Tag Archives: Christmas

Late autumn in Southwest Florida – paradise!

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What a beautiful time of year it is to live in Southwest Florida!

The summer can be unforgiving – the heat and humidity are relentless, the rain is capricious, and there is always the threat of a hurricane or two hanging over our collective heads.

However, as October melts into November, a kinder, gentler Southwest Florida emerges. Blue skies and refreshing breezes reign in the late autumn and early winter days. It’s a little cooler, a little drier, and much more enjoyable. It’s time to take it outside in Southwest Florida – let’s go!

I got a call earlier in the week from friends who were going to take a boat out of Fort Myers Beach, and did I want to come along? You bet I did! We did a leisurely tour through Matanzas Pass and Ostego Bay, then emerged into the Gulf via Big Carlos Pass, near Lovers Key. That’s the bridge over Big Carlos, behind us (above).


We decided to head for Nervous Nellie’s in Fort Myers Beach after our excursion. The town is all done up for Christmas. As a native New Yorker, it still gives me the giggles to see Christmas decorations juxtaposed against palm trees and blue skies.


Here I am, enjoying royal status for about three minutes – Princess Without A Country 😉 You will find this over-sized bench with the cutout near the gazebo beside Nervous Nellie’s, should you have a princess you’d like to photograph.

At Moss Marine, I saw this egret standing on a post and took aim with the camera. I saw the pelican come in for a landing behind him, but did not see the little shore bird on the post in front of him until I got the picture up on the computer screen later on.


A closer look at the egret – handsome fellow, isn’t he?


The sun was setting as I crossed back over Matanzas Pass and made my way toward Summerlin. I decided to take a side trip before heading back to Lehigh, and made my way to Bunche Beach Preserve, where I saw this little blue heron hunting for his supper.


The little blue wasn’t the only one looking for dinner – pelicans and an egret hunted as well. A misty glow enveloped the Sanibel Causeway in the distance – one of those scenes that makes your heart go “ahhh!”


The sky is streaked in Creamsicle shades as the sun descends upon Sanibel’s east end.


A side trip to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve the next day yielded the delight of finding a cute little two-foot gator sunning himself in the vegetation along the banks of the gator lake. He would not be the last gator I would see this week!


Saturday found me at the C.R.E.W. Bird Rookery Swamp, where I would participate in a geocaching event. It was a glorious day to be tramping around in the cypress swamp’s wide trails. Here’s a balsam pear we found growing wild alongside the path. It’s a relative of the cucumber.


I haven’t identified this moth yet, but I liked the angle of his upper wings against the lower “tail” part of his flying apparatus.


It’s that time of year, when the beautiful but destructive lubbers turn into lovers. These grasshoppers go through several colorful stages before they reach the cooked-lobster hue you see here.


See? Told ya there would be another gator! Actually, there were two, on opposing sides of the path, but the other one was a bit too far away to get a decent shot. I’d say they were about 4 feet or so. We observed them for a while and when we were ready to move on, they quite agreeably slunk into the swamp and let us pass unmolested.

So that was my post-Thanksgiving week. How was yours?

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The Ho-Ho-Holidays Are Coming!

© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*

Mickey Monitor 🙂 The winter edition of the Mickey Monitor has arrived and I just can’t believe it’s the end of November already! The holidays are fast upon us now. Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and before you know it, Christmas will be here.

I have ONE more fling at Walt Disney World planned before my Annual Pass expires. I’ll be meeting some special folks from out of town in early December and we’re looking forward to just hanging out, taking in the sights, sharing a cup or three of mulled wine and getting a case of the Ho-Ho-Hos in the Happiest Place On Earth. Stay tuned, because you know I’ll be mobile blogging the trip (and, I might add, I have an annual pass to the Universal parks now, too – double the fun!)

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Castle Dream Lights in the Magic Kingdom

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_2618-WDW-MK-castle-clock Hong Kong. Tokyo. Paris. Orlando. Anaheim. Everywhere there’s a collection of Disney theme parks, there’s also a castle. The one in Orlando is Cinderella’s Castle; her tale is told in the form of mosaic tile murals covering the walls of the castle archway. Cinderella’s Castle houses a restaurant, a beauty salon and even overnight accommodations for some lucky guests who are periodically chosen at random for a castle sleep-over in the newly built luxury suite. The castle also provides entertainment. Characters romp and sing on the outdoor stage just beyond the park’s hub, and at night fireworks dance high in the skies above the castles turrets and towers.

IMG_2765Also at night, the castle is lit in brilliant colors that morph and change with such elegance, one can remain seated for hours just staring at the transformation. As if the castle were not pretty enough on a normal night, imagine how it looks during the holiday season with over 200,000 LED lights simulating a sparkling coating of ice. A brief stage show provides a magical lead-in for the transformation. Several Disney characters have gathered and are attempting to decide how the castle should be decorated for the holidays, and ultimately agree that since it is her home, Cinderella should be the one to decide.

IMG_2778When consulted, Cinderella proclaims her wish to see the castle dressed for the holidays with all the shine and twinkle of her own glass slipper. Her Fairy Godmother comes along to see that it happens, recruiting the audience to help Cinderella’s wish come true. For the remainder of the night, the castle appears to be encased in ice (or perhaps a sugar-frosting, as I’ve observed before).

For those who want to know more about Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, just visit Wikipedia or AllEars.Net to get more details.


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Back in position – I could stand here and lookat this thing for-EVAH

Spectromagic is going to start – I hear the intro music. When I got here, there were people standing in my spot but they wanted to see Spectro, so they left and now I am In position for WISHES! I just have to stand here the for the entire next hour LOL.