Archive by Author

Creating a Florida Butterfly Garden

14 Nov

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

God might just have designed things in our world to bring us pleasure – that it might have given Him pleasure to create such a diverse and interesting world of color and intricacy to point us to Himself!

I feel close to God when I am in my butterfly garden.

 

 

Anyone can create a welcoming haven for your local butterflies. It takes some planning, but the rewards are great! You can even attract butterflies in a small container garden on a porch.

 

 

Let’s start with finding out what zone you are at the link below.

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Each butterfly species has it’s own nectar flowers and host plant. Find out what your common butterflies are and what are their nectar flowers and what are their host plants. Some plants may not be possible for you to grow, so pick at least two species of butterflies that you can provide for it’s life cycle. For the Monarch, it’s nectar plant and it’s host plant is the same. The milkweed.

 

 

There are several kinds, but the most common is the tropical milkweed. It is not native or the best one, but it’s rare to find the swamp milkweed which is native. One advantage of the Tropical is that you can grow it from seeds or preferably cuttings. You will need a lot of it. The caterpillar is a voracious eater, capable of consumming an entire leaf in less than five minutes. They gain about 2700 times their own weight.

 

 

Here is a link to butterfly garden designs.

The location of your garden is important. It should be an area where no insecticides such as malathion, Sevin and diazinon will be used. Even benign insecticides are lethal to butterflies.

It should have some shade but mostly sun. Butterflies feed in the sun. They are cold blooded and need to warm up and dry out from the dew in the morning.

 

 

 

Try to choose plants that bloom at different times of the year for continuous flowers.

Here is a link below for butterfly nectar plants in Florida

http://www.nsis.org/butterfly/butterfly-plants-nectar.html

These are the plants I have had the most success with.

Milkweed, tall red Pentas, Mexican sunflower, Firebush, Firespike, Jatropha, Butterfly bush, blue Porterweed, coral Porterweed, Lantana, Salvia, Parsley, Dill, Plumbago

If you can, plant for each stage of the butterflies life.

Here are some fun pampering you can do for your butterflies

Make a puddler

 

 

Many species of butterflies congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in “puddling,” drinking water and extracting minerals from damp puddles. In many species, this “mud-puddling” behavior is restricted to the males, and studies have suggested that the nutrients collected may be provided as a nuptial gift during mating. It provides salts and minerals for egg making.

Fill a container or bird bath with play sand and add about 2 tablespoons of manure. Mix well and push to one side to leave an emply area for some tiny gravel and flat rocks. Pour enough water in to soak the sand, but don’t let water sit above the sand or the rocks.

Feed them a fruit treat. Some butterflies enjoy the sweet nectar that comes from fragrant fruit.

http://butterfly-lady.com/butterflies-and-fruit/

The cute butterfly houses you see with the slits in them are a nice decor, but the butterflies do not use them.

A group of butterflies is called a “Flutter” Often times you will see a female with more than one male following her scent. Eventually one will win and they will fall to the ground and connect the tips of their abdomen. The male will transfer his package of sperm. Sometimes they fly connected for a while. The female has about 100 eggs to deposit on her host plant.

 

 

She lays one egg at a time and each are fertilized as they pass by the sperm package. Only about 2 percent will survive. Ants, wasps and other pests will devour most eggs and caterpillars.

 

 

Next week we will learn all about the Monarch butterfly. See ya then…

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Hearts Like Wildflowers

17 Oct

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

I hope you are blessed
with a heart like wildflowers.
Strong enough to rise again
after being trampled upon,
tough enough to weather
the worst of the summer storms,
and able to grow and flourish
even in the most broken places.
Nikita Gill

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Who are You

10 Oct

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

 “May you believe…with all your heart…that God is writing a great story with your life!
May the lies that came your way today fall by the wayside and not make their way into your heart.
May you instead know and believe the truth about who you are and whose you are. You are loved, accepted, gifted, and treasured. You have important things to do in this life. May you refuse to let anyone distract you from God’s highest and best purpose for you. He’ll make a way where there seems to be no way. He’ll move mountains at just the right time. You can trust Him. So trust Him. And sleep well tonight.”
 Susie Larson

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

.

Waiting For Our Redemption

3 Oct

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

The words below are not mine and although I was unable to source some of these quotes,   I wanted to share them. Unless a source is listed, the source is unknown.

“It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. We are what we think.”

“People where created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos, is because things are being loved, people are being used.”

“People at war with themselves will always cause collateral damage in the lives of those around them. “John Mark Green

“If you want to understand any problem in America, you need to focus on who profits from that problem, not who suffers from the problem.” Dr Amos Wilson

“Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue.” Andy Stanley

I feel that most people have pure hearts, good intentions and live a Christian spiritual life. So how is it that the very few heartless lumps of flesh and those of such evil intentions cause so much misery and chaos that even the earth itself groans in pain with us waiting for our redemption.

