Florida in Winter

Sebastian Beach Ocean Waves

Sebastian Beach Ocean Waves

Black Skimmers Sunbathe Flat on Sand

Black Skimmers Sunbathe Flat on Sand

White Ibis at Lagoon

White Ibis at Lagoon

Laughing Gull with Mouth Open

Laughing Gull with Mouth Open

Pink Spoonbill and Blue Water

Pink Spoonbill and Blue Water

Lesser Scaup at Backyard Pond

Lesser Scaup at Backyard Pond

Tricolor Heron with Purple Eyes

Tricolor Heron with Purple Eyes

Great Blue Heron with Windblown Feathers

Great Blue Heron with Windblown Feathers

Bald Eagle and Black Vultures Near Home

Bald Eagle and Black Vultures Near Home

Alligator in Pond

Alligator in Pond

Double Rainbow Over Backyard

Double Rainbow Over Backyard

In Florida we enjoy an outdoor lifestyle year round.  Although it may get chilly from time to time when winter cold fronts blow through from the north, the weather usually warms back up to 70°F within a few days.  That means we go outside and enjoy the beach, gardens, and wildlife. 

Florida is home to over 500 species of birds, which makes it one of the top birdwatching destinations in the world.  Our local birding and wildlife festival is the largest in the nation!  Info about the festival is at:  http://www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org/   Come on down and enjoy nature in the Sunshine State!  

Florida: Fun LEGO Exhibit at Vero Beach Museum of Art

LEGO Exhibit

LEGO Exhibit

LEGO Boy Looking at Reflection

LEGO Boy Looking at Reflection

LEGO Colorful Skulls, Arm with Pointing Finger, and Baseball Player

LEGO Colorful Skulls, Arm with Pointing Finger, and Baseball Player

LEGO Man with Heart

LEGO Man with Heart

LEGO Couple Kissing

LEGO Couple Kissing

LEGO Man Peeking Out

LEGO Man Peeking Out

LEGO Dog

LEGO Dog

Recently we enjoyed viewing the LEGO exhibit at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida.  This award-winning traveling exhibit is called “The Art of the Brick”, and was created by New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya.  If you would like to know more about the artist and the exhibit’s worldwide schedule, go to:  http://www.brickartist.com/schedule.html

Florida: McKee Gardens During the Holidays

Florida Christmas Decorations at Historic Hall of Giants

Florida Christmas Decorations at Historic Hall of Giants

Natural Tree with Birdhouse Ornaments

Natural Tree with Birdhouse Ornaments

Presents with Natural Decorations (dried lotus pods and wasp nests)

Presents with Natural Decorations (dried lotus pods and wasp nests)

Snowman on Luminaria Pathway

Snowman on Luminaria Pathway

Fabric Pandas Playing in Bamboo Forest

Fabric Pandas Playing in Bamboo Forest

Fabric Panda Standing Beside Bamboo

Fabric Panda Standing Beside Bamboo

Entrance Pond with Floating Flowers, Goldfish, and Bullfrog

Entrance Pond with Floating Flowers, Goldfish, and Bullfrog

Orange Fabric Goldfish and Flowers

Orange Fabric Goldfish and Flowers

Fabric Goldfish and Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Fabric Goldfish and Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Giant Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Giant Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Orange Fabric Goldfish at Pond

Orange Fabric Goldfish at Pond

Glass Ball Sculpture and  Floating Orange Fabric Flowers

Glass Ball Sculpture and Floating Orange Fabric Flowers

Floating Pink Fabric Flowers and Grasses

Floating Pink Fabric Flowers and Grasses

Purple Orchid and Pink Ginger

Purple Orchid and Pink Ginger

Balloon Plant

Balloon Plant

Zebra Longwing Butterfly on Red Salvia

Zebra Longwing Butterfly on Red Salvia

We always enjoy visiting McKee Gardens in Vero Beach, Florida, over the Christmas holidays.   The decorations are beautiful in December, and the flowers are always blooming!

