Friday, April 19, 2013

Good Morning Spring - You Are So Beautiful

What a beautiful day it's looking to be!
Since we moved here to Mt. Dora in July last
year, this is our first Spring here. I was up when
the sun came up, and looking out the kitchen window
I was struck on how beautiful it looked with the
shadows of the trees across the back yard pool area.
I've been so busy lately I hadn't noticed how everything
was blooming, and didn't even realize what we had on
the property that did bloom in the Spring. So I  grabbed
up my camera and took a stroll outside. I found thirteen
different blooming varieties of trees, shrubs, vines,
and plants! It's just blooming everywhere here! And,
the scent when you go out the door is unbelievably
sweet! It's even stronger in the evenings!  It smells just
Divine outside! In the late afternoon, I open our wall of
sliding doors off our family room to the back patio
allowing the scent to drift in the house. The whole house
just smells heavenly! It's as if we live in a floral garden!
Look at all these gorgeous flowers I found.
I don't know all the names of the flowers, so I'll have to get
my books out and research them. Years ago I use to be able
to name them all...almost, when we had a lawn and landscape
service....but now my mind just goes blank on so many of them!
In the front of the house I found these. Azalea's in reds and
pinks, this tree that I don't know with yellow flowers, another
tree with pretty red flowers, our Honeysuckle vines all down
the front fence on one side, and this one gorgeous Amaryllis!
 And lastly, there is a bed of some type of ground cover near
the entrance of the front door along the sidewalk,that has
these sweet little yellow flowers coming up all over!

The buds of the flower below covering a very large tree.

Just as I was shooting this a bee landed on the flowers!
There were quite a few bees flying around so I didn't
stand around to long with these babies!
 This beauty has four large flowers on it! There is one
more stem of blooms on the verge of opening any day.

Oh....I had to play with the photo editor on this one!
So cool isn't it!
I really wished I would write down what features I use
when I play ...I have no idea how I would do this again!
So dumb that I think of these things after the fact!

These Hyacinths are my most favorite Spring flowers of
all! I love their scent and this color. I looked all over this
town for one in this color and this is the only one I
found anywhere! During the day I set it outside, and in
the evenings I bring it in the house.....and just this one
little plant has the whole downstairs smelling sweet! I
don't think I have ever had one that was this fragrant!
I just had to play with this picture in my photo editor and
try more of  the features I'm trying to learn. Look at the
difference between the original and the edited one.....
I love how it made the new buds stand out, and how I was
able to enhance the color. Love playing with this!

Isn't she beautiful! I love these!
While I was shooting my pretty Hyacinths on my
garden bench, I happen to look through the wrought
iron openings in the back of the bench and could see
the azalea's. I thought what a pretty view. I also noticed
for the first time how cool the back of this bench really
looked. Funny how you can have something for a long
while and one day all of a sudden, you see it differently.
The wood is getting pretty weathered and the wrought iron
is showing a bit of rust in spots here and there. Aged
features of things that really appeal to me. So....I just had
to play and take some photos just to see if I could get some
nice photos. 
A zoom on the flowers.

A zoom onto the back of the bench. Oh...the white spotting
you's the fake snow flocking I sprayed on it at
Christmas! Even with all the rains we have had, it's still
there. Not as much but it's there! Guess I need to take a
good firm brush and scrub it.........
But, maybe I like it just like it is!
I don't know why but I really like the look of the wrought
iron with the touches of rust. It's getting great patina!
And look who is sitting on the stone wall behind all the Azalea's!
Ms. Stripes.....who has her eye on a lizard! She hunts those poor
things out like there is no tomorrow lol! The poor things!
Lets head to the backyard now............
lots of pretties and surprises too!
On the right side of the house from the back and where
the honeysuckle vines run along the front of the fence,
there is a small rose garden. There were several blooms
full open but, this sweet new bud grabbed my attention.
New life! I love new buds before they open don't you?
Across the sidewalk from the rose garden are these,
and I don't know what they are either! They run all down
the side of the house and seem to always be in bloom.
I love their sweet pink color and their ruffly texture.
 Across from these along the upper walled fence line, is
a fenced wall that spans from just about the front of the
house all the way back to the rock waterfall at the back
of the yard. The entire fenced wall is covered in Jasmine!
You can smell the sweet scent of Jasmine everywhere, and
at night it is so much stronger! This is why I love keeping
the wall of sliding doors open out back....the whole house
smells like Jasmine and it's just Divine! And, the vines are
just caulked full of these sweet pretty white blooms!
On the lower level under the jasmine is a stone wall with
some type of ground viney ground cover and eight small
bushes that are blooming like crazy with gardenia's.
Now add that scent to the Jasmine....we are in heaven!
No need for good smelly plug-ins or scented candles here!
The sprinkler had run before light this morning so they
were covered in water drops...Beautiful aren't they!?

