Tag Archives: Florida

Melody’s Adventures, Cave Diving

31 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Fresh water cave diving

Diving fresh water is completely different than salt water. Lakes are not very exciting since there aren’t the colorful fish and plants like the sea. So I decided to try cave diving. 

The Florida Aquifer  has a massive underground system of limestone that looks like a honey comb. Many lakes, sinks and springs are formed when the surface of the land dissolves and falls into the aquifer below. This allows the diver to enter the system.

 The temperature of the aquifer is a constant 72 degrees. The water is so clear, it looks like air. When you adjust your weights, so you don’t sink or float, you can fly like a bird in the air. It is the most wonderful feeling. 

As soon as I dip below the water, I immediately feel as though I am in a giant aquarium. As I enter the cavern , I can look out and see the sun glistening in rays that move with the motion of the water. The only sound you hear are your bubbles and breathing. It is so peaceful and relaxing. 

One day, there were three of us swimming down a long cave tunnel beyond the cavern. We had our safety line with us that would lead us out when we returned. We noticed an unusual formation off the main tunnel, and swam over to it When we got inside and looked around, someone got too close to the bottom and kicked up the silt with their fin. Silt is a layer similar to dust. When it is disturbed, will fill the area and block out your vision.

 We could see the white silt starting to roll upwards and fill the area. It only took seconds to create a white out where we couldn’t see our hands in front of our face. Not only were we blinded, we didn’t know if we were upside down or not because we were weightless.

 So we held our life saving  line and I headed out first. I slide the line through my hands following its direction when I hit a wall of rock. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go any farther. Panic set in. I couldn’t communicate with anyone because I couldn’t see them. Finally after taking a few breaths, my hand followed the line under the rock. It had slipped under it. I was able to go around and get my wits together. I could only hope everyone else would be able to follow the line and not panic.

 I finally swam out of the silt and waited for my dive buddies to emerge. Everyone was shook up, but safe. That was the last time I explored a cave.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. 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.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Something of Interest…to Us at Least-Part 5

8 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

This is the last segment of the pictures of the “oddities” that we found at Disney Springs.  These pictures have really interested us, and we hope you have enjoyed them, as well.

I’ve always thought that someone at Disney really does have all that “imagineering” mind on them.  There are so many of these little touches that just make up Disney.

And so, here we go:

All around the “new” part of Disney Springs, we found different motifs, such as this one:

Guest Services now has a building all its own, all the better to serve the customers/guests.  It even has a porch with rocking chairs where guests can sit and relax a bit.

Even the fence has an interesting design:

There is a mosaic on the side of one building:

Description: Florida mosaic

While this grouping isn’t “new” at the Springs, it is pure Disney.  And it stays there, year round.

Description: Disney's Days of Christmas - Happy Holiday

One of our very favorite stores – the Christmas Store.  Everything Christmas and Disney, all in one store. Amazing!  Notice above the “Days of Christmas” sign, in the black and white, is a sleigh and reindeer running across the sign.  See?  Little things…

Description: Disney's Days of Christmas

One of the most popular stores at Disney Springs is the Lego store.  Here are a few of the Lego examples – all made from Lego pieces:

Anna, Elsa and Olaf

Description: Lego store - Anna, Elsa, Olaf

The Hulk makes his fearsome presence known:

Description: Lego store - Hulk

Of course, BB-8 had to be there!

Description: Lego store - BB-8

Buzz Lightyear and Woody attached to a rocket

Description: Lego store - Toy Story - Copy

On a wall near the store – made up from Legos

Description: Lego store - wall art

Maleficent has been there a while.

Description: Lego store - Malificent

As long as we’ve been going to Disney Springs (originally Disney Village, then Marketplace when they added Pleasure Island, then Downtown Disney when they added West Side), Nessie has been in attendance – courtesy of Lego.