Florida: Holiday Boat Parade

Boat Parade Santa with Reindeer

Boat Parade Santa with Reindeer

Boat Parade Christmas Story Lamp

Boat Parade Christmas Story Lamp

Boat Parade Merry Christmas Penguin

Boat Parade Merry Christmas Penguin

Boat Parade Santa with Sunglasses

Boat Parade Santa with Sunglasses

Boat Parade Lights with Bell

Boat Parade Lights with Bell

Boat Parade Lights with Palm Tree

Boat Parade Lights with Palm Tree

Boat Parade Festive Decorations

Boat Parade Festive Decorations

Boat Parade Polar Bear

Boat Parade Polar Bear

Colorful Boat Parade in Canal

Colorful Boat Parade in Canal

Boat Parade Santa Fishing

Boat Parade Santa Fishing

Boat Parade Snoopy

Boat Parade Snoopy

Boat Parade Dolphins Pulling Sleigh

Boat Parade Dolphins Pulling Sleigh

Boat Parade Blue Light Reflections

Boat Parade Blue Light Reflections

Boat Parade Lights with Wreath

Boat Parade Lights with Wreath

Recently we enjoyed the annual Merritt Island Holiday Boat Parade on Sykes Creek, Florida.  We sat on the dock and watched over 70 Christmas-themed boats sail by.  Each one was covered with up to 1,000 colorful lights.  Some participants added to the fun by throwing candy.  The lights and reflections on the water were magic!  More info is at:  http://www.cffw.org/events/

Unusual Stinkhorn Mushrooms

Stinkhorn Mushrooms in Flower Bed

Stinkhorn Mushrooms in Flower Bed

Stinkhorn Mushrooms Emerge from Egg-Like Bulbs

Stinkhorn Mushrooms Emerge from Egg-Like Bulbs

Cross Section of Stinkhorn Egg

Cross Section of Stinkhorn Egg

Close-up of Stinkhorn Stalk

Close-up of Stinkhorn Stalk

Hollow Tube of Stinkhorn Mushroom Stalk

Hollow Tube of Stinkhorn Mushroom Stalk

Stinkhorn Mushroom with Curly Cap

Stinkhorn Mushroom with Curly Cap

Close-up of Curly Cap with Hole in Top

Close-up of Curly Cap with Hole in Top

Horse Fly Attracted to Stinkhorn

Horse Fly Attracted to Stinkhorn

Close-up of Fly's Compound Eyes

Close-up of Fly’s Compound Eyes

Recently we were walking down the sidewalk in front of our Florida home and wondered what that unpleasant smell was.  Turns out it was stinkhorn mushrooms!  They must have come in with the last batch of mulch.  The mushroom emerges from an egg-like bulb.  Sometimes you can find a “nest” of eggs the day before a cluster of stinkhorns emerge.  Some people consider stinkhorn eggs edible, but only with considerable caution.  The stalk of the mushroom is a hollow tube, and the cap is covered in stinky slime.  Flies are attracted to the cap’s smell, and they spread the mushroom’s spores. These mushrooms are considered beneficial to the soil, and each one lasts only a day. You never know what you’ll see in the garden!  A web page featuring an unbelievable variety of stinkhorn mushrooms is at:  http://www.mushroomexpert.com/stinkhorn_fame.html

Our Florida Yard in Fall

Chinese Lantern Flowers

Chinese Lantern Flowers

Giant Cassia (butterfly favorite)

Giant Cassia (butterfly favorite)

Cardinal Flower at Pond

Cardinal Flower at Pond

Red Passion Flower

Red Passion Flower

Goldfish Vine

Goldfish Vine

Peacock Butterfly on Jatropha Flower

Peacock Butterfly on Jatropha Flower

Zebra Longwing at Firebush Flower

Zebra Longwing at Firebush Flower

Baby Raccoons in Sabal Palm

Baby Raccoons in Sabal Palm

Here are scenes from our Florida yard in November.  So many beautiful flowers blooming all the time, and the baby raccoons are adorable!

Florida: Gorgeous Beach Weather in Fall

Beach Morning Glory Vines Covering Sand

Beach Morning Glory Vines Covering Sand

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Sanderling

Sanderling

Ghost Crab and Shells

Ghost Crab and Shells

Juvenille Ghost Crab

Juvenille Ghost Crab

Moon Jelly over Acorn Barnacles

Moon Jelly over Acorn Barnacles

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

White Ibis

White Ibis

Wood Stork Portrait in Black and White

Wood Stork Portrait in Black and White

Fall weather is great in Florida for long walks at the beach.  We often visit Sebastian Inlet State Park.  The views all around are a constant delight!

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