What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Saturday Wanderings...Come Along for a Nature Walk with Me...

Happy Saturday!  I thought you might enjoy something a little different this evening. Why don't you come along on a nature walk with me?  There are so many different things to see!

This morning we took a walk at our usual walking place in the woods, and this lovely butterfly was accompanying us along the way. I loved how he flew beside us and before us, and all around us. I literally asked him to please stop long enough for me to take his picture, and so he did! He stayed on the ground like this for about a minute, allowing me to enjoy his magnificent colors and markings! And then he flew back up into the air and continued on his journey, leading the way for us along the road. Sometimes I do wonder about butterflies, don't you?  If anything, he was God's special little gift to us this morning to brighten our path and bring smiles of joy to our faces!  What a blessing!

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly  (Click that link for more information about him)

The next thing I wanted to see was this Hawthorn tree, to see if its berries are developing, and yes, they certainly are!

Florida Hawthorn Tree Berries

These are the Hawthorn Tree flowers, back in early March! I thought I had already shared these with you, but I can't find a record of it.  That was about the same time that my computer died, and so I was limited on what I was able to post for while, so I guess these photos were left out. Glad I still had them in my phone so I could share them now!

This information below is from the Florida Native Plant Society Blog

"Hawthorns belong to the Rose Family, along with the plums, cherries, serviceberries, and crabapples. Roses are revered for their beautiful 5-petal flowers, which are often present in the spring, and the production of nutritious fruit, generally high in vitamin C. Florida’s hawthorns all produce white blooms; either solitary, in small clusters, or in large masses across the canopy. 
 The fruit are variable in color, size, and time of year that they ripen. Like true roses (Rosa spp.), hawthorn fruit are often called “hips”. Most are rather bland in taste, but an entire industry has been built in the South around the hips of the mayhaw (C. aestivalis) and its close relatives (C. opaca and C. rufula). Hawthorn hips are also frequently available in natural food stores for use in teas and as nutritional supplements."

Also along the way we are starting to see these Pricklypear Cactus flowers starting to bloom! They are so beautiful, but please don't get pricked by the thorns! That would not be very pleasant!

Pricklypear Cactus  (click on that link to the Florida Wildflower Foundation for more information)

Now, back in our neighborhood I have been enjoying the discovery of these amazing huge Live Oak trees on the property next door.

Live Oak Tree (click link for more information from the University of Florida Gardening Solutions website)

This Live Oak tree above is on the lot beside the lot that was just cleared next to us, and the pictures below I have already shown you, but they are also Live Oaks that are on the lot that was cleared. I do hope they won't have to cut down too many of these trees in order to build the house on the lot. They provide such beautiful shade and many of the trees on this property appear to be quite old.  

Here is another picture of Mother Goose, sitting on her nest, patiently waiting for the arrival of her babies. Doesn't she look peaceful and calm sitting there? A perfect example of what a mother's love looks like.  According to what I've been reading, the mother goose does NOT leave the nest at all during this month of waiting, nor does she eat. Apparently the goose who comes begging for bird seed at our door is the father, not the mother! And he is always in a bit of a hurry because he has to get back to his station in the water nearby her nest.   

We have become a bit more lenient in this regard. He literally stands there and it looks like he is trying to speak to us. He doesn't make any sound or hiss, he just opens his mouth and it looks like he is saying food please?  So we have given in and have been tossing him a little bit of birdseed when he comes begging so politely.  It's only for a short period of time, and then they will be off to their further adventures. We decided it's the least we can do to help out a young father in distress...LOL.  

Speaking of birds in distress...Since so much of the habitat was cut down on the lot, the birds have been rather noisy and active.  I fear there may have been some nests destroyed in the process or at least their favorite hiding places.  
This male Cardinal was hopping around this morning on the ground where there used to be more bushes.  I just happened to be out for an early morning stroll over to see what was going on with the goose nest and saw this fellow too.  Hopefully the birds will all get back to some kind of normalcy soon.

Speaking of hungry critters...LOL. Today was really sweet. Our kids were all here for a grilled BBQ chicken lunch.  Scott came home and Benton and Rose and the grandpups came over, and Scott grilled the chicken for us. We had salad,  deviled eggs, and boiled new potatoes with sour cream and cheese, and also some coleslaw.   There was no special occasion...just a happy and thankful family to all be together.  I baked a blueberry pie, using some of the blueberries I had frozen a little while ago after getting them fresh from the blueberry farm.  I didn't take any pictures of us all together, but here's what's left of the pie:  
Yes, it was delicious, eaten when it was still warm with vanilla ice cream! 

I think I will close on that note!

Here's a good thought for today:

Philippians 4:4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

One more thought, please keep the people in the paths of those horrific tornadoes in your thoughts and prayers. I know of one of our blogging friends in particular, Betsy, from "The Simple Life of a Queen", who lives in Omaha, NE, and the storms were very close to her and her family. Thankfullly, they are all safe and no damage to their homes, but the severe damage is all around them, so their lives will be greatly affected by all of the storm aftermath.  There may be others that we don't know about, so let us keep them in our prayers.