Description: Lego store - Nessie

Near the Earl of Sandwich (a really great place to eat!!) is the Tinker Toy.  Wow does that bring back childhood memories!  (Notice the wet pavement?  There are “pop-up” water spouts there.  The little kids LOVE to run through it!)

Description: Tinker Toy

And another popular eatery and a draw for children is the T-Rex restaurant.  Built by the same people who do the Rain Forest Café.

Description: T-Rex

That’s all of the pictures we’ve taken of Disney Springs.  This has been a fun jaunt through the “park” and we hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have.  When you are in Orlando, be sure and head to Disney Springs.  The parking is free; you don’t have to buy anything unless you want to, and you get a good amount of walking exercise at the same time.  It’s one of our favorites.  Come join us!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Savor the Season

20 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Wow, we have been in Florida for one week and I am feeling a bit exhausted. The 11 hour drive from the NC mountains last Wednesday left my husband and I with “road trip lag.” Thursday started off early with a much needed hair trim. It seems to take a couple of days for me to settle into my Florida groove buying groceries and putting away my must haves that I brought from NC.

Saturday we visited EPCOT at Walt Disney World to experience Candlelight with Gary Sinise narrating. The show is free but getting a seat involves standing in line for a couple of hours on the chance of getting in. We are too old for that these days! Earlier in the year we purchased a dinner package that would give us priority seating . It is expensive, but it’s our Christmas thing. We chose to dine in Morocco’s Marrakesh restaurant. We ate there once before and were pleasantly surprised with the flavorful food. The restaurant itself is beautiful with mosaic tile throughout.

I am uncomfortable taking pictures in a restaurant and invading diners privacy. I shot this one over the head of the couple next to us. In the center section a dancer performed to beautiful music played on a keyboard.

After our meal we visited a favorite store in the UK, Twining’s tea. We stocked up on the flavors we can’t find in our local grocery stores. To my surprise, the park was quite crowded, but it was a Saturday. After exploring shops in Japan and France we made our way to The American Adventure and were fortunate to find an empty picnic table to rest while we waited for our time to enter the amphitheater. I loved the Christmas tree and people were lined up to have pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

The music was magnificent, Gary Sinise as narrator superb. As the sun went down, the evening turned brisk. An absolutely perfect evening… but boy were we tired. Thankfully our daughter volunteered to drive home.

Do you ever have weeks where you know you were busy, but it’s all a blur? That is how this week has been. I haven’t wrapped a single Christmas gift or planned our Christmas meal. On the plus side, I have made muffins and strawberry ice cream!

My friends, as we prepare to celebrate this joyful holiday let’s remember to savor the season…time spent with family, cherishing memories and most of all celebrating the birth of the Savior.

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors. My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Thrasher

5 Nov

Melody Hendrix

A Time to Live

A very vocal Thrasher enjoying the bird bath.

Image by F McDaniel from Pixabay

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. 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.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

17 Dec

My Take
DiVoran Lites

 

 

 

We hardly ever have snow here in Florida,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But we do have mistletoe growing wild in our woods.

We don’t ski here, except for water-skiing on nice days.

We do have lots of citizens wearing themselves out

Decorating, cooking, visiting, shopping in stores and online.

Trying to “get ready.”

 

I wonder what your favorite thing is about Christmas.

Is it the music, the decorations, the food, or

Perhaps the get-togethers and visits?

We have a small family and of course the

Best earthly treasure is our time together.

I like the music next.

I put a Christmas station on Pandora and

Play it all day, every day until Bill is ready to hear

Something else.

 

No matter how we feel about the holiday itself,

We can never forget the young pregnant woman

Who bore the son of God

And dear Joseph the carpenter who helped

Rear Him.

But most of all,

Christ came to earth and spent his life

Reaching out and he spent his death atoning for sin.

We are charged to invite the Holy Spirit to bless others

Through us,so they may know Him and His Father.

We are invited to receive healing for our bodies

Our emotions, and our souls

Good cheer is available all year round

When each day includes relationship

With Jesus-Redeemer.

