Wednesday, February 28, 2007

After the rain...

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Wild orchid after a morning shower. Into each life a little rain must fall...

"Still - in a way - nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small - we haven't the time -
and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

Georgia O'Keeffe

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quiz Tuesday part 13

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Over the past 100 posts, through your comments left here, I've learned how incredibly verbal, funny, innovative and frankly, a bit disturbed, you really are!
So today's quiz will be a lasting testament to your creativity, should you accept this challenge ;-)

Please give your best answer to : why does the white heron (want to) cross the street?

Monday, February 26, 2007

What's for dinner tonight?

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Since this is Lent, what better time to discuss dining out ;-). I've touched on the subject of restaurants here, there and yonder.

" Naples restaurants, as varied, as they are plentiful, offer everything from cutting edge taste sensation, to hearty traditional favorites, and the Naples area has attracted some of the world's top culinary talents. You can sample the tastes of the Caribbean or Italy one evening, tastes of Japan or France the next, and in between, some spicy Cuban or Brazilian cuisine." Florida Travel Guide.

That's all fine and dandy, but if you want some authentic Southwest Florida grub, go for the local favorites like grouper (fish) and chips, Florida stone crab claws, shrimp and scallops.

For those more daring, there is always (alli)gator tail. Bon appétit!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


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Today's post represents how I feel, after the roaring success of my 100th post party yesterday! Thank you all for coming and showing your support for NDP. Nothing can bring me down today, not even my neighbor's complaints about the noise last night ;-)

I spiral on unseen currents,
loftily, without effort
I leave the earth behind
on a soft breeze
absorbing the kissing sun
up here blanketed from all sound
save the soft flutter
of my feathers.
I oversee the earth,
the continuous struggle
for perspective and position,
knowing my place--
and uninhibited,
I choose my direction and
remain aloft as long as
it suits me.
I, the hawk,
free as air
define my days,
gliding unnoticed,
dreamlike through broad loops,
my shadow lost in the landscape,
and for an instant,
I know
I am the finishing detail
in God's composition."

Charles Albano

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Still bloomin' at 100!

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Today is Naples Daily Photo anniversary - 100th post! So I'm throwing a party and you're all invited! There will be flowers (this photo represents just a few of the plants currently in bloom around my house - all in shades of red and purple), wine ( BYOB - which means bring your own booze - sorry!) and some cool jazz (well, it's my party and I'll play what I want to ;-))

Franz Kafka once wrote: "The life of society moves in a circle. Only those burdened with a common affliction understand each other". So who better than you to appreciate this milestone with me. You all know how much time we devote to showing off our hometowns in the best/most interesting light and, if you are like me, you get tired and uninspired once in a while. But then, one of our DP family members leaves you an uplifting comment and you feel rejuvenated! So, many thanks for your faithful visits, inspiring comments and much, much laughter... I will now have a celebratory glass of wine, why don't you join me - you all deserve it ;-)

And to cap off our celebration, here's one of my favorites, Sade, reminding us to "Cherish the day":

Thanks all for coming to my party - hope you had fun!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Scenes from the mall

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Shall we go shopping today? (we can't tomorrow, since it will be my 100th post and we'll be too busy celebrating, right?).

Naples is a shopping mecca. The upscale shops of Olde Naples 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South are famous. The Waterside Shops, The Village on Venetian Bay, Coastland Mall, Bayfront - all outdoor malls built in a style to resemble a small European village square, boast every famous label on earth!

I must admit that I am not much of a fashionista (sorry Ming!) and designer labels leave me cold. But I do like art and home design and the Promenade of Bonita Bay is my favorite "mall". I also like to grab some lunch while there and munch to the sound of cascading waters...

Thursday, February 22, 2007


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Florida live oaks with Spanish moss.

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night..."

Dylan Thomas Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

(Courtesy of Olivier, you can listen to this poem read by the poet himself here)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Back door

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This is the back entrance to the gated community of The Colony. I showed you the front entrance here. Not bad for the service access, is it ;-)

Speaking of which, the service industry is second only to tourism in Florida. Living large requires a lot of maintenance and support. Every day, through those gates, rolls an army of workers: pool cleaners, landscape architects, pet sitters, housemaids, caterers, handymen, exterminators, faux painters, carpet cleaners, air conditioning servicemen, the list goes on... Ironically, none of them live in Naples and most travel long distances, since there is a dire shortage of affordable housing in our county.

