Recently my new friend Anne Marie took me to Beer Can Island in Long Boat Key. Please enjoy some photos of this beautiful beach!
These are some of the beautiful creatures I have encountered over the last few months in Southern Florida.
While on a birding adventure at Lettuce Park in Tampa this year, I discovered a beautiful caterpillar, the tussock moth. Their colours are so stunning and are examples of the true ‘art’ that you can find within nature.
Many species exhibit four characteristic clumps of bristles on their backs, giving them the appearance of a toothbrush. Some have longer pairs of tufts near the head and rear. These beautiful fuzzy caterpillars seem harmless, but touch them with a bare finger and you’ll feel you’ve been pricked by fiberglass. A few species, like the Brown-tail, will leave you with a persistent and painful rash.
The tussock moth caterpillar are found in southern Canada, Southeastern United States and Ohio in North America. Although the tussock moth caterpillar can cause destruction at times, such as defoliating trees, the problem doesn’t usually escalate to cause too much long-term damage. If you do come across the tussock moth caterpillar they are beautiful to view.
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.”
While attending graduate school in Tampa several years ago, I became a volunteer docent at the Salvador Dali musuem in Florida. I have always been fascinated by the way in which Dali was able to transform the world of dreams and the unconscious into a tangible visual language.
Born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, Salvador Dali was a versatile artist, known for the quality of his imagination and his technical skills. He was a prominent figure in the Surrealist movement and transformed the world of art. His eccentric manner sometimes drew more attention than his artwork to the dismay of those who held his work in high regard.
Characteristic of his works of this period are odd objects scattered across barren landscapes creating a hallucinatory, dream-like work that has become synonymous with the Surrealist movement as a whole. Dalí employed extensive symbolism in his work. One of his most famous works, The Persistence of Memory has many interpretations including the following. Some are more meaningful, others remain elusive.
- the drooping pocket watches suggest the irrelevance of time during sleep. In other words, when we are asleep, time does not persist, but memories do
- another interpretation of this painting may suggest Einstein’s theory that time is relative and is not fixed
Dali’s affiliation with the Surrealists was, however, fraught with tension which stemmed from his unwillingness to conform and his approach to self-promotion. In 1934, Dali was “expelled” from the Surrealist group and for the rest of his life created works which defied characterization.
By the time Dali passed away in 1989, he had already become one of the most well-known and important artists of all-time, remembered for his eccentricity, experimentation and definitive role in the history of modern art.
What is your favorite Dali piece of art? What do you think the melting clocks symbolize?
The west coast of Florida is a wonderland of beautiful birds, flowers, and experiences, from swimming with manatees, to listening to alligator bulls calling to their prospective mates. Great photographs are found just about anywhere, but there are some places that stand out as my favorites. The Venice Rookery is one of them. Here, you can view and photograph some of the most beautiful species of birds – Great Blue Herons, Wood Storks, White Ibis and and Great Egrets to name a few. As we drove down on 41 from Bradenton, my friend Greg and I were shocked to discover this bird mecca is located within blocks of a Target and McDonalds.
The actual rookery is on an island resting on a man made pond and provides the perfect nesting spot for the birds. There is even a resident alligator that services to proect the birds, their eggs and the young from other predators such as racoons. If you are visiting southwest Florida I would highly recommend this bird oasis.
The west is the best – at least for sunsets. The West Coast of Florida has some of the most beautiful coastal sunsets I have ever seen. Just watch as the sun slowly dips into the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the colors change to a million shades of the rainbow. Here a few photos of Safety Harbor, Fort Myers , Everglades, and Dunedin.
The northeast was hit last weekend with one of the worst storms in years. However, the snow makes a dreary winter brighter and more beautiful.
“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.”
― E.E. Cummings
I would love to visit Salem after a big Italian meal at my grandmother’s house in Wakefield. As a child, I was always fascinated with the city’s history and never tired of visiting the Witchcraft Museum and the Witch Dungeon.
The events which led to the Witch Trials actually occurred in what is now the town of Danvers, then known as Salem Village and not in Salem. Launching the hysteria was the bizarre, seemingly inexplicable behavior of two young girls; the daughter, Betty, and the niece, Abigail Williams, of the Salem Village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris.
The local doctor concluded that the children were suffering from the effects of witchcraft, and the young girls corroborated the doctor’s diagnosis. With encouragement from a number of adults in the community, the girls, who were soon joined by other “afflicted” Salem residents.
In February, 1692, three accused women were examined by Magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hawthorne. Corwin’s home, known as the Witch House, still stands at the corner of North and Essex Streets in Salem.
During the next few months, more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil’s magic—and 20 were executed.
By early autumn of 1692, Salem’s lust for blood was ebbing. Doubts were developing as to how so many respectable people could be guilty. Reverend John Hale said, ” It cannot be imagined that in a place of so much knowledge, so many in so small compass of land should abominably leap into the Devil’s lap at once.”
In May of 1693, P Governor Phips released from prison all remaining accused or convicted witches. The witches disappeared, but witch hunting in America did not. Each generation must learn the lessons of history or risk repeating its mistakes.