Thursday, November 29, 2007

A gift

We've all been there. You walk around, looking for a photo worthy of a post and all you can find is a turtle sticking his head out of the (Canoe Park) lake. It doesn't look very interesting, you can't see much more than what's on the surface, but resignedly, you click anyway.

And then you come home, upload it to your computer and SURPRISE! The camera saw so much more: entire graceful creature, body armour and tail, suspended in water like a young Esther Williams!

Technically, it is known as a Florida soft-shell turtle, but I call it an Unexpected Gift ;-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday quiz part 37

Every once in a while - mostly on Tuesdays - I miss our quizzes.

Well, actually, what I miss is your highly creative and often bizarre comments ;-). So let's do it one more time!

Today's question is: What is it? Have you ever seen anything like this? Did it come with a lizard?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Birds of a feather...

Your mama was right: money does not grow on trees!

But apparently, birds do ;-)

To listen to their cacophony of calls, see my short video.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Remains of the day

Thanksgiving Day...evening (photo taken from my backyard)

"Softly the evening came.
The sun from the western horizon
Like a magician extended his golden want o'er the landscape;

Trinkling vapors arose;
and sky and water and forest
Seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Le Jour de Merci Donnant

Glossy Ibis at Hurricane Lake

Sorry friends, this is the closest I could get to a turkey today ;-)

Earlier this year, our country lost a great humorist and writer, Art Buchwald. Remember his classic piece Le Grande Thanksgiving in which he explained the holiday to the French? For those who don't, I'm re-printing it below.

Chacun à son goût, or why we eat turkey.
by Art Buchwald (originally published in 1952 and reprinted each November since).

One of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant.

Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims (Pèlerins) who fled from l'Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World (le Nouveau Monde) where they could shoot Indians (les Peaux-Rouges) and eat turkey (dinde) to their heart's content.

They landed at a place called Plymouth (a famous voiture Américaine) in a wooden sailing ship called the Mayflower (or Fleur de Mai) in 1620. But while the Pèlerins were killing the dindes, the Peaux-Rouges were killing the Pèlerins, and there were several hard winters ahead for both of them. The only way the Peaux-Rouges helped the Pèlerins was when they taught them to grow corn (maïs). The reason they did this was because they liked corn with their Pèlerins.
In 1623, after another harsh year, the Pèlerins' crops were so good that they decided to have a celebration and give thanks because more maïs was raised by the Pèlerins than Pèlerins were killed by Peaux-Rouges.

Every year on the Jour de Merci Donnant, parents tell their children an amusing story about the first celebration.
It concerns a brave capitaine named Miles Standish (known in France as Kilomètres Deboutish) and a young, shy lieutenant named Jean Alden. Both of them were in love with a flower of Plymouth called Priscilla Mullens (no translation). The vieux capitaine said to the
jeune lieutenant:
"Go to the damsel Priscilla (allez très vite chez Priscilla), the loveliest maiden of Plymouth (la plus jolie demoiselle de Plymouth). Say that a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of action (un vieux Fanfan la Tulipe), offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier. Not in these words, you know, but this, in short, is my meaning.
"I am a maker of war (je suis un fabricant de la guerre) and not a maker of phrases. You, bred as a scholar (vous, qui êtes pain comme un etudiant), can say it in elegant language, such as you read in your books of the pleadings and wooings of lovers, such as you think best adapted to win the heart of the maiden."

Although Jean was fit to be tied (convenable à être emballé), friendship prevailed over love and he went to his duty. But instead of using elegant language, he blurted out his mission. Priscilla was muted with amazement and sorrow (rendue muette par l'étonnement et la tristesse).
At length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous silence: "If the great captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me, why does he not come himself and take the trouble to woo me?" (
Où est-il, le vieux Kilomètres? Pourquoi ne vient-il pas auprès de moi pour tenter sa chance?)
Jean said that Kilomètres Deboutish was very busy and didn't have time for those things. He staggered on, telling what a wonderful husband Kilomètres would make. Finally Priscilla arched her eyebrows and said in a tremulous voice, "Why don't you speak for yourself, Jean?" (Chacun à son goût.)

And so, on the fourth Thursday in November, American families sit down at a large table brimming with tasty dishes, and for the only time during the year eat better than the French do. No one can deny that le Jour de Merci Donnant is a grande fête and no matter how well fed American families are, they never forget to give thanks to Kilomètres Deboutish, who made this great day possible.

Thanks Kilomètres, thanks Art and thanks to all of you who visit me here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Love gone bad

This vine, known as the love vine, has several much more descriptive nicknames: woe, witch's hair, devil's gut or strangleweed.

Yes, it is very unloved around here, and for a good reason - it's a parasitic vine that grows into an insidious (fishing-like) net that eventually strangles the host (mostly live oaks). It produces small berries (dodders) which attach themselves to a new host, and thusly continue their...herbicide ;-)

So why the love vine name? According to Elizabeth Silverthorne's "Legends & Love of Texas Wildflowers", young lovers in England may have given the plant its name.

"It was said that if a man swung a bit of the vine three times around his head and then threw it backwards, he could find out if his sweetheart loved him. After three days, when he returned to the spot, if he found that the dodder has attached itself to another plant, it meant that the lady returned his love, but if the vine had died, she did not love him."

Anybody need me to swing the vine around?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nature call

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." ~John Muir

Beautiful weekend to you all!

"Strange animal facts" #14
The original name for the butterfly was flutterby!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Patchwork quilt

This is just a small sample of the driveways I cross on my habitual walks through the community.

"The powers that be" would prefer that all driveways were built using individual bricks/stones. But as you can see, most homeowners opt for the easier, less expensive method of pouring concrete and "stamping" out a design...

See anything you like?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Virgin (canine) sacrifice?

Truffles at the canoe park

Sometimes words are superfluous. The picture says it all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What not to do

Today's post serves as a lesson: you should not take photos through a dirty window and an even dirtier screen!

And you should definitely not cut a raptor's wings off...

For the correct way of taking hawk photos, please visit here ;-)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Through the looking glass

This is the front door of an estate house in my neighborhood.

Through it, you can see all the way into backyard, which slopes down to Spring Creek.

(That's one benefit of living in a gated community - security is not an issue.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Flower power

Bougainvillea in my neighbor's garden

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." ~ Anne Frank

Monday, November 5, 2007

Beach Party

Oh, happy days!

The weather is picture perfect - sunny and dry days, cool and comfortable nights.

If you need me, you'll know where to find me...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Meet me at the mall...

Coconut Point Mall, Estero

It's time to get out of our "Blue" funk and release those endorphins!

“When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking.” ~Elayne Boosler

P.S. Hope you don't need any water ;-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Theme day - The Color Blue

Restaurant at Crayton Cove, Naples waterfront

If you are a frequent visitor to NaplesDailyPhoto you know that the predominant color here is blue. That's what Southwest Florida is all about - blue skies and blue water.
So it wasn't easy choosing a photo for today's theme day, but I think I succeeded...
I'm showing you here everything I love: Mediterranean Blue, Provence and French Cuisine!

Besides, it was either this or the photo below ;-)

Port-a-potty (portable toilet) at a local construction site

Please check out the rest of the "Blue" participants in this month's theme day:

Boston (MA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Portland (OR), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Arradon, France - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Stockholm, Sweden - Singapore, Singapore - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Toulouse, France - The Hague, Netherlands - Moscow, Russia - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Stayton (OR), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Detroit (MI), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Hyde, UK - Radonvilliers, France - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Saarbrücken, Germany - New Orleans (LA), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Forks (WA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Barton (VT), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Inverness (IL), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - Toruń, Poland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Le Guilvinec, France - Chateaubriant, France - London, England - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Sydney, Australia - Austin (TX), USA - Mumbai, India - Boston (MA), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Paderborn, Germany - Montréal (QC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Orlando (FL), USA - Grenoble, France - Cheltenham, UK - Forks (WA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - London, UK - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Belgrade, Serbia - Paris, France - Shanghai, China - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Montpellier, France - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Auckland, New Zealand - Evry, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Oslo, Norway - Minneapolis (MN), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Trujillo, Peru - Trujillo, Peru - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Durban, South Africa - Brussels, Belgium - Anderson (SC), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Wellington, New Zealand - Prague, Czech Republic - Saigon,