I couldn't help trying to do a zoom in on this flower.....
they are so beautiful and I loved the water drops that were
just gleaming with sparkle from the sun. Such a pretty site!
As I turned around to go back to the two ponds at the rear
of the backyard, I noticed my potted Geranium's which look
pretty sad had new buds on her stems. I love red Geranium's! pink buds were blooming on another type
of Geranium that once opened up have like a ruffled
bloom....isn't it just sweet!
Had to take a break here as my cats have an addiction to
lizards! Both the cats were on the tail of one and it ran in
the house and I had to run and rescue it. The poor little thing
had run under the couch, but I was able to get him and save
him from my monster cats! The poor thing had lost it's tail!
You would never believe unless you saw it yourself, all the
lizard tails I find on the floors of the downstairs of my house!
It's so gross! Durn cats! I put this poor terrified lizard up on
a tree branch because these crazy cats followed right behind
me I'm sure thinking as soon as I put it down, they would be
right back on it. I find dead lizards at my front door all the time!
As I was standing at the tree in the backyard, I heard this
pecking noise. I looked up to see the first Redheaded
Woodpecker that I've have seen in years! How cute!
He was a distance from me, but you can see him well
enough, and the bit of red on his head.
Now lets get back to the pretty flowers!
Along the back fence of the property and just behind the small
pond, there is another very small tree with lots of yellow flowers
just like the tree out in the front yard that I don't know the name
of. Next to it is a very large white Bird of Paradise. It has just
one bloom and I so hope more will come. It's gorgeous!

 It was up way over my head and with the pond at it's base, I could
only try to zoom in on it. It is a really large bloom and isn't quite
open all the way yet. I have never seen a white one before....
it's just gorgeous!

The larger pond at the bottom of the small pond has lots of some
sort of like stalks I guess you could say that have these really
pretty purple colored flowers....there are actually some on the
back side of the smaller pond also. These also bloom all year
around....or at least have had blooms the entire time we have lived
here. They do seem to be many more blooms during the summer.

At this point I went to sit down at my patio table to download
all my pictures, and I see coming out from behind the large
rock waterfall that hasn't worked since we have been here, this
huge critter with gray fur. At first glance I really thought it was
a small fox as one morning one came out from behind the water-
fall and marched down the back fence line on the backside of the
ponds and jumped off the side wall down into the woods. But
then I realize it was this huge gray and black raccoon!
He was the largest I have ever seen! Well he sauntered down
into the smaller pond so I grabbed my camera up and tried to
sneak over to see what he was doing, but also try to get a picture.
Well about the time I was heading to the pond one of my cats
had seen it and was heading that way too. I shoo-ed her back
as I was trying to get the camera ready to take a quick shot.
Well, the raccoon heard the click of me trying to change the setting
on the camera, and jerked around, saw me and hustled out of the
pond heading to the side wall,when at that time out comes my
nosy dog, and he ran and jumped off. I did see what he was
doing in the pond though....he was like washing his paws,
and looked to be bathing himself.....was really cool!
Needless to say as you can see, I wasn't able to get the right
setting and when the raccoon jerked around can
actually see swirls of movement in the picture lol! That's why
the photo is so bad.....I had to act fast and wasn't ready, but you
can just barely make out the face and see the eyes.
As I was downloading that picture I notice another flower! In
the smaller pond where the raccoon was there was a batch of
Gladiolus with several blooms starting to open....I didn't notice
them at all when I started looking for flowers! They are really
pretty and in a beautiful yellow color, so back I go with the
camera to get a better shot and a close up one.
I went back to the patio table to download this photo and
on the glass globe of our lantern that we burn an oil to
ward off mosquito's was this!!!!
As I spotted was like "HELLO!"
He was staring right at me!!!

It's a Praying Mantis!!!! I have NEVER seen a real one before!

Strange looking creature isn't it!!?

He had turned to look at our dog who had wandered to the
other side of the pool.

