WPC From Lines to Patterns: At Green Cay Nature Reserve.

On Saturday we decided to visit one of our local Florida nature reserves. I was looking for alligators to show Phil, but they must have all been sleeping in the reeds, for we didn’t see even a tiny one. We did however see some wonderful birds which I’ll show you in another post. I was thinking about the ‘Lines to Patterns’ challenge as we set off along the boardwalk. As we walked along the lines of the wooden boards, I could see the pattern of what looked like rain clouds in the sky.


A fellow nature lover was coming towards us, and as we drew level with one another, she stopped and pointed at something in front of us. “There’s a lion right there,” she announced. Now. a lion was certainly not something I was expecting to see in Florida, but sure enough, right at our feet was a knot in the wood which closely resembled a lion’s face. I’m sure I would have just walked right on over that lion if she hadn’t told me it was there.


I loved the pretty pattern of these wild flowers amongst the lines of the surrounding grasses.


The majestic palm trees had many lines on their trunks, leading up to the lovely pattern created by their fronds.


This one even had an extra bit of pattern.


We enjoyed a bit of welcome shade inside this Chickee hut. As you can see, the dried palm fronds have been made into thatch to create this interesting roof pattern. These huts have quite a history. They were invented in the early 1800’s, when the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee tribes were chased into the Everglades by American troops. As they needed to be always on the move, they required shelters that could be easily constructed and taken down at a moment’s notice. Chickee is the Seminole word for ‘house’, and these huts consisted of thick cypress posts which supported a thatched roof, and had a raised wooden platform. In 1990, the Seminole tribes were granted the right to build these huts wherever they could find business, regardless of zoning and without special permits. They are now a reliable source of income for the Seminoles and can be found at some of the finest Florida resorts and private homes.


As we neared the end of our 2km walk, i noticed how the straight lines of the roof on the Interpretive centre, contrasted very nicely with the pattern of fluffy clouds above it.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my lines and patterns for this week’s challenge.

Ese’s Shoot and Quote Challenge: Bare, from Shakespeare to James Bond.

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.” ~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73


Just for fun, here is a snatch of conversation from the James Bond movie ‘You only live twice’.

“You know what it is about you that fascinates them, don’t you? It’s the hair on your chest. Japanese men all have beautiful bare skin.” ~ Tiger Tanaka

“Japanese proverb say, “Bird never make nest in bare tree.”” ~ James Bond


See more entries for Ese’s Weekly Shoot and Quote Challenge.

A Word a Week Challenge: Arches – Spain and Morocco

Sue’s challenge this week is to post photos of arches which we have admired enough to capture on camera. Here are some of mine.

There are many arches at the Alhambra Palace in Granada.


Here is a very leafy one in the lovely gardens there.

Look at the intricate workmanship surrounding this beautiful arch.


Taking a furtive peep through a doorway in Morocco, this is what I saw.


They really do have the best arches in Spain and Morocco.


The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, has the most stunning arches I’ve ever seen. The red and white double arches consisting of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch, rest on 856 columns, which were crafted from jasper, onyx, marble and granite.


Of course we can’t think of Spanish architecture without mentioning Antonio Gaudi. A giant mirror cleverly reflects this arch on the roof of the Casa Mila in Barcelona.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my selection of arches for Sue’s theme. To see more bloggers’ pics, just click here.

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: Grandma with ‘Spot’.

Here’s a new challenge from Michelle. At first I thought I couldn’t participate, as I don’t have any pets, but she assured me that any pics of animals, birds, and I suppose even reptiles will do. I found this sweet pic in our family album. It’s of my grandma on my mom’s side of the family. Here she is on her back door step, cuddling her little dog, ‘Spot’. I think this photo must have been taken in the 1930’s.



Thursday’s Lingering Windows: Pretty, delicious, and strange.

This week, for Dawns window challenge, I have a few more windows to show you from my recent tour of France and Germany, but let’s start in England, where the window boxes and flower baskets, beautifully decorated this 19th century department store in the small town of Cranleigh.


This restaurant in Cologne has a really pretty window above the doorway.


Les Pâtisseries in Strasbourg had an amazing selection of cakes and cookies, and especially gingerbread men.


This tiny shop right next to La Petite France, also specialised in gingerbread of all shapes and flavours. I thought it looked very elegant, and in fact at first glance, I mistook it for an interior design store.