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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

https://floridahikes.com/floridatrail/plan-your-hike/

 

 

 

 

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

 

Geese

26 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

I don’t know much about geese.

I know they are big birds with attitude.

I know they are wild or domestic.

I know there are a lot of them in some places.

 

I know Daddy bought a goose

To fatten for Thanksgiving

And kept it in the shed.

I was supposed to feed it,

But I thought too much and let the goose out

Daddy sent the kids to look for it

All we found was a hut woven of willow branches

Among the willow bushes

Next to Grape Greek.

Inside we saw a mat on the floor

And a picture of a woman

With an old fashioned hair-do

Propped nearby.

When we got home,

Daddy was perturbed, but didn’t punish.

 

In a big lake in Orlando where swans live too

Geese challenge people for the right of way

And you have to stand up for yourself

After all, God gave dominion did he not?

 

In that park we saw a woman filling

A plastic bag with large white eggs

Goose eggs or swan eggs?

And taking them to an official looking car.

Where were they going?

Florida Travel~Blowing Rocks Preserve

1 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Blowing Rocks Preserve    574 S Beach Rd, Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Blowing Rocks Preserve is an environmental preserve on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, Martin County, Florida. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy. It contains the largest Anastasia limestone outcropping on the state’s east coast.

 

 

 

The dark, jagged rocks are a specific type of sedimentary rock called Anastasia limestone.

 

 

Scientists disagree on exactly how far inland the limestone extends, exactly when it was formed (most likely around 120,000 years ago, in the Pleistocene Age) and whether it was formed by a single event or by multiple changes in sea level.

A few things scientists can agree on:

Anastasia limestone extends along Florida’s coast from St. Augustine to Boca Raton, and

Blowing Rocks Preserve harbors the largest outcropping on the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

The exposed rock at the preserve is unusual, not because Anastasia limestone is particularly rare, but because it is commonly found either underground or underwater.

 

 

Also known as coquina, from the Spanish for cockleshell, Anastasia limestone is composed primarily of shell and coral fragments, fossils and sand. Small fossils are clearly visible in the rock faces, most commonly the shells of small clams and oysters or pieces of a large snail called Busycon.

Why is so much of the limestone above ground at Blowing Rocks? No one knows. The land here might have once been part of an exposed sand ridge or the top of a reef, or for some other reason higher than surrounding areas.

At their height in winter, the Blowing Rocks are worth a visit in every season. The wind- and wave-carved limestone forms chimneys and shelves, burrows, blow holes and rocky pools. These offer great opportunities for exploration and imagination, as well as a rare window into Florida’s natural history.

 

 

You may want to check the tide schedule for Jupiter Island.

When the tide is high the water shoots up holes in the rocks. It can be a spectacular sight.

 

 

It is also beautiful to visit at low tide when you can walk the beach and explore the rocks and caves.

 

 

There are some great places in this area to enjoy. One of the places I liked was

Coral Cove Park    19450 County Hwy 707, Tequesta, FL 33469

 

 

This beach also had rocks at low tide, but it also had a nice sandy swimming beach. Coral Cove Park is a waterfront park located in Tequesta, Florida, right outside the city of Jupiter at 19450 State Road 707, Tequesta, FL. Excellent park with beach access. Facility has restrooms and a shower to wash the salt and sand off after a day at the beach. Lots of parking.

​​​​​Carlin Park 400 S. S.R. A1A Jupiter, Florida was another very nice beach park.

Carlin Park is a great place to spend the day. It has many amenities including a beach that has lifeguards. There are pavilions for picnics, a nice small restaurant with good food, a playground for the children. I have been taking my family there for years and it is always well maintained; a very pleasant place to bring the family.

There is a beautiful lighthouse and museum that is a must.

Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum

If you love to beach hop, take a beach tour on your way back home. Start from Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse A1A to S. Beach Rd and follow it north to SE Bridge Rd back to I-95, stopping at all the beautiful beach accesses and explore each beach along the way. Most of them are uncrowded quiet beaches.

