Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Constant Gardner Returns: Liftoff !

I feel like an old hand at this gardening stuff now after my bumper crop last year. And, I am pleased that I got my seedlings into the ground and things are moving along.

However, I am also finding out there is still more to learn this time around, despite my new found knowledge. As usual click each photo for a better view.

Despite a continuation of drought conditions in this area, my seeds have sprung to life and growing.

The tomatoes are leading the pack followed by the cucumbers. If you look closely at the photo below you can see the beginnings of a few tiny cucumbers.

I'm really glad Daddy let drop a few words of wisdom when he questioned last year that I was planting without the moon. At that time I found it odd and thought it was a little gamesmanship on his part. But, I did a little research and found out there is a body of knowledge that supports his statement.

Evidently planting by the moon is as old as man and some people swear by it. For plants that grow above ground it is thought that planting them during a waxing moon will encourage growth as this exposes plants to the longest period of moon light.

So I guess I did something right when I planted my seeds and seedlings. When I told Daddy this he just smiled with a caginess that said he might be old but time and tide were on his side in this competition.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Walk in the Clouds

Who would have thought that clouds could be so interesting? I was reading about a man who calls himself a "cloud collector" which seems odd on the face of it. But, as I continued reading he made an excellent point that: "You don't have to own something in order to collect it."

"The Cloud Collector's Handbook" is a wonderfully beautiful book that provides visual excitement while also teaching you all about the clouds you see on a day-to-day basis. So click the highlighted link for the name of the book above and prepare to be amazed and informed.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do We Really See ?

Was working in the yard the other day and came in tired but happy that I had made the necessary fixes and could now rest. While I was taking my breather I looked around me and in a strange moment of clarity realized there are unbelievably interesting things all around us.

I quickly grabbed the camera and took a picture and have posted it here. I've posted it in order to ask what do you see? Really look at the photo above and tell me what it is that you make of it. As usual, you can click it to get a better view. What do you see?

I found some of the responses very interesting because some of you really took the time to let your imaginations flow. To the right is the literal image of what I saw.

I came inside after working in the yard, poured a glass of ginger ale into a round glass that I sat on the floor of the screen porch. I happened to look down and saw the image of the glass from a top view and realized just the amazing nature of it. The glass with the bubbles, and condensation around the outside. And then, sort of like Dan, all the images that could spring from this simple object.

Now that you know what it is... what do you see?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sacred Acre

While neither Alex nor I am Catholic,we read a little about this historic shrine in our favorite place, St Augustine, and thought it would make for a great afternoon of picture taking.

The Nombre de Dios Mission is said to be one of the oldest churches in the new world. And, recently discovered artifacts only added to it's allure. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

You walk across the bridge above and your eyes are drawn like magnets to a cross that fills the sky, and a statue of a monk who seems to be pointing the way. It is really powerful stuff!

Alex was surprised to encounter this little shrine with what appeared to be a Russian Orthodox cross. We both tried to get a close up of the painting housed inside but the afternoon sun would not cooperate and glare prevented our taking anything meaningful.

I was fascinated by this map that detailed the Florida Missions of the first Spanish period from 1565 - 1763. It was really interesting to view the different locations throughout the State and their names from that time.

This grave site holds the remains of six nuns from the Order of the Sisters of St. Joseph who came to St Augustine after the Civil War to educate freed slaves. They hold a special place near the famous chapel at the shrine.

the Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche is the fourth building on this site. Erected first in 1615, the others were destroyed by war, pirates, and storms. Construction for the present building was begun in 1915. It possesses an almost mystical quality as the stature of the Madonna seems to give off it's own gentle light. It sits in the middle of the grounds and you slowly work your way toward it.

And finally, the rustic altar which celebrated the first Catholic mass at the mission in 1565. The Diocesan priest, the fleet Chaplin, and the newly discovered Timucuan Indians who had long inhabited the area gathered around it in prayer. Looking at it now it seems so simple and yet was the beginning of all the things that were to follow.

There is more to see like the Coquina rock stations of the cross and various other religious artifacts, I simply could not include them all. So if you are ever in St Augustine and want to spend a soothing afternoon, it is well worth a visit.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Return of the Constant Gardener: The Garden Takes Shape

The hectic pace of late has not given me a good deal of time but the garden has begun to take shape.

I pulled out the irrigation system I created last year and shortened it. In this way I am able to saturate a lot more of a smaller space. The greens and tomatoes have responded in kind and begun to stand tall againt the rising heat of the noon day sun here in Florida. The cucumbers in the front, have also peeped out of the ground so full fledged plants can't be far away.

A tip Daddy seems to live by is always planting at or near a full moon, so I am taking no chances.

My final few seelings are up and ready to go. And, I hope the huge moon we have been experiencing will help my efforts!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

Someone I know recently had a Birthday and is now the ripe old age of 13. This exciting event caused me to think back to when I was that age and how life was just beginning and all the things you hoped for and wanted to do. It brought a smile and made me think of the Cyndi Lauper song below:

And, to the newly minted teenager… you are well on the way to being a great adult! You know who you are...