If we were having coffee, I’d say that I almost wrote 4/3/17 when I signed off this post.  What a scatterbrain.

Maybe that’s why this never happens to me.

April kind of went by in a blur.  But, oh! May! The flowers and birds are happy-go-larky.

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Nature always inspires me.  So does Wendell Berry~ poet, farmer, environmentalist.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


Wild things and totes work for me. Hey, I ain’t no drag, I got a brand new bag.


How did I ever manage without it? It’s gentle on my shoulders ~ a-a-h ~ and the best part?  I know where everything is. And I mean everything.


Do you have a pen pal? Here’s mine. What a sweetie!!!


We’ll be together soon. Until then, I’m on turtle watch.


So, what are you (screen) watching? I’m finishing up Offspring, the Australian series. And The Great British Baking Show~ you know, the Downton Abbey of cakes and torts. Did you watch it?  It made me crave cheesecake tiers and lady fingers and sponges and macarons and frangipanes….well, you get the idea. I really love that tent and everyone under it.


I just finished (virtually) traveling to every US state with Stephen Fry, in a traditional British black cab. He gets right under the skin of American life~ the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give it a try. On Netflix, one of many intensely good documentaries.

Oh, this. Skip the movie, A Man Called Ove. Read the book. Precious.


Speaking of books, I checked out (and renewed) way too many books at the library this month.  Plus all my requests on OverDrive seem to come in all at once.
If you’re anything like me (and I suspect you are), you have a TBR list. Mine is out of control.


There’s time enough, but none to spare.

~Charles W. Chesnutt

How will I read them all?  Will I?  And then I read this. 



What are you reading now?  I’m between a thriller and a hard place.

I’m super excited about the new Richard Russo book that comes out this month. Trajectory, his new collection of short fiction.


Summer’s here! I’ve got my seed catalog dog-eared. My head is in the clouds dirt.  I can’t wait to see the garden grow….

…to the strains of Nestor Torres. I saw him perform, what a talent.
He’s on my Pandora, non-stop.

OMG, I finished listening to S-Town!!!! SO good. Did you? Can we talk?
Tell me, what’s up with you? It’s May….got plans?

 Toni 5/3/17



I did some serious listening recently, in palmetto hammocks and oak scrubs.

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” ― Dalai Lama


You might call it my listening tour of Halpatiokee Regional Park.


Remember anthropologist Margaret Mead? She defined ‘listening tour’. She was out there on the Sepik River with a pad and pencil, and every time you see her with the natives of Papua New Guinea, she’s in listening mode.




Halpatiokee is a Seminole word.  It means ‘Alligator Water’.  Yes, they’re there. And they’re listening, too.  Alligators hear with ears that are located behind their eyes and are very sensitive to vibrations in the water.

I hiked the 3-mile trail that runs along the South Fork River and loops back to the trailhead inside this 470- acre wetland preserve.



The area is a step back in time, to the days of old Florida.




Like steeping tea bags, cypress trees stain the quiet water a dark brown, but it’s so clear that you can see the fish below.



Some of Florida’s most threatened and endangered species live here, eating and sheltering in scrub areas, like the gopher tortoise and the Florida scrub jay.

I met this guy schlepping back to the scrub.


An amazing thing about the gopher tortoise is that it amiably shares its burrow with more than 350 other species. Burrowing owls, Florida mice, indigo snakes, opossums, rabbits, gopher frogs, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and gopher crickets, all enjoy good fellowship underground.


The gopher tortoise is protected by Florida law. This little shaver depends on it.


In the Sunshine State, every day is a perfect day to take a listening tour.




TONI 4/27/17



 Jen H. says macro lenses act as a magnifier, allowing us to see the dainty details in nature that otherwise go unnoticed.

I know there are ghost crabs on the beach. These nearly-translucent, lightning-fast crabs dart out of sight when they see me coming.  Nothing like 360-degree swivel-vision to give that little crab the upper hand. So it’s always a treat to spot one during the day.  I watch for its burrow hole and tracks.


Joe Burbank captured them on video but he had to shoot at night with a remote-operated, GoPro waterproof, sand-proof camera.



My photograph has a hidden surprise. It’s gray-white, with touches of light brown and blends in with the sand. Can you find it?


Toni 4/16/17