But that's a whole other post...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Quiz Tuesday part 12

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No, I will not insult you by asking to name this lovely bougainvillea branch reaching over the fence, since you've already proven yourselves knowledgeable in botany.
Today, with apologies to some of my foreign visitors who will find this a bit of a challenge, I'd like to switch to another of my favorite subjects, poetry.

Here's today's question: can you decipher this poem by e. e. cummings:






Monday, February 19, 2007


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My lizard.
I got a lizard at the store. She looked at me. I looked at her. I took her home.
I saw my lizard eat four crickets. She was full.
I picked her up out of her cage. I held her upside down. I let her hang from my thumb. She wouldn't let go. She crawled up my shirt to my neck. She went down my shirt. She was wild. I calmed her down.
I put her on the couch. We watched TV.
Whenever I pet her, she falls asleep. I say, "Good night."

About the Author: EAR is seven years old. He likes lizards. His lizard's name is Lizzie.

(This is not Lizzie, but a lizard I spotted on my walk yesterday. I'm sure he's just as much fun as Lizzie, but I did not feel the urge to make friends).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Age of enlightenment

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Lest you think that Naples is nothing more than beaches and golf courses, I'll have you know that we take our culture quite seriously here. You will find more than 100 art galleries downtown in Gallery Row, with everything from impressionists to cubists. In addition, there's the Naples Museum of Art, The Naples Players, The Philharmonic Center of Naples, Sugden Theater, a concert arena and other cultural attractions. Not bad for a winter resort town with a population of 22,000! That is why we were named "The top small art town in America".

Still, it is mostly about the beaches and golf courses :-)))

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back to the beach

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"I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying."

John Masefield Sea Fever

Friday, February 16, 2007

C'est le week-end!

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The Florida Tourism Office puts out a glossy magazine listing "101 things to do in Naples".
Here are some of their suggestions:

#10 - you can surf around the Naples Municipal Pier (I know, you probably don't think of Naples as a surfer's paradise, but the warm waters and strong breezes do produce some nifty swells from time to time)
#18 -take your pooch to a "Dog Beach" where he/she can swim and run leash free (don't forget a Frisbee and some tennis balls!)
#29 - visit the Teddy Bear Museum, home to over 5000 teddy bears by artists and manufactures from around the world
#45 - take a ride on an air boat deep into the jungle of the Everglades where you will see all kinds of wildlife (including alligators and manatees in the Mangrove forests)

I haven't done any of those things. In fact, I haven't done most of the things listed. So this week-end, I'll go...I'll visit...Oh, who am I kidding - I'll just stay here and rest. It's been a looong week.
So what are you plans for the week-end?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


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Pretty idyllic scene, right? Couple of ducks, doing ducky things, in the cove, their safe haven. WRONG! Look up a bit's our resident alligator, silently stalking his prey...
It's the Law of the Jungle.

"The Law of the Jungle, which never orders anything without a reason, forbids every beast to eat Man except when he is killing to show his children how to kill, and then he must hunt outside the hunting grounds of his pack or tribe.
...Mowgli was taught the 'Stranger's Call,' which must be repeated til it is answered, whenever one of the Jungle People hunts outside his own grounds. It means, translated, 'Give me leave to hunt here because I am hungry.' And the answer is 'Hunt then for food, but not for pleasure."'
Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Material girl

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Valentine's Day display at Tiffany's in Naples.
As my gift to you on this Valentine's Day, I am disabling my customary music accompaniment so you can sing along with Marilyn. Ready? OK, let me hear you...little louder, please...

"The French were bred to die for love
they delight in fighting duels
but I prefer a man who lives
and gives expensive jewels.
A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
but diamonds are a girl's best friend.
A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the rental
on your humble flat, or help you at the automat.
Men grow cold as girls grow old
and we all lose our charms in the end.
But square-cut or pear-shaped
these rocks don't lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
...Tiffany's ... Cartier...
Talk to me, Harry, Winston,tell me all about it!"
(From: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) sung by Marilyn Monroe and you, music by Jules Styne, lyrics by Leo Robin

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quiz Tuesday part 11

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Since I insulted you last week -by mocking your lack of botanical knowledge - and then was proven wrong by Olivier and Alice, in penitence, I will pose an easy question today:

What is this plant doing, sitting pretty on a pine tree?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bosom buddies

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How is that for egalitarianism? Jaguar XJSC rubs with the bikes at the Country Club parking lot.

"Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddamn horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake."

~J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Leafy assignation

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I told you about our community canoe launch in a previous post. Yesterday was a prince of a day - sunny and warm with just a hint of a breeze - perfect conditions for some paddling down the river. Just keep in mind that eventually, you'll have to paddle back...up the river, against the current :-(

"There's nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats."
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Saturday, February 10, 2007


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Out for a stroll, looking for a snack, not thinking about her place in the universe. Just another day in the life of a seagull. Jealous? You bet I am!

"Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight
- how to get from shore to food and back again.
For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating."

Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Friday, February 9, 2007


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There are days when life seems to suck the last breath out of you and leave you flat and uninspired. Today is one of those days, so I'll just sit here quietly contemplating nature on our pond and longing for the simpler days - won't you join me?

"Take me away to those golden days,
Of ice creams and dreams, sandcastles and games.
Lay me down on strands of green grass,
Where dragonflies fly and grasshoppers dance.
Lower me into water so cool,
So clear and so blue.
Take me back to those golden days,
When I first felt that breeze and watched those waves."

Luke Jacobs

Thursday, February 8, 2007


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This is a re-enactment of the famous Battle of Bird River. The Blackbird troops are seen taunting the Whitebirds just before battle erupted. As history has told us, the results were a near disaster for birds of all feathers...

"Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent." Issac Asimov

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


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Do you play golf? I do not. Aside from having environmental concerns (the destruction of wetlands and water polluting with landscaping chemicals), I just don't have the patience for it. But I live in a golfing community (as does 90% of Naples residents) and to most, it is a religion - they dream, talk and breathe golf (especially the men).
As the popular saying around here goes: "When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit."; -)

(BTW - J.R.R. Tolkien said that golf originated from hobbits, after Bullroarer Took knocked the goblin king Golfimbul's head off with a wooden club, sending it down a rabbit hole thus winning the battle and inventing golf at the same time.)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Quiz Tuesday part 10

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Since I've discovered your weak spot - grossly lacking in botanical knowledge ;-) - I am planning to exploit it to the max! So here's a picture of a divine bush which is striking in more ways than one (hint!).

Today's question is: can you name this bush/tree?

Monday, February 5, 2007


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Psssst...Can you keep a secret? This is my very special place, at the end of the boardwalk, on the edge of Spring Creek. It is half-hidden and undiscovered by most, which allows me to claim it as my own for all the bird and wildlife watching. Some of my nature photos are taken from this spot...

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essentail facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Super sweet

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Today is Super Bowl Sunday (for my foreign visitors - think the final match in the Coupe du Monde ;-). I have nothing football related to mark this occasion, but I just learned that today is second only to Thanksgiving in food consumption for Americans.

Thus this photo of the Serious Cookie booth in Tin City, Naples. The lady in the window has been baking them for 17 years and - according to her - only ate one so far (yeah, right!). Each decadent cookie weighs 1/2 pound, costs $5 and you can choose from double chocolate chip, double chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, double chocolate chip with pecans and macadamia nuts...I think you get the idea.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: GO BEARS!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Liquid pursuit

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This photo of a turtle chasing a fish in our pond reminds me of an Aboriginal Canadian artist
Norval Morrissau. I love the vibrant colors he uses to illustrate the ancient legends of the Ojibwa people.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting This poster "Turtle, fish, frog, birds" represents a scene from one of the Anishinaabe creation stories where the turtles bring up enough mud on their backs from the ocean floor to create the Turtle Island.

So what story does my photo tell? "Tag, you're it!" perhaps...

Friday, February 2, 2007


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This statue of a goddess adorns the entrance to J. Semmler International Collections, an interior decorating store in downtown Naples.

I find this post most appriopriate for today, since I threw out my back and will be spending this week-end in a similiar position :-(

Hope your plans for the week-end are more vertical!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Theme day - what annoys you about your city?

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Well, wouldn’t you be annoyed to be strolling on a well traveled pathway and have a snake emerge from the ground in front of you? I know, it’s just a rat snake (so as long as you're not a rat, you should be OK ;-), but jeez….

Welcome to the flip side of Paradise ;-)