It's OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY and WATERSIDE WEDNESDAY again... Be sure to visit all the wonderful posts at Susan's place (http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com) and at Barbara Jacksier's blog (http://barbarajacksier.blogspot.com). You will not be disappointed!
Earlier in the summer, I wrote about the Chain of Lakes in Central Florida and posted a couple of photographs of the sunset over Lake Harris...one of these lakes. Lake Harris is such a beautiful place that whenever I visit my sister, we walk down the path to the lake to watch the spectacular sunsets. On this particular walk, however, I stopped to capture the beauty of her gardens and the land around the lake...
There is something magical about Spanish moss gently waving from the trees. It evokes dreams of days gone by...very "southern" and very coastal. The only time I do not like moss is after a hurricane...
Growing up on a lake near Tampa, our home was surrounded with cypress trees, filled with moss. With the high, hurricane force winds bending the flexible cypress trees, all the moss would end up on the ground...sometimes knee-deep. My brother and I were given the job of picking up this gray mass and taking it to the pit for burning. This job would take days!!! (We lived on 7 acres.) But it had to be done or the grass and bushes would die. Now please understand...this moss is not like the sterile stuff you buy at the craft stores...it's full of tiny "red bugs" which creep under your skin...and in the strangest places. The only way to kill these little critters is to suffocate them...and Mom always used fingernail polish. So not only did we have to do that dreaded job...we ITCHED for days...and had dots of bright RED nail polish all over our bodies (Mom's favorite color). Thankfully, we did not have many hurricanes!!!
This lovely pink vine is a Mandevilla Vine... It's growing up the trunk of
a Bay tree...a relative of the Magnolia. The deep color is striking all
spring and summer long and well into the fall, until the first frost.
There is Spanish Moss caught between the tree and the vine...natures way of framing her beauty...
The spiky grass-looking foliage are varieties of Day Lilies...They have finished flowering for this season, but when in bloom they are a mass of yellow-gold, red, and striped flowers.
This "ancient" turtle planter lays beside the
walkway to the deck. It is filled with
Sansevieria plant...also known as a Snake
plant...or Mother-in-Law Tongue (notice
the sharp points...I hope my tongue is not
that sharp with my daughter-in-law.
Here we are looking down a slope to the lake. There are natural limestone boulders incorporated into the garden. Here you see a variety of Ginger nestled beneath large oaks. Just beyond you see more cypress trees and the lake. Dotted along the lake are restaurants where you can tie your boat up to a dock and enjoy a meal...and often music. Our favorite little place is a "biker bar" (called that because there are always a large number of Harleys in the parking lot...but they're usually ridden by white-haired, young-at-heart Senior Citizens! Maybe they were with the Hell's Angels when they were young...). This dive has GREAT cheeseburgers.
As we strolled down the path, I noticed this "little" creature. He was enjoying a tasty meal. Isn't he wearing the most beautiful colors!
We hated to see him chow down on this plant, but he was so beautiful, we truly hated to disturb his meal.
In the warmth of the last rays of the sun, we spied this nest high in the branches of a Cypress tree. We were unable to tell if it was an Osprey or Eagle nest...but we did hear the sounds of young ones waiting for their dinner.
Look closely and you will see the pods that this tree produces. They are a pale gray/green.
My sister and I settle on the dock's benches to watch the show.
It's a different every night... and we NEVER get tired
of watching it.
As we walked back to the house, I looked down into the water to see what had just jumped, and I noticed all these Cypress "knees" sticking up from the water. Without the sun shining, the water was an eerie black color. The starkness of the gray knees and moss looked like something from a spooky movie... The night songs begin...frogs, cicadas, owls, birds... The little bats are swiftly flying about, catching their dinner... There are the flashing lights of fireflies in the rustling reeds...
And a very LARGE alligator glides by...time to go in!