Archive for ‘Observations’


This afternoon I finally took the opportunity to tour the 31 acre Largo Central Park Nature Preserve. And boy, am I glad I did as there was an impressive array of wildlife on display.

They were unusually tolerant of my presence, allowing me to capture some nice closeups. I presume they are used to people, not only those wandering the preserve but the golfers on the course adjacent.

I will certainly be back for another visit!

Top to bottom, left to right: Snowy Egret, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, American White Ibis, Limpkin, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, American Alligator, Green Heron.

The ‘Christmas Display’

Last night friends and I toured this 1/2 acre, light-filled property in the Oakdale neighborhood just south of downtown St. Pete. Ted Kresge and his wife (along with several dedicated volunteers) decorate their yard with lights, tv screens, an extensive model train display, and dozens of animatronics.

As we wandered the pathways I was distracted by the logistics of it all. According to their signage, they use roughly half a million lights which are connected to three electric meters that incur a bill close to $5000 for the month and half long event. This is the 45th year for the extravaganza and what a labor of love it is!

When Ted took a break from playing the organ he explained to us that he also built by hand all the extensive canals, ponds, fountains, and waterfalls that twine throughout his front yard. My dad, who was born and raised in the Sonoran Desert, is also fond of creating water features – the house he built when I was a child had a waterfall inside and a large pond outside while their current property has at least four ponds.

Story of My Life

To commemorate the season, I started putting up holiday decorations shortly after the beginning of the month. As you might imagine about the woman who has moved five times in the past five years, I didn’t have very many items.

So, a couple weeks back when I saw these exterior lights on sale I decided they’d be perfect for my front porch. What I neglected to remember at the time was that I do not have an outside outlet on said porch.

Well, the solution seemed easy enough: turn off the breaker, open up the outlet under the living room window, drill through the block wall, connect a few wires, install an exterior receptacle, and flip the breaker back on. Piece of cake, right? (Insert eye roll here.)

After two trips to the home improvement store (and a few choice words), I finally hung and turned on my lights. As is the case so many times in my life, things may not be easy but I do manage to persevere in the end.

Jingled All the Way

Last night I joined my friends Peggy and Katie (and her dog Reef) for the Jingle Bell Run in downtown St. Pete. The 5k, a fundraiser for veterans causes, is now in its 39th year and these folks know how to put on an event!

They encouraged fun outfits, handed out jingle bell bracelets and glow necklaces, surprised us with snow (fake, of course), and had live bands scattered along the route to keep our spirits bright. The city’s colorful holiday decorations added to the overall cheer.

I admit, my feet were a bit sore by the end (having also walked a few miles earlier that day with my friend Amber), but it was a wonderful way to spend the evening. Jingle on!