 

Romans 8:22-23

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

 

Photo credit per Google search probably Humanrights.com

 

Per Google probable photo credit Derechos humanos y globalización

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

After the Storm

12 Sep

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

Pray for Florida

9 Sep

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voice of your children. You are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control: like a provoked and angry giant, hurricane Irma will leave a path of tears, broken lives and despair. We turn to you, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies, whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. Lord please spare human lives and suffering. And spare our creatures and diverse beauty. To see this extrodinary state of Florida lay in waste will break my very soul. Thank you Lord.

 

Disney Springs and Resort Hopping

5 Sep

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

As a Florida resident we have some privelidges when it comes to Disney.

 

 

Even with the discounts, the parks are very expensive and many of us have been to most of them. I am continuing to explore Disney in a much different way. .. Cheap…  So here is a fun thing to do for a day or even many days.

Our first stop is Disney Springs.

 

 

It is free including parking. This is a shopping and eatiing adventure that has been transformed recently. . Beautifully designed with unique shops, yummy restaurants and evening entertainment. The springs theme represents the many springs in Florida.

 

 

Two of the restaurants that are fun for families are T-Rex

 

 

and Rainforest cafe.

 

 

both will keep you entertained with it’s animated life sized creatures. You may even go through a thunderstorm.

Another great restauraunt is The Boathouse. Guests can experience the thrill of a Captain’s guided tour aboard a rare Amphicar that drives on land and floats in the water. The $125 price tag includes your own Car Captain and seating for up to three guests.

 

 

My favorite restaurant is the amazing House of Blues. I can’t stop taking pictures of this place. The art and designs are crazy cool. And the food is good too.

 

 

 

 

Disney Springs takes on a whole different look at night. Much more entertainment and fun.

 

 

If you have daughters that love princesses, they can be one too.

 

 

Disney princesses will transform them. It’s such an exciting day  and they will look absolutely magical.

Day two. You may need another day at Disney Springs. There is so much to see and do.

 

 

 

However if you are ready for more exploration here is your second plan. We are going Disney resort hopping.

Go back to Disney Springs and park in the Lime parking garage. Go to the Town Center where you will see the busses that go to most resorts and parks. The parking is free and so are the busses.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/planning-guides/in-depth-advice/resort-transportation/

So let’s get on a bus that will take us to the Yacht Club.

 

 

The Yacht Club is one of four resorts that are side by side around a lake. From there you can walk or take the boat to The Swan and Dolphin. After that is The Boardwalk, then The Beach Club. In between are shops and restaurants. It feels like you have traveled to other parts of the world.

Swan and Dolphin was quite lovely and unique.

 

 

The Boardwalk. I love the look of this area.

 

 

 

The resorts welcome you to eat and shop. They cost anywhere from $300 to over $500 a night, so of course swimming in the pools or participating in planned activities are not allowed. To be in and explore this wonderful environment is a fun and entertaining thing to do, especially for free.

Day three

Drive to Animal Kingdom Resort. Tell the guard that you would like to look around the resort and have lunch. They will let you in and you can park for free. There are two buildings to this resort and you can travel back and forth free by bus or it’s walking distance.

This is the lobby.

 

 

 

When you look out this window you see a savannah with some animals.

 

 

If you like animals this resort has quite a few savannahs with animals. You can see them from most areas of the resort.

 

 

I plan to visit more resorts in the near future. I will share them with you when I do.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

White Mountains, New Hampshire~Covered Bridges and Waterfalls

29 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

It was peak fall colors in Lincon, New Hampshire. We arrived at Rivergreen Resort right on the Pemigewasset river. Our home for 2 weeks. It was breathtaking. We set out on the Kancamagus Highway to see the beauty of the White Mountains.

 

 

 

We set out to photograph the fall colors, covered bridges and water falls. Being from Florida this was breathtaking beauty. It was cold, rainy and overcast. A disappointment to most, but perfect for photography.

 

One of the first places we explored was Sabbaday Falls.

 

 

The falls were spectacular. There was much more to the park. It was all amazing. We spent most of the day there.

The next day we went to North Woodstock to see Clark’s Bridge.

 

 

 

Clark’s Bridge

Location: East of U.S. Route 3 in Clark’s Trading Post on Clark’s Short Steam Railroad

Clark’s Bridge was originally built in Barre, Vermont, in 1904 as a part of the Barre Railroad, to span the Winooski River. In 1960 the railroad line and the covered bridge were abandoned. The bridge was dismantled in East Montpelier and taken to its present site. The bridge was reassembled on dry land next to the Pemigewasset River. It was positioned over the river in 1965 and is still used as a part of Clark’s Short Steam Railroad. It appears to be the only Howe railroad bridge left in the world. Howe Truss; 116 feet long.

Our next covered bridge is the Saco River Bridge

 

Saco River Bridge

East Side Street

Conway, NH, 03818

Location: 0.4 miles north of the junction routes 16 and 153 on east side of road. In Conway Village go north on Washington Street and turn right at the fork; this is East Side Road.