 

 

Please visit next week as we leave Florida and go to Savannah and Tybee Island Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

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~Florida Keys

25 Jul

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

I have been going to the Florida Keys for 40 years. It is so tropical and so different from the rest of Florida. If you love the sun, beach life and water, this is paradise.

 

 

Drive the Overseas Highway across a 113-mile chain of coral and limestone islands connected by 42 bridges, one of them seven miles long.

 

Each Key is a little different and offers it’s own uniqueness.

 

 

My favorite Key is Bahia Honda State Park.

 

 

All of the Keys are made up of hard coral and most first time campers are surprised when they try to hammer their tent stakes in the ground. They are useless. One must buy very large nails and drive them in to hold down the tent ties.  This is true also here, but this park is actually one of the few with stunning shallow white sandy beaches and are awarded the worlds best beach.

Henry Flagler’s railroad to Key West turned the remote island of Bahia Honda Key into a tropical destination.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Bahia-Honda

The island’s name, Spanish for “deep bay”.

A walk on the Old Bahia Honda Bridge offers a panoramic view of the Gulf and Atlantic waters.

The National Key Deer Refuge On Big Pine Key was established in 1957 to protect and preserve in the national interest of the Key deer and other wildlife resources in the Florida Keys.

 

 

The Refuge is located in the lower Florida Keys and currently consists of approximately 9,200 acres of land that includes pine rockland forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh wetlands, and mangrove forests.

Marathon Key – Snuba dive Sombrero Reef

 

https://www.tildensscubacenter.com/

I have been a scuba diver for many years, but snuba is truly the way to go. Anyone can do it. We dove Sombrero Reef with this company and was very pleased. Check it out if exploring the beautiful underwater world is on your bucket list.

Another delightful thing to do in the Keys is to swim with the dolphin. There are a few places that offer it.

http://www.floridakeysswimwithdolphins.com/

Key West  The Southernmost Point Buoy is an anchored concrete buoy in Key West, Florida marking the southernmost point in the continental United States.

 

 

Key West Lighthouse. 

As you walk the shops and restauraunts of Key West,

you can see the lighthouse in most locations.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_West_lighthouse

 

And don’t forget to end your day at Mallory Square to enjoy eats, entertainment and celebrate a gorgeous sunset.

Join me next week to enjoy Blowing Rocks. An unusual beach for Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

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~Sanibel

18 Jul

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Oh Sanibel. I love this place. The white sand beaches and beautiful clear water are spectacular.

 

 

We so enjoyed our stay there.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34481-Activities-Captiva_Island_Florida.html

Sanibel is a city on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida. One of the features on the island is a beach with a fishing pier called Lighthouse Beach.

 

 

The Causeway Beaches are a water-sports hub and have picnic facilities.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge covers about half of the island. Popular for wildlife enthusiast and bird watching.

The Sanibel Island Light or Point Ybel Light was one of the first lighthouses on Florida’s Gulf coast. The towering, 19th-century Sanibel Lighthouse and a boardwalk winds through marshes.

 

 

The light, 98-foot above sea level, on an iron skeleton tower was first lit on August 20, 1884 and has a central spiral staircase beginning about 10 feet above the ground. It is located on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, and was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay for ships calling at the port of Punta Rassa, across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island.

 

 

The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

 

 

The northern part of Sanibel is a little quaint town of Captiva. Different than the lower part. Colorful shops and restaurants. The beaches seem to be even better.

 

 

Below is a list of things to do.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34481-Activities-Captiva_Island_Florida.html

One of my favorite events was the Sanibel Thriller boat ride. If you love dolphins you will be delighted to see them riding the boats waves and jumping out of the water. It’s a bit of trouble to get there, but so worth it.

 

 

Join me next week for a trip to the Keys.

 

 

 

 

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
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