  1. I loved ‘walking’ with you today!
    Such magnificent photos!! And what a beautiful thing it is to get together with family! I ❤️ your life!!!
    Linda C

    1. Thank you for those very kind words and thoughts! As you know, family is truly a gift to be enjoyed and treasured!

  2. I enjoyed the walk - the butterfly is magnificent.
    I've been a tree hugger for a long time, and I get sick to my stomach when people cut down trees. I have a hard time with it. Seeing that bird makes me so sad. And I hate to say it, but you just know, many bird homes and other homes were destroyed. I get it that the property must be cleared, but I wish there was a way they could go in and relocate the wildlife. I know, crazy Californian here!
    The prickly pear cactus is delicious! One of my favorites is Nopalitos con Huevos. Basically, scrambled eggs and prickly pear cactus in a corn tortilla. Garlic, Onion and cilantro. YUM!
    That blueberry pie reminds me of boysenberry pies my mom would bake when I was a kid. I haven't had one in years!
    Does the plot of land next to you have building restrictions? For example, how large of a home is allowed? Is there a certain type of foundation, e.g., raised or cement? Since you have a manufactured home, does it have to be a manufactured home or a regular house? Does the house have to be used as a primary residence or can it be used as a rental or vacation home? This is the kind of restrictions we have here. I hear from others that it can be maddening trying to meet all the state regulations and restrictions. Some of it is good but some of it is just plain dumb.

    1. I hear you regarding the birds, etc., but honestly, there are so many trees still here that I am sure the birds will be able to recover. They are just shook up because of the unexpected changes that happened so quickly. Much like a tornado hitting a neighborhood and people wandering around looking for what's left of their homes. It is sad for the wildlife, but they will recover and rebuild, just like humans do. Very resilient. Now, regarding the land and restrictions...the lot is almost 3/4 of an acre. The main thing that is a concern here is the septic tank/drainfield issue. Since it is close to water/wetlands, the drainfield will need to be above ground...in a mound as opposed to completely underground. Also, the size of the lot and the setbacks from the pond, the road, etc., also dictate how large of a house can be put on the lot. Also, most likely the house will need to be raised a little bit off the ground...our home is about 4 feet off the ground, because of the proximity to the water. We are not in a flood zone, but still it has to do with the water table, etc. It can be a manufactured home (which this one will be), or it can be a regular site built home. It can be a vacation home or a primary residence. It could be used as a rental. Where we are those kinds of restrictions are pretty loose. I wish they were a bit tighter. This is an older community that started out as a retirement community in the 1970's with mostly small single wide manufactured homes. However, they never did make it officially a retirement community, so as old people died off the homes became open to anyone. Sadly, many have not been kept up as nicely as one would like to see. We are blessed in that the home we have is a newer doublewide and was very well maintained. I am happy that there will be a new house put next to us. Little by little there are other new homes coming into the area and that is helping to "clean things up a bit" (and raise the property values, which can be good for resale, but does tend to raise the taxes too). We came here because it was affordable for us and we love our church and our kids were already here in the area, and because we found this house on the pond! It was a real blessing to us for which we are very thankful. Let me know if you want to come get this house/lot before it's too late! LOL.

    2. I’m just as excited as you are to see what type of house goes in. Thanks for answering my questions and it makes sense about the birds and a tornado. Sometimes my heart takes over my brain when it comes to animals etc.

  3. It is always so great visiting you here!! Your photos and information are wonderful and I do love seeing the birds. Thank you from Mr. Goose, for the extra seeds!! Have a blessed Sunday, dear friend!

  4. Just visited with Betsy and saw the pictures she shared. Terrible damage so close to her. I enjoyed going on a nature walk with you and learning about the things in your part of this wonderful world. Someone built a new home across the street from us, to do so they had to cut down several big trees, it hurt me...so many birds and squirrels lost their home. Blessing to you sweet lady!

  5. Hope they get through clearing soon and let the birds go back to the trees. its good that where you live they try to leave the big old trees, as we can see from your homestead. the storms are on the TV right now and looks like more on the way. prayers for all in the path of those terrible storms. each place has its own terror, here we have hurricanes and flooding, others have fire and wind,, as I type they are interviewing a mother in India, there they are dying from the extreme heat, they have no air conditioning and the heat is killing them. our world is rocking and rolling. all we can do is pray and watch and enjoy our life's while we can

  6. You always make me smile. Wishing you a beautiful week.

  7. Oh, that butterfly is exquisite! I love how he(she?) accompanied y'all for a spell, then gently sat, allowing you to capture that photo! Honestly, I've never given butterflies much attention. All that changed, however, when some 10 years ago my son's beloved white shepherd passed away. Tom and I were there, witness to the family's grief -- and when they lay Princess in the grave that Troy had dug and began shoveling dirt suddenly there came a dozen or more white butterflies flitting around us. Lois said she'd never seen them before, and they didn't hang around. To me, it was like Princess was telling them it's okay, she's free and happy.
    Your pie looks amazing!

  8. I loved going on this nature walk with you, Pamela! The butterfly photo is great as are the others you have featured here. It's so much fun to see the beauty of God's creation in all its diverse forms, isn't it? Thank you for once again inviting us along on your adventures at Still Waters Pond.
    Blessings always!

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed your nature hike. We did 4+ miles again yesterday and always love being in the trees and around water. Of course, ocean is my favorite but if I can't have that, I will go for river.
    And that pie! Triple berry is my favorite!

  10. Hi Pamela. It was so nice to see all of God's wonderful creation in your part of His world. I didn't know there were prickly pear cacti in Florida! My, that pie looks delicious. I am wondering if the lot next to you is being cleared so another house can be built there. I hope you have a nice week. See you again soon!

  11. Hi Pamela, I enjoyed your nature walk. That butterfly is amazing! My grandma loved to cook cactus and my grandpa would clean it for her. They grew it in their backyard. The fruit is good too! Have a great week!

  12. Such wonderful photos. The walks around our property are loaded with color and birds singing right now. I like this time of year the best.
    Love. 💙

  13. Hope you’re well my friend. Regine

  14. You're pictures are always so beautiful....and that pie...yummy!!!


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