So many windows with temptingly delicious goodies on display; best to just take a pic and walk on. 🙂


Whilst on a walking tour in La Petite France, our guide showed us this strange sight. A house had been built right up against the windows of the adjacent house, obscuring the view.  Very odd indeed. I’m sure those neighbours can’t have been on very good terms with one another. I can’t imagine how the building regulations would allow this to happen, but maybe in the Middle Ages, there weren’t any.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my windows this week. To see more, go to Dawn’s ‘Thursday’s Lingering Windows’ post.


Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Multicoloured

“It’s a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn’t consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors.” ~ Sam Levenson

So many of the sights we see are multicoloured, and it’s amazing to me how a seeming mishmash of random colours can looks so right together.

For example, the multicoloured blossoms in this beautiful garden at the Imperial Palace Museum garden in Beijing.


The main rose window in the Gothic cathedral of Strasbourg, looks quite impressive from the outside,


but when viewed from inside the cathedral, it’s colours are astounding.


Stained glass windows are almost always multicoloured, and these in Chichester Cathedral are no exception.


Some of you may remember this pic taken at a market in the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu, but as it’s the most multicoloured pic I have, I’m posting it again. As you can see, the dazzling colours were just too much for the stallholder, and she just had to close her eyes. 🙂


The floating market in Bangkok was also really full of vibrant colours.


Lastly, my sister’s bathroom is really brightened up after she decided to paint the blind in these multicolours.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my multicoloured pics. To see more, go to Ailsa’s post.

Sunday Stills: Boats from Bangkok to South Africa.

This is my first entry for Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge. This week the theme is boats of any shape or size, so here are a few boat pics which I managed to source in a bit of a hurry, as Sunday is almost over.

Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River.

Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River.

Long-tail boats in Phuket

Long-tail boats in Phuket

Yacht in San Pedro, Belize.

Yacht in San Pedro, Belize.

Seen from the beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with the city of Durban in the distance.

Seen from the beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with the city of Durban in the distance.

A somewhat drenched me with 'Jack Sparrow' in rough seas, on a dive boat in Belize.

A somewhat drenched me with ‘Jack Sparrow’ in rough seas, on a dive boat in Belize.

River Thames, London.

River Thames, London.

Beautiful  Bahamas.

Beautiful Bahamas.

Rhine River.

Rhine River, Rotterdam.

A barge on the canal in La Petite France, Strasbourg.

A pleasure boat on the canal in La Petite France, Strasbourg.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my boats for Sunday Stills. To see more entries, go here.

Sue’s Word a Week Challenge: Anyone for chess?

This pic was taken on the deck of our cruise ship as we sailed into Amsterdam at the end of our Rhine cruise.


Some of the houses we saw in Le Petite France in Strasbourg, were decorated with squares and crosses.


With their solid, half-timbered exteriors and rather small windows, I thought they were really charming, and they reminded me of some of the Tudor style houses I’ve seen in England.


My last squares pic is a fun painting done by my sister. Lately, she had been experimenting with different styles, and I really like this. I’m so proud of her. She has been chosen to represent South Africa in an International Arts and Culture exhibition in Russia, and leaves for Moscow on 23rd of this month, together with dozens of her paintings. To see more of her work you can click here.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics for Sue’s ‘Word a Week Challenge’. To visit her blog and see more bloggers’ interpretations, just click here.

Travel Theme: Hidden

I see that Ailsa has already posted a new travel theme, and I haven’t done the last one yet. Here are my photos for the ‘Hidden’ theme..

The Bignor Roman Villa site in West Sussex, was discovered in 1811 by a farmer who was ploughing his field. The earliest buildings date back to 190 AD, and the mosaics which had been hidden for centuries, are really lovely. Here is an example.


Whilst excavating the mosaics, a couple of child skeletons were uncovered, which had obviously been buried in the foundations. Our guide told us that the Romans did not consider infants to be fully developed people, so when they died young they were not given a proper burial, but just interred wherever a spot could be found, which in this case was under the floor.


My next two photos were taken just inside the gate of our housing complex in Florida. It’s always reassuring to see the Sheriff’s car parked there 24/7, and in all weathers too, even if he is hidden by the dark tinted windows. It must be unbearably hot sitting there all day in this heat, and I was feeling quite sorry for him.


On closer inspection though, the hidden Sheriff was revealed, and turned out to be nothing but a faceless dummy wearing sunglasses. 😀  This really gives meaning to the cliché, “Being lulled into a false sense of security.”


I hope you enjoyed my pics for this theme. To visit Ailsa’s blog, and to see her new theme, just click here.