Friday, May 25, 2012

Double Vision?

The above picture is the most recent one taken of my John Henry pineapple. I check on John Henry daily (I have heard that raccoons love pineapples and know exactly when to steal pick them when they are at their peak of ripeness).

I noticed that John Henry is now sporting two crowns. I have never seen this phenomenon before. I had to grab my camera and my Mother-In-Law, she had never seen the likes before either.

I had to read up on this twin crown thing. What I found out is if a pineapple has two crowns it will also have two cores. Commercially not a good thing...never buy one with two crowns.

This pineapple's forefather was a gift and the twin crown phenomenon has me intrigued. I am looking forward discovering the double core when I cut it open after it becomes ripe and I pick it (that is if I pick it before a raccoon does).

The suspense is terrible...I hope it will last.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sign Me Up

The Colonel and I have been Anglophiles for many, many years. We totally get and appreciate British Humour (note the spelling) and the British have excellent drama series as well (Downton Abbey, need I say more?).

We watched Dr. Who when it was only played on local PBS stations (long before Sci-Fi or BBC America came along). We even met two of the doctors, Dr. #3 Jon Pertwee and Dr. #7 Sylvester McCoy.

We have watched all of the All Creatures Great and Small episodes, again on PBS (but now we have the DVD sets). After watching the All Creatures series, we came away with liking the fact that many of the houses in Britain have names. James Herriot for example lived in Skeldale House.

The Colonel and I decided long ago that when we built our dream house it would have a name.

Because we live in subtropical Florida we chose the name Tradewinds for our house.

We had a name for our house but no outward sign (forgive the pun) advertising this fact.

The Colonel was surfing the Internet, looking for a sign we could have made for Tradewinds. As he was surfing he came across a company that hand paints signs. "Hang on, we could make our own, and a heck of a lot cheaper to boot," said The Colonel. "And we can make it exactly how we want it to look!"

So we did.

The Colonel had an oak board in the garage and worked his magic of gluing, routing and sanding. He then painted the board white and when it was dry it was my turn to hand paint the black parts of the sign (the palm trees, the lettering and the edge).

This is what we came up with...

Perfect! We love it and are pleased with how it turned out. Creating it with our own hands makes the sign for our house even more perfect. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Backyard Bingo

Living in "The Boonies" as one friend's elderly mother informed us we do, we never know what will make an appearance in our yard. The Colonel and I have started listing the different animal visitors we've had in the past...and not too distant past...a sort of "Backyard Bingo" if you will.

The earliest visitors to your yard were wild pigs. They made an appearance as our house was being built. Their tracks could be found all around the construction site. These pigs are descendants of those left behind by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513.

We've had raccoons, opossum, armadillos, coyotes, gopher tortoises, bobcats, a catfish (it was stranded in our side yard, in the ditch after a deluge), a cow and her calf, guinea fowl, chickens, snakes, tree frogs, toads, ibis, a bald eagle (fly over), squirrels, dogs, cats, lizards, scorpions, vultures (turkey and black), various common birds and the most recent addition to our bingo game is a peahen and two peacocks.

A couple weeks ago The Colonel and I were outside in the yard and we heard the call of a peacock. Not unusual to hear because our neighbors 600+ feet down the road and across the busy street have peacocks and we hear them often. What was unusual about this call was that it was very much louder than what we were used to. To our surprise a peahen was in our side yard, near the garage. She walked around and continued her loud calls off and on.

She looked hungry to me, so on a whim, I decided to offer her the only food I could access quickly; dry cat food from the cat bowl in the garage.

I called to her, "Here chick, chick, chick." (Hey it worked on my mom's chickens and this peahen is basically a very large chicken). The peahen responded to my call and began eating the cat food with relish.

The peahen, I now call Penelope, must have really enjoyed her new food choice, because the next day she was back and had two boyfriends in tow.

As I watched the trio, I noticed Penelope liked the male with the more colorful tail. I don't blame her, he was more attractive than the other male.

Penelope's boyfriends too enjoyed the cat food.

We never know when Penelope (with or without her boyfriends in tow) will come for a visit. The last time she came, she woke us up in the morning with her calls as she stood on the cottage's roof.

The first time Penelope arrived, our cat Luna followed her around, stalking her. 

One time Luna got too close and Penelope charged her. Now when Penelope visits, Luna pays her little attention. Guess Luna decided that big bird is bigger (and scarier) the closer you get to it.