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Magnolias and Bees

5 Jun

A Tme to Live

Melody Hendrix



The beautiful magnolia trees are blooming now. As I was walking in my back yard I was admiring the spectacular flowers. I knew there were bees on the flowers, but stood there and really watched what they were doing.

I was fascinated to watch these bees frolicking around in the pollen, conveniently collected by cupped shaped flower petals. The pollen would stick to the hairs on the bee’s body. Then they would scrap it off and pack it around their legs as saddlebags. Then take their nourishing treasure back to the hive.

Some of the bees seemed rather clumsy as they wallowed around.

Some even tumbling and falling. The wasp looking insect is actually a harmless yellow jacket hoover FLY. Beautiful markings to mimic and protect.

Nature is awesome. Enjoy!





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.


29 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



A few months ago, in some pollywogs that took up residence in my broken water fountain.



I had never really looked at them close up. So I photographed them.



They are comical little creatures. Then they transform into cute little frogs.





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.

Sacred water……Precious gift

22 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



For thousands of years water has been among the main religious symbols.Water is a symbol of life as well as a means of cleansing or purification


Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14

Water, then, is a most beautiful element and rich in usefulness, and purifies from all filth, and not only from the filth of the body but from that of the soul. We can see from this the belief common in the Old Testament, that water is a mystically powerful element, which, being connected with God in some way, can cleanse sins, inner and outer defilement, and regenerate the human body.

The flow of a river from its source to the sea may also signify the flow of life from birth to death. A winding stream is a symbol of the tortuous course of human life. To descend a river can also be understood as symbolic of life’s journey down the “River of Life”.


One of the many special properties of water, listed among the Facts about Water, is that it is one of the best-known solvents. On a daily basis, many people, and animals, use water to help remove dirt and grime from their bodies.

Since ancient times, washing has signified literally and metaphorically a process of cleansing, of purification, of transformation, even metamorphosis.

Water is an essential part of all life on the globe. Plant and animal could not live without water. Water ensures food security, livestock security, maintains organic life, industrial production and to conserve the biodiversity and environment. Hence, there could no life without water.  So far we know, earth is the only planet that God gifted with water and this makes it fit for human living and other living organisms to exist on it.

Directly or indirectly, water affects all facets of life.

Without it, there would be no vegetation on land, no oxygen for animals to breathe and the planet would look entirely different. Water is necessary to keep people’s bodies and the environment healthy and should be valued and protected as the precious resource it is. The water you drink today has likely been around in one form or another since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Some of Earth’s groundwater is fossil water, created when Earth’s climate was far different.

There is the same amount of freshwater on earth as there always has been, but the population has exploded, leaving the world’s water resources in crisis.Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snow fields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people.



Humanity’s growing thirst also poses a major problem for aquatic ecosystems. “When we take water from rivers, floodplains, and watersheds, those ecosystems bear the brunt of water scarcity and begin to be degraded or disappear.



Half of the world’s 500 most important rivers – water sources for hundreds of millions of people – are being seriously depleted or polluted.  A large percentage of the rivers in the U.S. are too polluted for fishing and swimming.Water shortages will likely be a fact of life for most people on the planet within the next ten years. We are facing dirtier, unsafe water and more risk of water shortages and scarcity. This crisis is real, it’s happening now and it’s getting worse fast.



Sacred water… precious gift.   Water is the cradle and source of life on earth. It is a sacred gift.





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.

Beauty and Pleasure

15 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



God created the flowers to bring beauty to the earth and pleasure to us.



Each flower is unique and some are very beautiful as a single bloom but many times it is more beautiful to see them put together as a bouquet or arrangement. That can be a lovely parallel to how we each come together and complement the strengths, weaknesses, gifting and needs of each other.


Together we are more powerful, more complete, although individually we are also beautiful in our own way.



Do you ever feel insignificant, like God wouldn’t pick you from His garden? He doesn’t see one gifting or personality or appearance as better than another. None of us is less important to Him. We are all supposed to be different. And we are pleasing to Him if we fulfill the specific call and purpose He created us to be. We are only to be ourselves, not like someone else.



