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Archive for March, 2013

I am filled with cliches at the moment. It really is impossible to realize that the month has gone by so quickly. Tomorrow we fly away, fly away, fly away home. And while I will miss this house and the time at the beach, I am happy that I will be at home tomorrow!
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Goodby Koi at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

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Goodby, my friend Nancy, explaining sea shells to my grandson Nathan!

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Goodby, Egret, searching for tidbits in the garbage at the New Pass Grill, our favorite place for lunch after visiting Mote Marine.

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Goodby, Jungle Gardens!

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Goodby, Flamingoes!

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Goodby, sweet pool times!

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Goodby, beach mornings!

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Goodby, Venice Rookery!

Goodby, house on Bay Shore Drive, which is going to be for sale the day after we leave. Goodby! Goodby! Goodby!

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Almost Here

Not spring – technically it’s here already, but, God willing, my family is almost here….

Today dd Emily arrives with granddaughters Sofia and Clara and Sunday Alice, Mike, Nathan and Stephen will be here…

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And I’m much afraid it will be the coldest week of the month, usually only reaching the high 60s. (Actually my favorite weather, especially if sunny.)

But I think I won’t be posting much during this time, though I hope to take lots of pictures and write about them when I’m home again. TTFN.

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Where I am at the moment, on the sun coast of Florida, I’m not quite sure what constitutes “Spring”. But hearing the word rushes my mind back to my childhood and the backyard of my grandparents which backed up to a very large Metropark system which followed the valley of Rocky River. Their yard merged with fields which were not being used for much of anything but hadn’t yet become a secondary forest, and then in the distance we could see the line of the true woods. Before I could even really walk that far, I remember my grandfather taking me in a wheelbarrow on the paths to see the early spring wildflowers. And when I was older I was able to roam around on my own with the lovely freedom of those of us growing up in the late 40s and 50s in most of the US.

It isn’t at all spring yet. Indeed I just checked the weather and see it’s below freezing now and will only reach 19degrees tonight. But by the time I am home, I hope lovely Spring will be filling the woods with flowers.
flowers spring beauties claytonia virginica

Spring Beauties – Claytonia Virginica

flowers swamp marigold calthra palustrus

Marsh Marigold – Calthra Palustris

flowers hepatica nobilis

Hepatica

flowers blood root

Blood Root

flowers virginia bluebell

Virginia Bluebells

flowers blue violet viola sororia wiki

violet – which I find in many shades of white lavender purple and even yellow

flowers solomon's seal

Solomon’s Seal

flowers jack in the pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit

I grew up on the plains just south of lake Erie, a flat land that has been the bed of several ancient seas, and have spent most of my adult life south of that in an area that is much hillier and partly glacial moraine. But everywhere I’ve had an rich abundance of wild flowers around me.

I feel so lucky to be surrounded by all this life and beauty and to have had a chance to know it really well as a child so that it became part of me forever.

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These are quiet days in Venice, but enough is happening to make them interesting, too……..

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Saturday my friend Nancy and I went to an enormous sale of used jewelry to benefit an assisted living home, Loveland. I found some things for myself and some necklaces to tqke apart for my granddaughter’s amusement in reassembling in other ways. These had some larger wooden beads in the shape of African animals, a giraffe, a zebra, an elephant. Then we went to the reopened Snook Haven, an old restaurant on the Myakka river which was taken over by the Sarasota Park system and closed for a time, but now again open under new management. We ate at a table on the river and enjoyed the feeling of “old Florida”.
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I’ve eaten here at least once every time I’ve come to Venice, and usually taken the little boat ride up and down the river and seen some alligators and interesting birds.

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I’ve also been to the beach more, and dinner with my friend Mary Alice and her husband Dick on Sunday, and toured the Art Museum and had lunch with my friend Suzanne yesterday. I would like to take some art class or workshop there while I’m here, but March seems very low on classes that you don’t need to have already started or that don’t continue into April, alas. But I have my art stuff here and am trying my hand at some watercolor and some colored pencil work.

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Last Friday I flew in from Cleveland to Venice, Florida on the gulf of Mexico. It was unusually cool for this time of year along the sun coast, but much much warmer than the Cleveland-Akron area!IMG_5997

This is the sixth year I’ve rented a place here. Venice has a lot of charm with a center of town laid out in the 1920s by a railroad group in Ohio. The house I’m at has a pool which we enjoyed in 2011, and I expected a lot of kids and grandkids later on this month. The yard also has some fruit trees, orange and loquat which we enjoy eating. Nathan and his mom made lemonade last time with fruit he picked. I hear he’s planning to do this again. And my friend Nancy gave us some papaya from their trees.

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I like Caspersen Beach the best of the many in this area. It’s a Sarasota County park which they keep in a very natural state and I can never get enough of rambling about looking for shells and watching pelicans fly by….Sitting on the beach yesterday a pair of sand pipers came right up to me as though I were invisible. It’s a very uncrowded place which I love.

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