Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Pillars

Posted: August 12, 2016 in Photography, Quotes
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Chokoloskee, FL

Foto by Iliana

“…the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” ~Cicero

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Chokoloskee, Florida  

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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Florida

Foto by Iliana

“Think and wonder, wonder and think.” ~Dr. Seuss

leaves in water


Amicalola Falls, Georgia

Foto by Iliana

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” ~ Lord Byron
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Amicalola Falls, Georgia

 


Key Largo, Florida

Foto by Iliana

“The setting sun, and the music at the close, As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, Writ in rememberance more than long things past.” ~William Shakespeare

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Key Largo, Florida


Everglades, 2016

Foto by Iliana

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

~Confucius
reflecting


Everglades, 2016

Foto by Iliana

“Certain periods in history suddenly lift humanity to an observation point where a clear light falls upon a world previously dark.” ~Anne Sullivan
Everglades observation tower


Everglades City, FL

Foto by Iliana

“Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.” ~Indra Devi
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Everglades City, Florida


Key West, 2016

Foto by Iliana

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and the flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.” ~Rachel Carson

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Key West, 2016


Everglades, Flamingo Park, 2016

Foto by Iliana

The  miracle of light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of  water, shining and slowly moving, the grass and water that is the meaning and  the central fact of the Everglades. It is a river of grass. ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas

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Everglades, Flamingo 2016


“The sun set, which is everyday magic…” ~Terry Pratchett     Isla Morada, FL 2016                   Foto by Iliana

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Isla Morada, FL 2016


Faith is the pierless bridge supporting what we see unto the scene that we do not.      ~Emily Dickinson                                                                                                                                                   Foto by Iliana

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Pensacola, Florida 2016

 

 


Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

“The sun set, which is everyday magic…”
― Terry Pratchett


Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

                   The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal Nature bade me weep no more. ~Mary Shelley

 

Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

~Edward Abbey

winter solstice 2014

5:30 p.m. December 21, 2014, Doral, Florida. It is the first day of winter; it looks like this in my part of the world. Mesmerizing skies. Lost in them I find tremendous comfort and peace.

Mom continues to battle the illness that has taken away quality of life. Dad and I, by her side, battling also. We are thankful, however, each day we wake up and have another day to enjoy her company–another day for hugs, kisses and tears. Dad and I cherish these days more than anything.

I’d like to wish all of you a blessed winter season.

~The White Rabbit


Cypress Reserve

Florida has the richest epiphyte flora in the United States. Of the approximately 85 native epiphytic ferns and flowering plants, nearly two-thirds are found in Florida only in swamps of the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and Big Cypress National Preserve, and tropical hammocks of Everglades National Park. Florida’s epiphytes are in danger of disappearing because of wetland dredging and filling, coastal development, and an exotic weevil (Metamasius callizonus) that is attacking several bromeliad species. ~www.selby.org

Took this picture while in about foot deep water inside of a Cypress Dome  within the Big Cypress National Preserve. It was amazing!


Christmas trees appear to have originated more as a symbolic representation and reminder of the strengthening sun and the coming season of fertility during frigid and fruitless winter nights. Through its symbolism, the Christmas tree provided cheer and warmth as well as comfort through the darkness of bleak coldness.

For more information about the history of the Christmas tree, please click here:  http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-christmas-trees

I took this picture last Wednesday in the historical city of Coral Gables, Florida. The majestic tree, dwarfed by the branches that frame it within this picture,  appears in front of City Hall. This is the area of Coral Gables most famous for its Saturday mornings Farmer’s Market. Also, during Christmas time, the park in the center of the rotunda displays and offers holiday scenes, activities and fun for children and grownups alike.


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The Tamiami Trail was built with the intention of connecting Tampa and Miami. In fact, its name is a combination of the two cities. The trail was also meant to shine the spotlight on  Collier County, a county named so due to Barron Collier, a man who poured and showered all his wealth and energy on the land after he fell in love with the area. This area was wilderness when the project to develop it first twinkled in Collier’s eyes. It took 13 years and $8 million dollars to complete it. Unfortunately, the endeavor destroyed most of the Everglades since The Trail created a dam that cut the original water-flow, obliviating habitats of flora and fauna. As a result of the massive destruction of habitat, the Everglades saw the loss of an abundance of its original infrastructure. The Everglades today is almost less than half of the original size. In order to salvage what is left of the unique ecosystem, a Restoration Project is now in effect. 2013 is the estimated date of completion. There is still hope. Enjoy the rest of the views along The Trail!

Above is the view from the terrace off the second floor lounge inside of the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. This is a northern view.

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Here is another view with part of The Trail visible. Don’t be surprised by the abundant road-kill. Hopefully, the new bridge will help avoid such accidents. The bridge is part of the Restoration project meant to allow the water flow from north to south once more. The flow begins south of Lake Okeechobee and empties in Florida Bay. The bridge is hope.