This bridge, built in 1890 by Charles Broughton and his son, Frank, carries East Side Road over the Saco River a short distance north of Conway Center. In 1850s, Jacob Berry and Peter Paddleford built a covered bridge to replace a crudely framed log bridge that had collapsed at this site. The 1850 bridge stood until the Swift River covered bridge crashed into it in 1869 after that bridge was swept from its abutments. The bridge was rebuilt by Allen and Warren of Conway but it was destroyed again by a tannery fire in 1890. The existing structure replaces the one destroyed by the fire. Paddleford truss with added arches; 224 feet long. There is a small parking lot on the northeast side of the bridge.

Next is the Swift River Bridge

 

 

Location: One-half mile north of N.H. Route 16 at Conway Village

The first bridge at this site, crossing the Swift River, was built in 1850. In 1869, it was swept off its abutments by the raging Swift River and it rode downstream into the Saco River, where it crashed into the Saco River bridge. Debris from both bridges was salvaged and used in rebuilding this bridge. In 1974, the bridge was bypassed in favor of a new concrete and steel structure. Paddleford truss with arch; 133 feet long.

We visited a very interesting town called Bath.

 

 

 

The Bath Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge over the Ammonoosuc River off US 302 and NH 10 in Bath, New Hampshire. The bridge, built in 1833 by the town of Bath, has a span of over 390 feet and a roadbed that is just over 22 feet wide.

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The bridge was closed to traffic in October 2012 for safety, structural, and cosmetic reasons. After 21 months and $3 million in repairs, it re-opened in August 2014.

There is a famous place in Bath called The Brick Store, believed to be one of the oldest continually-operated general stores in America. Unfortunately, I believe it may have closed since I visited it several years ago.

 

 

 

Another beautiful place to visit it the Rocky Gorge scenic area. 

 

 

There is a foot bridge over the gorge. The foot path on the other side of the bridge gradually ascends a small rise to Falls Pond. Located eight miles west of Conway on the Kancamagus Highway.

 

 

We are the World’s People. That was the Shakers’ name for everyone not a Shaker.

Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury

You can visit the village. It’s a unique architectural and historical treasure nestled in the rollling hills of New Hampshire, with plenty of crafts, foods and gifts to buy.

One more place I would like to share is Echo Lake State Park .

 

 

 

 

One of the popular activities here is mountain climbing. There are eight mountain climers in this picture above.

From the scurrying chipmunks to magnificent water falls, the white mountains are a place of Gods beauty.

 

 

 

Please join me next week to parts unknown.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Beautiful Dreams

22 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Next Stop Great Smoky Mountains National Park

15 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Smoky Mountains in the fall.

 

                  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g143031-Activities-  Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park_Tennessee.html

I haven’t traveled outside of Florida much, but I will say that The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Being a native Floridian, a flatlander, I was overwhelmed by the mountains and the colors, the rocky creeks and the music of the water flowing over the rock.

 

 

Strangely what I loved the most is looking out and seeing the mesmerizing design from the abstract lines created by the shapes of each mountain and valley. And how each layer is a distinct shade and color. The morning sun outlining it all.  Almost Heaven is the feeling that comes over me. The crisp air awakening my senses. I feel so close to God being in the spectacular beauty of His handiwork. This place the finest candy for my eyes. The images etched in my soul forever.

 

 

We stayed in Gatlinburg, at the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you will find lots to do if you have kids. It is similar to I-Drive in Orlando. It is also the gateway to 441 the main road through the mountains.

 

 

 

My favorite place here is Roaring Fork, a driving nature trail. This is a must. You drive through it, stopping all along the beautiful creek that runs along most of the way. There are many places to park and hike to falls. This is like all of the Smokies in one gorgeous road through Heaven.

 

 

Also along Roaring Fork are historic buildings.

 

 

 

You can explore them. It’s amazing to see how the people lived. At the end of the trail is a little store you can by goodies.

There are so many beautiful places, but I will tell you about some of my favorites. If you are going there, be sure to do your homework first, make a plan especially if you plan to visit some falls. There are some right on the road and there are some that are very difficult to get to.

Our first stop every morning is one of the few places you can enjoy a sunrise. Newfound Gap.

 

 

It’s an overlook with restrooms and an entrance to the Appalacian Trail.

 

 

Take a walk on this beautiful trail. It’s just beautiful and so are the people you may meet traveling on it.

 

 

Clingmans dome is a popular stop. This tower is at 6643 feet which is the highest point in the smoky mountains national park. The view is spectacular, but the climb up is very difficult. It is a nice paved walk, but half a mile and very steep.

 

 

 

If you go to Cherokee, be sure to stop at Ocoaluftee visitor center. There is a lot there to see.

 

You can walk the short trail to the river, see historic buildings and you may see some elk in the field by the highway. Also near by is an easy walk to Mingus Mill. It is a working grist mill where you can buy goodies such as freshly ground corn meal.

 

 

There are so many wonderful waterfalls. Many are not easy to get to. So check them out first according to which ones will fit you physically. They are all different and most are challenging to get to.

 

 

 

 

Wildfires in the beginning of this year destroyed a lot, but it is already healing and open to tourism.

Please join me next week. We are going to New Hampshires White Mountains.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: