Posted by Lesley on June 10, 2012
John and I took Luke for a walk on Siesta Key this morning. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach anymore, but there are places to walk by the beach where they used to be welcome. While walking, we caught a Snowy Egret sneaking up to a bait bucket.I missed the picture of the egret beak and body-deep in the bucket because the fisherman interrupted. He’s not casting his net; he’s chasing after the bird, fists flying. There was not one bit of that Southern boy shouting, “I’m gonna bring mah gun out next time,” that found humor in that situation. Still, John and I thought it was hilarious and John even more so when I started taking the kid’s picture as he was storming down the beach…anything for the blog.
The birding continued at the Sun Coast Exotic Bird Fair, an unexpectedly great assignment from the newspaper. I truly haven’t been so excited about birds since I was a kid and learned to feed our pet macaw a peanut from my mouth. Although the macaw was exotic and colorful, our canary was yellow and the cockatiel white.
But today’s birds are like comparing the toys you grew up with to the toys your kids play with–from Atari to Xbox but with birds. There are a dozen different colors of parakeets–pink, purple, turquoise–name a color and there’s a feather to match.
The birds were from all over the world–Australia, Africa and South America–all colorful and gorgeous, but the funny birds were the babies. One vendor brought newly hatched macaws. There were four or five that had all been hatched within the past few months, one only nine days ago. They kept squawking and spreading their wings. The nine-day old in particular was feisty. It’s little head kept bobbing up at me, squawking at every other bob. It was so cute and funny, and with barely any feathers, it gave off such bravado that it seemed like it would fly any second. At one point, I actually confirmed with the vendor that it wouldn’t. You have to visit the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for a picture of that little bugger; mine were blurred from the bobbing head.
Posted by Lesley on May 6, 2010
As oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico, there is a renewed sense of appreciation and urgency to enjoy the water. We spent Saturday at Turtle Beach because there was no parking left at Siesta. Last night John went fishing with some other die-hard fishermen friends scrambling to get their hooks cast while they can. And today, Luke and I took our walk over and under the Ringling Bridge. This is the view from the top:
The view from underneath the bridge is no brick wall either!
Beyond the water, I paid a lot of attention to the birds today. It’s hard to imagine this stately Great Blue Heron slicked black with oil…
…or the Pelicans that line the pier at Hart’s Landing.
Save Our Seabirds is a local organization helping with the clean-up. They are no longer accepting volunteers because so many people have lined up to help…the only good piece of news I’ve heard regarding this spill.
Posted by Lesley on November 12, 2009
Rosemary – the überherb – is also a symbol of love and friendship. So, where did my rosemary bouquet end up? With my new friend Karen Leonetti at Earth Angel Preschool. Earth Angel is a certified green preschool on Siesta Key. Gardening is at the core of their curriculum and why I was so excited to be invited into their garden. Here’s Karen with her cacao tree.
This tree will produce cacao nibs, which are organic, raw, dark chocolate chips. She bought the tree at The Sarasota Fruit and Nut Society and was told that pollination can be difficult. The flowers are not self-pollinators and the bees won’t help either; they rely on tiny gnat-like insects called midges. Chocolate cravings can’t rely on midges alone. Here’s Karen taking action; she calls it paintbrush pollination.
It was mouthwatering to walk through the garden and see everything from teeny tiny seedlings to the massive mango tree that shades half the yard. Here’s some ripening papaya…
…and a Ponderosa lemon.
Ponderosa lemons can grow up to four pounds! It might look like a ripening orange, but it’s all lemon on the inside. The rind too will eventually catch up and ripen into the bright yellow color of a typical lemon. Another giant to catch my eye was the Florida Sunflowers. They had to be 25 feet tall! This is my view looking up at them.
And here’s the beautiful bouquet I was sent home with after a delicious lunch.
Thanks, Karen, for inviting me into your garden.