learned about a cool tree that Native Americans used to paralyze fish. The bark has paralyzing qualities apparently.

fish killer tree

 

After checking that all out, we hopped into the car to drive a few miles away. A special treat lay there as we checked out squared-off protected areas, which contained sand owl homes.

 

Doesn’t look like much, does it? But the owls are sooooo cute! They come out of the ground at night. I know because we came back after dark and saw them.

IMG_20160404_210104866

Here is a very horrible picture of one since my phone camera isn’t so great at night. Better images are found here.

Now here is a funny scene we saw as we were driving around. We saw two turtles hanging in a yard lot. One moved in font of another and started kicking sand back on the other. For about two minutes, that turtle seemed un-fazed, then it retaliated. It started shell-bonking the first turtle! Quite funny to watch. I clipped the video so you can see just the bonking part, instead of having to wait.

So funny.

As the day wound to a close, we ate grouper and snapper at a local joint (delicious!). Some followed that with gelato.

Spring

image

This Mommy-pot vase was made by the children of one of my dearest friends. And she made the basket behind. God gets the flower credit.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but this winter felt especially brutal temperature-wise here in western New York. I always associate Easter with spring, warmth, flowers, and sunshine. A re-birth that’s refreshing for my soul, my house, my closet, and life in general.

With Easter coming so early, and winter-like temps stretching so late, it felt like the rebirth wouldn’t happen. According to the weather forecasters, it still won’t happen Easter Sunday, but we did get it today.

The holiday, the 65 degree temps, walking my dog with friends (and without a coat) under a blue sky and finding the first flowers of the year for me was such a gift. I’m feeling the love and the hope. May that feeling spread to you all as well.