Look at those eyes!
Quite an interesting morning and afternoon wouldn't you say!
Besides all these critters, there were also several gorgeous red
cardinals, and tons of butterflies which we see all the time here.
Lastly, here are some photo's of our home in the morning with
the sun coming up over the trees laying the pretty shadows
across the yard. These were taken at another time so you won't
see some of the flowering plants in bloom like what I found
today, but I can show you where some were found.
I love our home here.
It's so peaceful and beautiful and morning is the prettiest!
This picture was taken today in the late's the upper wall of the Jasmine. It's really amazing with all the blooms but
this photo is from the other end of the yard so not real clear.
The tops are full of blooms and many blooms with more to
open can be kind of seen all down the front of the vines.
The Azalea bushes run all along the rocks in the foreground
all the way up to the house. The tree with the red flowers that
I don't know what they are. The fence you see on the left is
covered with the honeysuckle vines. Behind me is the tree
with the yellow flowers at the end of our driveway.
Loads of my clay pots and some pretty sad looking plants I need
to attend to....and my vintage bike I bought last year ago or so
....I so need to put some flowers in the basket.
That bump you see on the like a stopper kinda sorta
so to keep cars that might park there from rolling down over
two more levels and then down into the woods. We have a
very steep driveway, and every time I come down it I am
always afraid of my brakes going out and we go flying!
The upper level on right is all the Jasmine that continues
down behind me to the back fence. On the left is the pink
flowers, and up front where the sidewalk curves is where
the small rose garden is. You can also see the Honeysuckle
draping over this side of the fence from the vines in the front.
On the left side of the house looking towards the gate to
the front yard. Ponds and pool is behind me. The lower
level you see is what the owners of the house call the
doggie run....I call it the poop pad hehe!
Standing at gate looking towards the back yard with the large
pond in the distance and the poop pad and woods to the right.
Across the pool to the small pond where the raccoon was bathing.
The large Bird of Paradise is straight across on the backside
of the small pond. Down in along the edge of the small pond is
where the Gladiolus's are. Also the purple and yellow flowers.
There is also a couple of patches of Jasmine growing on the back
fence, one to the right and there is one you can't see here to the left.
The small pond with the large stone waterfall that don't work
to the left top of photo.
More of the purple flowers and that massive Bird of Paradise
there on the left.
Looking into the small pond.
The large pond which has guppies, goldfish, and polliwog's....
oh and frogs all over! And occasionally a water snake!
And this snake that scared the crap out me a couple of days
ago, I since discovered he has made a home at the base of the
rock waterfall and for the last two mornings, you'll see him
laying on the rocks in the sun! I so wish he would just take a
hike outta here!
Well this is our paradise for the time being. At the home
we moved from to here, all we had to look at from our back
porch, was the backside of a three car garage that was just
a few feet from the patio. This place is heaven to us! There
are beautiful birds singing all day long....butterflies
fluttering around the flowers, possums running the top
of the fences and sometimes up in the trees, lizards
salamanders, praying mantis, walking sticks, raccoons,
armadillo's, and sometimes a little fox, stinky snakes, owls,
and even some ugly buzzards that hang around, and lots of
worms, especially when it rains!
We love it all, except the snakes!
It's just so peaceful and serene, green and colorful,
and the mornings are especially beautiful, and with the
water cascading down from the hot tub down into the pool,
it gives us a soothing relaxing atmosphere for relaxing.
Well, that was long! But....I really hope you enjoyed your
visit and all our pretties. We love our home here, and
Mt. Dora....and hopefully we find our very own perfect
home and paradise one day real soon!
Wishing you a beautiful sun shiny day!
Thanks for visiting and hope you'll visit again soon!
TaTa Till Later!
Hugs, Love, and Blessings!
P.S...Please keep in your prayers all those in Texas
affected by that horrible explosion, and all those in
Boston who are trying to put their lives back together
again and recover from that horrible bombing. So much
sadness and's just heartbreaking! And may God
also be with all those in the area where they are searching
for the suspect on the lose who is the second suspect
wanted for the bombing of the Boston Marathon.
God Bless them all! Our hearts are with you! XOXO


  1. What beauiful photos Debi! Your yard is gorgeous! Love those red and white lilies! Everything looks so fresh and new, ready to greet spring! Your pool and waterfall are the perfect places to sit and relax while taking in the beautiful view and heavenly scents! I love hyacinths - they are my favorite, especially those purple ones, and they smell gorgeous! You're getting so good at taking these photos! Huve fun! Hugs, Leena

    1. Thank you Leena.....we love our place here and the backyard is so pretty and relaxing. Thank you for the compliment on my photo's.....I'm trying to get gooder! I'm getting crazy with taking pictures's a challenge to get better and better! I love it though. Thanks for the visit and your always sweet comments! <3


  2. How beautiful everything is!!!! Except for the snake! :0

    Where we live is very dry and grass barely grows. We are on strict water restrictions. So sad! Maybe someday we will have green again!

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful landscape!

    1. Hi Beverly! Thank you! We love it here and being surrounded by so much nature. I'm loving all the beautiful flowers that are blooming everywhere too. Every day there is something new here lately. To wake up to this everyday just sets the tone to feel good. Happy you enjoyed our little piece of sorry to hear about your area...I would hate that. That's part of the reason I don't ever want to go back to my hometown in Michigan....too many months of everything looking dead! Here we have green and pretty year around. It helps the attitude lol! Thank you for visiting and your comment. Come visit anytime and I'll share my pretty world with you. :)


  3. Thanks for sharing all your great photos of the flowers and critters in your pretty yard!


Thank you so much for the visit and your kind and lovely comments! Please come back and visit again! Have a blessed day!