Springtime at Selby Gardens

This past weekend, a few of my co-workers and I met at Selby Gardens in Sarasota to photograph the flowers. I was really excited about getting there as I’ve heard wonderful things about these gardens. And I was itching to see some flowers in bloom. By now, up north, we’re starting to see some new growth as the earth comes alive after a long dormant winter. I miss seeing the change of the seasons, so I welcomed the opportunity to feast my eyes on some color. Indeed, the gardens did not disappoint! There was eye candy everywhere you turned. Here are some of my favorite images I captured.

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Thanks for reading!

xoxo

 
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The best nurses a girl can ask for!

Spring has arrived here in Florida! Though when it’s green pretty much every day of the year, I haven’t figured out what makes this season different than any other one. Except for the pollen. Oh my gosh! Some reports I’ve read have suggested pollen counts are really high this year because of a mild winter. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know my head aches, my throat is scratchy, my sense of taste has decreased, my eyes are watery and just generally don’t feel very good. This isn’t anything new, I’ve suffered from allergies off and on for several years. However, not usually this early in the season. Medication helps alleviate the symptoms, but mostly all I want to do is sleep or just sit still trying to prevent the feeling that my head is going to explode. I’ve had worse symptoms in previous years, so I know I’ll survive this bout. Even if at times, I find myself questioning that!

Being under the weather is also hard on my dogs too. They don’t get as much attention, and because of the pollen, I spend as little time outdoors as possible, which means short, like really short, walks. I can tell my girls are antsy - they have a lot of pent up energy. But they also have been a source of comfort for me.

This weekend for example, when I curled up on the couch and watched TV for several hours (I rarely watch television, so this is a huge anomaly for me), Kita curled up right there with me. Izzy laid at my feet, giving me big brown sad eyes every time I tried to cough up a lung or used up yet another box of tissues blowing my nose. Tillie did her best to fight her way to my side to comfort me in her own way as well…bumping my arm to get me to pet her. It was all very cute and very sweet. Even though it meant mustering up more energy than I felt I had, I truly appreciated the effort my 3 furry nurses made to try to make me feel better.
It’s hard not to feel cranky and irritable when you don’t feel well. I do my best to keep an upbeat attitude, but I know I have my moments when I fail at this. Having these 3 pups to cheer me up does my soul so much good. They may not be able to “cure” me of my ailments, but they sure do make it easier to suffer through these allergies!

Anyone else feel the same way about their furry kids? Leave a comment and share your story!

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Thanks for reading!

xoxo

 
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Is it spring?

Life so far in the sunshine state has been fantastic! Who can complain about warm weather, abundant sunshine and frequent visits to the beach? Before I moved to Florida, I was told I would miss experiencing the 4 seasons. Since I’ve lived in Pennsylvania pretty much my whole life, I had no opinion and couldn’t agree or disagree. Now that it’s been six months and 2 seasons since my move, I can attest I now understand why people split time living south in the winter and north in the summer.

Most Floridians will tell you we have 2 seasons. I thought they meant spring and summer! But it turns out, it’s the wet and dry season. Others might say it’s tourist season and non-tourist season. But one thing is for sure, the arrival of spring isn’t quite the same in the south as it is up north. And honestly, while I didn’t miss a cold snowy winter, I do miss all the signs of spring’s arrival.

It was always exciting to see the grass come to life and turn from brown to green. I looked forward to listening to the sounds of the robins as they migrated back north. The pops of color as the crocuses and snowdrops peeked through the snow was a welcome sight. And if I could shed my winter coat, even for an afternoon, it was a great day! There’s just something magical about the earth coming alive again after being dormant for months.

Here in Florida, the grass has been green ever since we arrived in August and I don’t see any signs of that changing. We see birds every day on our walks, so there is no reminder that the wildlife has hunkered down or fled from the cold winter weather. After spending days, weeks and months cooped up indoors, it’s always a treat when we can spend some time outdoors once again without the fear of suffering from frostbite. But in Florida, with the warmer weather, it’s nice every once in a while to have a cool rainy day. Just so I can a spend an afternoon curled up on the couch with a good book or binge watch some of my favorite movies.

Do I miss the 4 seasons? Yes, without a doubt. I just wish our summers up north were longer and the winters shorter. Perhaps one day, I, too, will join the millions of folks who have become a snowbird.

Thanks for reading!
xoxo

 
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terrier mix in field of spring flowers

Spring has arrived!

After waiting months to see some color, spring finally arrived! And I couldn't wait to get out there with my camera and capture it! I love the burst of color coming up through the ground, the trees waking up and sprouting tiny little green leaves and the sound of birds as they become more active. Spring is probably my favorite season. I'm sure having a May birthday has something to do with that! I haven't photographed many pets lately. In fact, Izzy is the only dog who has been in front of my lens. I've been feeling stuck in a rut with my work lately, as I struggle to create images I'm proud of. It's been refreshing focusing on other subjects during this creative block I'm in. Hopefully it'll help me get through it. But if nothing else, I enjoyed my evening strolls through the gardens. Grateful to not have to bundle up in sweaters and winter coats anymore! Here's a few of my favorite images!

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Lessons from the dog - Get wet!

We've all heard the saying April showers bring May flowers. While I love the thought of flowers blooming after a cold, bleak and colorless winter, getting through the days of rain can be hard sometimes. Muddy backyards, wiping the dogs feet every time they come inside, and bad hair days. Unless you find a way to make it fun!

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I have a niece that whenever she sees a puddle, instead of heeding her parents stern rule NOT jump in, she does just that! She squeals with delight as she splashes water everywhere. My dogs are the same way! Sometimes it seems the muddier the puddle, the more they just have to walk right through it! Then they wonder why I throw them in the bathtub or run the hose to wash them off afterwards.

But let's think about this for a bit. Maybe our dogs have something to teach us. It's raining. You can't change that. Getting angry or screaming at the rain gods isn't going to make it go away. If we didn't have rain, we wouldn't have green grass (ever visit the southwest where it's nothing but a sea of brown in the middle of summer?), trees to provide shade, flowers to make the world more colorful, streams that flow, ponds to canoe in and water to drink. Furthermore, we wouldn't have rainbows to chase.

Why not make the most of it? Act like a kid again! Join your dogs and let loose. If you need to, put on a pair of pretty rain boots and a raincoat. Umbrellas are optional. Water never hurt anyone, right? I bet you'll feel so alive and laugh like you haven't in a very long time. I'm looking forward to the next rainstorm. Who's with me?

PIN IT!

Lessons from the dog - Get Wet