Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sebring, Florida

Definitely epitomizing small-town red America, Sebring is a community that is idyllic in most senses, perhaps with the exceptions of population and demographics. So relaxed and slow, it even persuaded Al Capone to leave the streets of Chicago in the winter to reside here. Whatever negative influence he had, however, appears to have passed long ago, and life has gone back to normal. Alligators, sunshine, warm weather, and a considerable number of lakes account for the life of most of the locals now. Above is a picture of my house from the front. Quite nice, isn't it?

Below is a picture of my house from the back.

A look at the boathouse from the backyard.

A look at the interior of the house, where I complete most of my work.

An alligator swimming in the same area in which I had been swimming days before. Thankfully, this one is only a juvenile :^) Can you see its head?

And no description of Sebring would be complete without a picture of an amazing sunset. Beautiful!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Florida's Fantastic Flora and Fauna Revisited

Well, if this won't get everyone from up north down for a visit, I don't know what will! A couple weeks ago I was driving to church one evening when I saw a strange animal perched on a rock on the side of a pond. At first glance, I thought it was a fox. But then, I immediately realized that it was a cat, and much too large to be a housecat. I pulled off to the side of the road and ran back for a closer look at the bobcat. I didn't have my camera available, so instead I chose to use a picture from Google Images.

Officer? There's a great blue heron on top of my house! This is actually not an altogether uncommon site in Florida. Animals and humans live in close proximity to each other, and one regularly sees this type of phenomenon from one's doorstep. I'm sure Dad wouldn't mind one of these on the roof of his house, as long as it wouldn't fly over him!

Perhaps my brothers (or Father) can help me to identify this hawk... they were ever-so-helpful with my first post. :^)

Two turkey vultures mating on the same roof upon which the heron had alighted earlier.

A picture of a largemouth bass at a nearby lake.

A picture of a fisherman catching a largemouth bass. Taken from across the lake. Not a bad catch by the looks of it, is it?

Randy's 40th Birthday

Randy is a musician friend from Axiom, a young adults group from South Shore Community Church that meets weekly. Together, we celebrate friendships, accountability, spearfishing, and birthdays. A few weeks ago, Randy turned forty (he looks much younger, doesn't he?) and it was definite cause for a party at my house.

From left to right: Andrew, Andy (my roommate), Justin, and Brent.

Playing the Need for Speed. Curt, do you remember the time you asked Oma if she would like to play the Need for Speed? Perhaps she would have taken you up on your offer if you had a driving consul to offer her!

Randy serenading himself? It's hard to say. Perhaps he's abstractionating about the virtues of aging?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Florida's Fantastic Flora and Fauna

I can hear the groans of relief already. After years of begging for pictures of my life in Florida, here they are! I must confess, however, that my family's repeated requests for images of my Florida life are not the only motivator for starting up a blog... there's another very powerful motivator, who happens to reside in Michigan. Long distance relationships have a way of calling for creative forms of communication. So, be advised: even though your cries have been heard, you might not always be the primary audience of these posts!

One other thing before I post pictures of my life in Florida... if there is any doubt about my age on my profile picture, please note that this photograph was taken in 2007... really, not that long ago, all things considered. Okay, that last sentence was directed at one of my family members, not Laura :^)

Eight days ago, I decided to ride a bicycle to a camp fire that was taking place out in the country. I took my binoculars along (they are equipped with a digital camera, which although not of exceptional quality, is functional), and I was not disappointed. I encountered no less than three armadillos on the way. I nearly put the thick armor of one of these creatures to the test, as I had to swerve to avoid one in the road.

I took these next two pictures from a few feet away.

And then, there were the sandhill cranes. I saw four of them altogether on this day; two were too far for a photograph.

Temporal realities meet eternal truths:

Is this a cooper's hawk? One of my ornithologically inclined brothers (or my father) might be able to help me out with this one.