Whatever type God created you to be, it is not just for us to keep to ourselves but our beauty, our aroma, our gifting are to be used for the benefit of those around us. Just as in the bouquet, each of us is important to the whole. Even those who feel small or insignificant have a role to play.



I saw these little flowers, I had never seen before,
They were so small and delicate, a hundred-maybe more,
I had to smile when seeing them, and wipe away my tears,
You always give me flowers, Lord. At least, you have for years.
Anne Peterson




Consider the wonderful works of God.  Job 37:14






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.


8 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



I was born and raised in Florida. As a kid, I hated wearing shoes and still do. My friends and I walked everywhere enjoying the outdoors and exploring nature. In the evening when dinner and chores were done, I stretched out on the couch with my feet in Mother’s lap, and she pulled sandspur splinters out with tweezers. She was so gentle that I fell asleep during the operation.





Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s our family had little money. Our mother was widowed twice before she was twenty-five years old, and she ended up with four kids to look after on her own. She knew about pain and she knew about life. We children were her life, and she allowed us to be as carefree as possible. Sometimes, though, if she thought we needed chastising, she would call out a name, which many times was the wrong name. We thought it was funny, and our laughter got her back into a good mood. When Mom wanted to let me know I was in trouble, she’d call me, “Melody Jane.” In these cases, Jane was a bad-girl name. My friends heard it a few times and thought Jane was my middle name. Most of the time, though, Mom called me Honey-Dear.

Mom started working in at a bicycle shop in Winter Park. She and the owner fell in love and got married. He was the only father I knew. He had two boys, so now we had six kids in the family. But mostly they lived with their grandparents. When school was out, Mom’s kids sat in the business office until time to go home. It was a boring few hours, so mom did her best to keep us entertained. She’d put several layers of red polish on her nails and let us peel them off. She gave us long ball chains to dribble into circles which we pretended were pies. Sometimes we linked several together and made an extra-large pie.




Whenever I was sick I told no one, but somehow Mom always knew. She knew what to do, too. I marveled at that even as a kid. She would kiss the patient’s forehead to take their temperature. If it was high, the child was allowed to stay home from school and Mom bought him or her an inexpensive toy from the five and dime. The favored medicine was a cup of hot tea with cream and sugar and a piece of toast to dip. To this day, that is a healing comfort when I’m not well.

I recall thrifty foods Mom invented. She cut the crust off a slice of white bread, layered butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and then rolled it into a ball. Yum. A slice of white bread could end up on a plate with sugar and milk over it, and we ate it with a fork. She cooked macaroni and mixed in a can of stewed tomatoes and to this day I love that combination.

I still have a picture etched in my mind of the last day time I saw Mom alive. She had on a pretty denim Capris outfit with embroidery on the legs of it. After our visit, I started to walk out to my car. I turned to look back. She stood there smiling and waving. I waved and went on, but when I realized I hadn’t hugged her or told her I loved her, I thought I should go back. For some unknown reason I decided not to. Instead, I got in the car and drove away. I would never get to hug her or tell I loved her again. But you know, somehow I think she knew it and I believe she knows it still.





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.

Take a Hike

1 May


A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

As far back as I remember, I have felt a deep connection to the natural world. Even as a kid, I felt a longing to explore when I saw a patch of woods. I would wonder, what mysteries lies beyond the palms, what earth treasures might I find in the mossy limbs of the oaks.  What creatures roam there?

Going out in nature wasn’t something my family did, so I am not sure how or why I was born with such a strong lure to seek out the answers to the mystery of nature. Today that connection is there, stronger than ever. When I want to find peace, and well being, I spend at least a few hours walking somewhere that isn’t man made. Where the sounds sooth the soul and the presence of old trees awakens your sense of place. The smell of earth and life renewing itself, all encompass my being in the love of God. Thank you dear Lord for your precious gifts.


