Saturday, December 14, 2019

White Ibis

A White Ibis posing for me in my daughter's backyard.

Linking to Saturday's Critters, Camera Critters and The Bird D'Pot.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Lake Jackson

Blue skies and clouds reflected in Lake Jackson. This lake is very popular with boaters and local fishermen. I took this photo from the dock next to one of the boat landings which is not far from my house.

Linking to SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Fire truck

A few weeks ago I woke up to see this fire truck parked at the end of my driveway along with a police car and another fire truck just to the left of it and out of the photo. My next door neighbor had called the fire department because they smelled smoke in their house. It was a little disconcerting until they realized it was nothing more than the fact that they had turned on their heater for the first time since last year and the smell was caused by some dust on the heating coils, which quickly went away. My heater does the same thing every year, so I always make sure I open the windows before I turn it on for the first time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Strawberry soda

Vintage sign on the wall of the same restaurant as the items I posted a photo of yesterday.

Linking to Signs2.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

I noticed these vintage items being used as decor on a shelf in a barbecue restaurant. Contrary to what that sign says, I did not order any of my food fried and it was tasty anyway!

Linking to Tuesday's Treasures and Our World Tuesday.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Downtown mural

I was shopping with my daughter in the historic district of downtown DeLand, Florida when I saw this mural on the side of a building next to Pioneer Park. The mural is called "Pioneers in the Parceland" and was designed from an 1890 photograph of travelers waiting at the DeLand train depot. The mural was done in 1996 by the artist Perigo. Some of the people are carrying packages of oranges, which were often used to promote the area. The old Parceland Hotel can be seen in the background. The mural is so big and parts of it are obscured by trees, so I was not able to get a photo of the whole thing. If you would like to see the original old photograph that the mural was designed from, visit the link here.

Linking to Monday Mural.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Turkey vultures

My daughter moved to DeLand, Florida (a small town located about an hour north of Orlando) last summer and one of the things I enjoy most about her new house is the small man made lake right behind it. I usually sit out on her back porch during the day because there are all kinds of birds attracted to the water and it's fun to watch them and take photos. One day a group of turkey vultures landed just on the other side of the water. I have never seen turkey vultures sunning themselves like this and I was a able to zoom in on them before they flew off.

Linking to Saturday's Critters, Camera Critters and The Bird D'Pot.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


Arriving in the port of Kuşadası, Turkey

Pigeon Island is connected to the mainland by a walkway. There is an old castle on the island that was originally used to protect the harbor.

At a Turkish carpet factory we saw a demonstration showing silkworm cocoons being heated in water to make it easier to separate the silk threads from the cocoon.

The silk threads easily unwind from the cocoons after they are heated.

A small carpet in progress. The paper pattern is used as a guide while weaving the silk.

Entering the show room at the carpet factory.

The last stop we made on our Aegean Sea cruise was the port of Kuşadası on the coast of Turkey. While we were there, we visited a Turkish carpet factory where we learned how they harvest silk from cocoons and use it to weave the beautiful silk carpets you see in the above photos. Not only are these carpets beautiful, they are extremely soft to walk on and they let us take our shoes off and feel them for ourselves. I would have loved to purchase one for my house, but they are extremely expensive (thousands of Euros even for a small one) and the cost combined with the fact that my cat would probably dig her claws into it made my decision not to buy one very easy.

I will be taking a break from my blog for awhile in order to spend time with my family over Thanksgiving. See you soon!

Saturday, November 23, 2019


The ruins of the Palace of Knossos

This magnificent bird decided to land right in front of me as I was walking. I probably could have reached out and touched him, but I wasn't sure how he would react. I have never been that close to a peacock before!

The next stop on our Aegean Sea cruise was the island of Crete where we toured the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, an ancient palace built by the Minoans and located just south of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete. The palace dates back to 1950 BC and likely was disrupted by the tsunami caused by the volcanic eruption at Santorini. The final destruction of the palace probably took place sometime around 1300 BC. I enjoyed the ruins, but my favorite part of this stop was watching the peacocks which were roaming around the ruins. They seemed quite used to people and as you can see from the last photo, they didn't mind getting up close. This one landed on the railing right in front of me and posed. I have included a couple of videos too. The first one shows a peacock calling to a peahen that was nearby. The second one shows him putting on a display for her. It obviously worked because she came over and they proceeded to do their business right there for all to see. My daughter got a video of that, but since it was slightly "x-rated", I decided it was best to keep it private.

Linking to Saturday's Critters and the Bird D'Pot.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Another day on Santorini

On the way to Oia.

We passed a black sand beach.

This side of the island in definitely not as dramatic as the other side.

The Greek Orthodox Church of Panagia of Platsani on the main square in Oia.

Anastasi Church in Oia with its three blue domes is probably the most famous view on Santorini.

My lunch in Oia. Milk pie and a smoothie with a view of the Santorini caldera.

A video I took while enjoying my lunch.

Our second day on Santorini was spent driving to Oia, another village on the island. To get there, we traveled on a road on the other side of the island. As you can see from the first three photos, it looks quite different over there. When we arrived in Oia, we were once again perched on the edge of the steep caldera with more stunning views.

Linking to SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Arriving in the old port of Santorini.

As we did on the island of Milos, we had to ride a tender boat from our ship into the port because it is not equipped to dock cruise ships.

Riding the gondola up the side of the caldera to the village of Fira.

View of the Santorini caldera from the main square in Fira. That island out there in the middle of the caldera is called Nea Kameni and it is uninhabited. There is another smaller uninhabited island on the other side of it.

A view of Fira while we were sitting outside at a restaurant.

Another view from the same restaurant. That is a small swimming pool in the lower left corner.

Display outside one of the shops in Fira.

View of Santorini as we were heading back to our ship on the tender boat.

I took this video while I was sitting outside at a restaurant in Fira.

Musicians in the main square of the village of Fira.

The next stop on our Aegean Sea cruise was Santorini and we spent two wonderful days there. Here are some photos from our first day which we spent in the village of Fira. Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, the Minoan eruption, which occurred about 3,600 years ago. It is the most active volcanic center in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc and what remains of it today is a very deep water-filled caldera surrounded by several islands. There were three small eruptions in the 20th century, the last one occurring in 1950.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


That is our ship out there in the harbor. The port on Milos is not equipped to dock cruise ships, so we rode a tender boat like the one in the foreground to the island and then back out to the ship.

Of course I had to include another cat photo.

The next stop on our Aegean Sea cruise was the Greek Island of Milos. This was probably my favorite island (except for Santorini) because instead of spending our time in the port which was crowded with tourists, we decided to take a taxi up the mountain to the small village of Plaka. As you can see from my last six photos, there were no crowds up there. We enjoyed wandering around and visiting the many cute little local shops and the taxi ride was also very scenic.

Linking to Signs2.