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This is a Melaleuca Forest found along The Tamiami Trail in Miami. Lightning strikes burnt the forest to a crisp. It has now been a few years since the fire and new green areas emerge. This part of The Trail begins in Miami-Dade at about 157th Avenue and ends at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. The Trail actually begins in Miami and ends in Tampa or vice-versa. It is a 275-mile long two-way enchanted highway. Hoped you enjoyed the views from this small 15-mile section of the Tamiami Trail.


Greeting tourists and gamblers alike is this years, 2012, Miccosukee Resort Holiday Tree–quite grand at two stories. The resort is found on Tamiami Trail. The Miccosukee Tribe own the resort–cousins to the Seminole who own the Hardrock Resort and Casino in Broward. Both tribes, more so the Miccosukee, were part of the Creek Nation. The members of the tribe are ancestors of those who refused to submit to the U.S. Government. They fought vicious wars until the mid 1900’s when they signed peace treaties–The Seminole’s first, around or some time after the finishing of the Tamiami Trail, which was in the late 1920’s. The Miccosukee Tribe were the last in 1962–some say with the help of Fidel Castro. Go figure! Even now, 2012, one of the tribes continues the battle with the U.S. – this time, the I.R.S.

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Usually, when visiting South Florida, tourists end up at beaches to the east or the keys to the south. Some, however, visit the Everglades. Why visit? “It is the only one of its kind in the world–another one of the unique marvels of this planet.” ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas

For those who dare to take the adventure, the path that will lead them into the enchanted forest called the Everglades is the Tamiami Trail west. Here begins the adventure into a place where wilderness still exists.

One possible itinerary, especially for those who want to keep the wilderness at bay, is as follows. Begin the tour by 7:00 a.m. at the Miccosukee resort where a sumptuous buffet breakfast awaits. After breakfast, a tour of the resort with a stop at the casino may follow. Next, a stop at the Miccosukee Museum replete with Airboat Ride and Gator Show. Lunch at the Miccosukee Restaurant found just across from Shark Valley will prepare the tourists for the last activity of the day: The Tram Ride. This ride takes the tourists on a two-hour trip. The first hour heads towards an observation tower where 360 degree views astonish the on-looker. The last hour returns the tourist to the parking/snack area. During the ride, flora and fauna are plenty–the camera is a must as myriad of shots will be available for nature photography lovers.

The evening ends at the Barbeque Pit, recently purchased by Cubans. Here is another cultural stop: an out-door tiki-style restaurant with a live band playing salsa music — dance floor with flashing lights and all greets the stunned diners.

One warning, the Everglades is real wilderness. All flora and fauna are real and dangerous. By keeping safety rules in mind, tourists are able to have a most spectacular day.

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“Let each man take the path according to his capacity, understanding and temperament. His true guru will meet him along that path.”
―    Swami Sivananda


“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.” ~Yoda/Star Wars


“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” –  Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom


Although winter arrives, the blooms in my tiny garden fight to sustain. Some have gone into slumber; some remain. Make certain, however, that their existence was not in vain. I’ll see them again after April Showers and May Rains. ~Voiceless

The orange peels were thrown into my tiny garden by my Mama who is certain that such a trick keeps kitties and other little beings away.  😀


Turning within, you find yourself on a long, lonely narrow path. Pilgrim, keep on going. Make and stay on your own path, for only then will you find what it is you seek: Your true self! ~Voiceless


You can count on me!

Whatever the secret may be, “Friend, you can always count on me!”


The final “chosen” Hunter’s Moon shot, taken on 10/29/2012, 8:00 p.m. About the quality, once again, some would argue that the picture needs to be sharper, cleaner–tools of the trade need to be upgraded; however, funds are tight. Others argue –myself ;)–that as canvas art, it is a “curious” piece to ponder. But, I do wish I had the upgraded equipment :D. Regardless, there is “something” here, a silvery liquidity sandwiched by denser substances.


Once again, I so long for professional equipment for a clearer and less grainy shot; however, I must add that when transferred to canvas, this shot is unique. That is a palm tree embracing the Full Hunter’s Moon with its fronds. Just above towards the left upper corner are leaves from an umbrella tree. I took this shot as the moon appeared on the horizon at about 8 p.m., 10/29/2012. Hope you enjoy it.


Almost Hunter’s Moon by Voiceless.



Ever felt

like no matter what

road you take

you always end

up in the same place?

D-E-S-T-I-N-Y!

Plan

all you want

since all roads are winding–

choice deceivingly blinding.

Ultimately, destiny and fate

pay you a visit,

and you might as well

throw and wave your hands up in the air–

like you just don’t care.

No need

to allow your thoughts to stir

as the results are emotions gone wild.

Take the reins and fear no pain–

sing your tune, for it will all be over soon.

Winds of change they are,

making certain no one goes far–

from

where

it is

they must go.