And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.  unknown

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world   John Muir



Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.  David Suzuki



In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.  Aristotle


Florida provides a unique hiking experience in the United States. Our hiking season, is October to April, and the best backpacking is January through March. Florida is so diverse in environments and scenic habitats. We have forests, rivers, lakes, springs, swamps and ocean.

Hiking in Florida can be tough but so rewarding. Education is the key to keeping you safe and comfortable so you are free to totally enjoy the beauty of Gods creation.

If you know what is out there, what to avoid and how, what to enjoy and how, you don’t have to fear the unknown and can free yourself to be at peace.

Florida is a beautiful and diverse state. The link below will guide you to a wonderful and safe outdoor experience. There are also many driving trails available in Florida. This is a great alternative in the heat of the buggy summer.




Log off, shut down ….  Go outside





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.


Green Sea Turtle: Chelonia mydas

24 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



One summer morning just before sunrise last year, my friend and I went searching for sea turtles laying eggs on Playalinda Beach in Titusville. At first looking down the beach, I didn’t see anything on the sand. As I walked to the water, I saw in the distance, something tumbling in the surf.


I thought it was debris, but decided to quickly head over to investigate. Much to my delight, it was a pair of mating green sea turtles. Oblivious of me standing there, the surf brought them closer and closer to the beach.


Normally sea turtles mate under the water, but nature was calling and all focus was on procreation as the waves tested their endurance.


Finally they were separated by a large wave and disappeared into the surf. As I turned to go back, another beautiful green sea turtle has just finished laying her eggs. She was very late. Exhausted she was heading back to sea when I noticed her. She was there all the time and I didn’t see her. She was hidden, almost into the dunes.

Here is a wonderful picture I found on the web of what egg laying looks like from inside the hole she dug.



Below are some interesting facts about green sea turtles I researched on the web.

Green turtle mating happens in the water. A bit of an aquatic turtle dance precedes copulation.  Males nip and bump and eventually mount the female. The male turtle hangs on to the front edge of the female’s shell with a pair of large recurved claws.  The male’s tail has another “claw” at the end.  Sexual maturity is reached between the ages of 20 to 50 years old.



The green sea turtle is a marine-dwelling species that can reach a length of 3.2 feet  and a weight up to 400 pounds. The name can be confusing as the green sea turtle carapace (top portion of the shell) is not actually green, the body fat is green. This turtle species has a black carapace and a white plastron (lower shell portion).

Adult green sea turtles are herbivores. The jaw is serrated to help the turtle easily chew its primary food source—sea grasses and algae. Juvenile green sea turtles are omnivores. They eat a wide variety of plant and animal life, including insects, crustaceans, sea grasses, and worms.

During the breeding season, late spring and early summer, male sea turtles will migrate to off-shore waters to mate with females. Nesting seasons vary in the different geographical areas of their range; however, the Florida population nests between the months of June and September.

Female green sea turtles come onshore at night to deposit eggs, a process that can take up to two hours to finish. The average clutch size is 110-115 eggs.

Green sea turtles can nest up to seven times per season. 

Once the female lays the eggs and buries them in the sand, she returns to the ocean leaving her young to safeguard themselves. The incubation time for the eggs is two months. Hatchlings will migrate to the ocean after emerging from the nest. During migration, juveniles face an array of problems including predation and losing their way to the ocean.

The green sea turtle faces many threats both on land and in the water. The main threat to green sea turtles at sea is entanglement in fishing gear such as long lines, monofilament fishing line, nets, and crab trap lines. When entangled in marine debris, the green sea turtle cannot escape and usually drowns.

Green sea turtles are also harvested illegally in some countries for their meat and eggs.

On land, increased beach development is an ongoing threat for sea turtles as development can lead to degradation of the habitat, and limit the amount of nesting sites available. Coastal development also increases artificial lighting which can cause hatchlings to migrate towards the lights instead of the ocean. Other threats include increased predation on eggs, hits by watercraft, and habitat degradation from contaminants and pollutants (ex. oil spills).

The green sea turtle is protected as an Endangered species by the Federal Endangered Species Act and as a Federally-designated Endangered species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule , and by Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act (379.2431, Florida Statutes) 




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.
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