About that sign…

Gopher Turtle

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise Sign

For the record, I have seen more snakes, alligators, and bobcats cross this road on my street than I have Gopher Tortoises…Of course, I suppose warning signs about snakes, alligators, bobcats (and lions and tigers and bears OH MY) might be a tad too much for the tourist industry of this wildlife refuge.  I get it.  I really do.  And the gopher tortoise I took photos of is really cute, it is.  But just in case you are the type of person dependent on signs and warning labels to guide you along the way, Honey, let me assure you there are not just Gopher Tortoises crossing the street on this island…

With friends like Peppy…


I’d like to introduce you to Peppy, one of my house guests.  Truth be told, Peppy and his family are still disputing the lease agreement that they apparently had with the landlord before we moved in last summer.  From what we were told, we were the only ones renting this beautiful property in Jurassic Park.  (Sorry, Sanibel.)  But after dealing with Peppy and friends since day two of our arrival, I must tell you, Peppy and friends do not want to give up the fight for this property.  I am beginning to think that considering their determination to stay here, maybe I should just let them have the place. They not only hang out in the garage, they like the kitchen, the living room, and I have even found three in the kids’ bedroom. (As if motherhood didn’t have enough worrisome issues!)  I am not sure how the dispute regarding the lease agreement between Peppy and friends and the landlord will result…

In the meantime, I would like to thank Peppy for giving me some true pep in my step whenever we meet.  It doesn’t matter if it is one of his younger relatives or friends or a fully developed scorpion, yours truly dances and is suddenly very alive when I encounter one.  I met Peppy the other morning in our garage as I was putting the kids in the car for school.  Talk about jolting my half-slumbering mind to full awareness.  I’ve reduced my coffee intake to one cup per day since I moved here, but now that I think about it, I could probably forgo the caffeine entirely.  With friends like Peppy, who needs caffeine?

The Wild Wild West…

Alligator bitten tail

You’ve got to be tough and literally have some thick skin to hang out in my neighborhood.  We may not have gangs or much crime at all, but don’t be fooled, my friends.  It is like the Wild Wild West on this wildlife refuge that tourists flock to in droves.  And is it just me, or did someone bite this poor guy’s tail?  And people think Sanibel is so peaceful…   😉


Florida Box Turtle

Look at the cute little turtle I saw on my bike ride this morning.  Believe me, there was a time in my life when the word ‘cute’ wouldn’t have been uttered in my description of a turtle.  But one year in Southwest Florida, one too many close alligator sightings for this chick with a very girly scream, and only one word popped into my mind when I rounded the corner and saw this turtle in the road…cute.  Perspective, people, I have got… 😉

It’s not just a Hawk…


Ever since I can remember, I have liked hawks.  Seeing one always brings back fond memories of growing up and the umpteen times the Bird Woman, AKA Mom, almost swerved off of the road to point one out to me and my siblings.  Sure, we had a few close calls, but between the Bird Woman and our father, AKA Rambo, one thing about our youth we can all agree on:  It was never dull.  In fact, growing up with the Bird Woman and Rambo was thrilling.  You may have heard me refer to the Bird Woman by her other nickname, G.I. Jacque.  (My parents are quite dear to me, and there are countless stories to go along with how they earned these precious nicknames.)

Today, seeing the Red-shouldered Hawk sitting outside my home, I smiled and laughed.  I recalled one of the many times the Bird Woman swerved her car to point and shout, “Look at the hawk in that tree!”  As my head narrowly missed hitting the window, I remember thinking how crazy, but exciting, the Bird Woman was…

The truth is, the Bird Woman still is fun to be around.  She finds the excitement in all things, especially the little things.  To some, it might just be a hawk, or a Red-shouldered Hawk, sitting in a tree.  To me, it won’t ever just be a hawk.  It’s a lifetime of memories, full of endless excitement and adventure.  Sure, there are a few near-accidents sprinkled in along the way, but the journey wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without them, and for each one of those moments and all the hawk-spotting ones to come, I am forever grateful to the Bird Woman.

May each of you find adventure in the little things…




Taken from inside, before I ventured closer.

Royal Tern

Royal Tern

There is nothing like a walk on the beach to start your day.  Despite my proximity to the beach, I admit I rarely make time to indulge in one of my favorite activities, unless I have company.  I have a daily list, in addition to weekly, monthly, and general lists, and I like to cross as many items as possible off of my daily list each day.  From the moment I rise, I go, go, go.

Unless we have company staying with us.

And now that I think about it, we tend to have a lot of company.  This happens when you live in places like St. Croix, St. Thomas, and where I am now, Sanibel Island.  For the record, I rarely had company when we lived in Indianapolis.  Were I an overly sensitive being, ha ha ha, I might take offense regarding this matter.  But of course, I am not. 😉

Thanks to another chance to break my work routine and schedule, I got to snap this photo of the Royal Tern.  I believe this is a breeding Royal Tern because of the fully blackened crest.  (Thank you, world-wide web for your support in this matter.)

I hope you find enjoyment wherever you are today,whether you are sticking to your routine, crossing items off of your list, or having your schedule rewritten entirely. 🙂