Deck needs sanding and painting, mums and other blooms ready for planting. Wood for burning and food for the Harvest await…late night during the Hunter’s Moon, we will rejoice with gratitude and delight for this abundant and bountiful feasting. ~ Voiceless


Beware of Peaceful Facades ~ A Storm Lurks


“Where am I going? What am I going to do with my life?” Did you ever catch yourself mumbling these words, or hear someone else? Indeed, life is very strange as our destination is unknown because of change–our constant companion.

***Note: For a truly enjoyable experience, listen to the video while reading the post. Enjoy! 🙂

About 50 years ago, my family’s destination was quickly shoved off its trajectory just after the Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro and his Communist Regime swiftly took over Cuba, destroying the dreams of many, including my father’s. At the time, he was an Accountant for the Coca-Cola company. My father had instilled the fact that I should pursue the same profession upon me early in my life as it was the chosen career for most of my family. However, change happened. As the communists began to confiscate private property, not to redistribute to the poor, but to keep for themselves, my father realized it was time to get his family out of Cuba. All Cubans seeking exile in America were the first to lose all their assets, and most had to do time at the Sugar Cane Farms.

Fidel Castro becomes the leader of Cuba as a r...

Before we left the island, each month, military trucks poured into Santiago to pick up what they called the “gusanos” or “worms.” That is what the about-to-be-exiled Cubans became–mere worms. My father disappeared for weeks as he was taken to the sugar cane farms, allowed to return home for a week and then returning to the cane plantations. Eventually, we all made it out, became U.S.A. citizens never to know about or return to Cuba again.

English: Coat of arms of Cuba. Español: Escudo...

English: Coat of arms of Cuba. Español: Escudo de Cuba. Русский: Герб Кубы. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is so strange as the consequences eventually revealed themselves. One was that my father’s trauma due to abandoning his country coupled with culture shock led him to a depression. While my mother worked two jobs, sometimes three, he sulked and cried. Until those first years in America, my father appeared as a god to me. Never had I seen him in this way. Those first years in America were the most depressing for me–I’ve never rid myself of the “yucky” feeling in my gut, unexplainable feeling that makes one want to vomit. My father laid in bed for many months, only waking to stroll to the toilet. As time passed, he eventually began to attend to my sister and me, taking us to the park across the street, always in silence, letting a chuckle out here and there as he watched us ride bike and do the sorts of things little girls do in a park.

Time passed. Instead of returning to school to enhance his poor English speaking and writing abilities as well as to gain re-certification in Accounting, he became a steel worker, which although very lucrative financially, the hours and dangerous labor took a toll on my father’s health–aging him quickly. He was only 27 at that time, yet he looked like 57.

More years passed, we settled. Now, he wanted to relive his dream to be an accountant through me, always reminding me how important it was to continue the family’s choice of career and tradition. I hated numbers and accounting; I couldn’t see myself toiling with that crap for the rest of my life. But, he insisted that the only way he would pay for my college was if I majored in Accounting. Nursing was my calling, but I decided to listen to my father.

Life is so strange, indeed. Initially, I did attempt Accounting but ended up dropping out one semester short of graduating with a 2.7 average–I could not get through Accounting II; I could not get through Business Law. I could not get through a lot of stuff. It was not meant for me. To avoid his wrath, which at times was insane, I married, focusing on motherhood. In addition, I became a debt collector–close to Accounting. It made my father happy as he thought I was preparing to jump back on that bandwagon. That thought was far from my mind. My destination, to me, was unknown.

Today, I hold two bachelors and two masters–none in business or accounting. I’m more of an artist–something I did not discover until, well, now. All I can say is that I should have listened to my heart and soul. Yet, at that time I could not since I love my father dearly and had watched his crash from a jolly, robust man into a bitter, dessicated one. In an attempt to make him happy, I thwarted my progress. If you want to call it that. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing. By taking the detour, enriching experiences I did have–so many things I have witnessed.

English: Downtown Miami on July 4, 2007

English: Downtown Miami on July 4, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Below is a family gathering picture during my father’s favorite holiday–4th of July. That’s me with the nerdy, flowery shirt–that’s him, my father, with the American T-shirt–his favorite. My sister is in the background, in the sun–the rest: What my father calls his American grandchildren!

What is the point of my tale? For some of us, change bleeds into our life, destroying old patterns and confirming that although all may seem fixed and unmovable, all is in flux. Destination is unknown.

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Sitting on my Adirondack chair, enjoying the Florida-style fall, I glance towards the baby blue sky, sparsely dotted with puffs. Australian Pine needles glisten in the sun and sway in the cool breeze that envelops my being. What a lovely day to become one with Nature, to wonder about its ways and ponder about patience–that’s all needed to understand the why of this very moment, and why it is what it is. See through my looking glass…there is more here if you only look deeper. All is not as it seems.