Sunday, April 30, 2023

Garden of Angels

 I often pass a Naples cemetery.  Many of the people buried there are Hispanic.  Their's is a culture very different from the New England cemeteries with which I am familiar.  Instead of gravestones, this cemetery has bronzes or stones at ground level.  And most graves have colorful plastic flowers.

Each area of the cemetery has a different name, like Garden of Serenity or Garden of Tranquility.

Newborns, babies and toddlers are buried is the Garden of Angels.  It is heartbreaking to see the  teddy bears, Easter eggs, toy cars and dolls their loved ones have placed with them to comfort them in the afterlife. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Different Strokes

Even when they are not to my taste, I appreciate when homeowners work to make their places their own.

Six homes in Naples Park.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Five Towers

 Three towers are completed and occupied.  The fourth is nearing completion and the fifth will begin as soon as the fourth is finished.  Units start at $3 million.  Do the math.

Thursday, April 27, 2023


 On Saturday I took an eco-tour at Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County, twenty miles north of Ft. Myers.  Acquired in 1914 for logging and agriculture, the Babcock Ranch once comprised 91,000 acres.  It was the biggest single open space in south Florida, maybe the entire state.  

The state bought about a quarter of the property in the 1940s and the Babcock family donated more.  Today a big chunk of the land is now being developed as a huge new town, but the adjoining state-owned preserve is farmed and logged under contract with private companies and is available for eco-tours.

We were loaded onto an ancient bus with the windows removed and taken around the property.  It is still actively farmed, with horses and beef cattle in the first areas we saw.

The preserve is full of feral pigs, which raced to see us as we passed, because the guides toss corn kernels out of the bus for feed.  (They do most of their feeding on their own, but they like the corn as a treat.)

 Pigs were brought from Europe with the original Spanish explorers to feed the crews on the voyages, but when they reached Florida, many pigs got loose and have populated the wild areas for centuries.

Slash pines, cypress, sabal palms and palmettos are the most common trees and plants.  The terrain needs fire to stimulate new growth, sometimes from lightning strikes, and sometimes from controlled burns.

Everywhere there was water, there were alligators.  Many alligators.

White-tailed deer are there, though I saw only a couple.

Several shy raccoons said hello.  Only one came out of the underbrush enough for a portrait.

Sandhill cranes and their colts wandered in the open spaces. 

"Cracker cattle" with their long horns were in an area different from the domestic beef cattle.  Their predecessors came over from Spain with the conquistadors, as early as 1565.  They are grown for meat, milk and for draft work.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


Morgen is from Indianapolis and now spends the winters in my Naples community.  She is a sculptor and painter.  In her working years, she was a merchandising and design consultant.  

Recently Morgen and a friend started an organization for artists in our community.  It has been a happy discovery that there are so many artists -- and such good ones -- in a relatively small community of just over 400 homes.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Holding up the Turtles

Two naked gentlemen hold up the turtles.  There are many things I don't understand.

Monday, April 24, 2023

The Rec Center

 The sixth mural on the wall of Punta Gorda's Baker Center School is called "Community."  Before desegregation took hold in the late 1960s, black children wanted a place to play and the community wanted a place for meetings.  An old Army barracks was turned into the recreation center.  

The Rec Center became the hub of activities for the black community.  This 2023 mural by Keith Goodson  depicts the Rec Center and its playground.  Hurricane Donna leveled the Rec Center in 1960.  The current Rec Center was built a few years later.

Linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, April 23, 2023


 Some want to tear this down and replace it with a fancy new $50 million clubhouse.

I don't get it.

Saturday, April 22, 2023


Yesterday was a very sad one.  Daughter Susie called to say that 11-year old Sequoia had to be put down.  Sequoia declined very fast over just a couple of days.  She was anaemic and had a big mass in her belly.  

  Susie and her husband Wessel brought Sequoia and Lola over when they came back to the States from South Africa in 2016.  

Sequoia is the bigger and darker one with a dark nose, behind Lola.  

Willa (b. 2015) and Hazel (b. 2017) have not known life without Sequoia.  

Lola and the whole family will miss her.  I sure will!

Friday, April 21, 2023

It's Not What You Think

FK Your Diet has restaurants in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and three other places in Florida.  The owner was a "Foster Kid."  With help from their paying customers and donations from others, the restaurants' mission is to provide hot meals for foster children and others needing help in their communities.  

Since Hurricane Ian's devastation on September 28, the chain has been providing 7,000 meals a day to people impacted by the storm, in addition to its ongoing support for foster children.  Some meals are served at the restaurants, but more are served in a mobile operation.  

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Feeding and Training Time

 The biggest alligator at the Naples Zoo is 12'6" long.  Nine alligators appeared at 3 o'clock, when it was time to feed them and to train them.  They know their names and come forward when their names are called, to get a treat.  (Most of the feeding is done on their own, in the pond.)

Feeding alligators is another job I do not want to have.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Pileated Woodpecker

Walking around Naples Zoo, I spotted a pileated woodpecker peeking out of its home in a tall palm tree.  It left its home and flew straight to a nearby dead tree whose many holes suggested it was a favorite.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023



An anhinga tosses a fish. When it catches the fish's head and orients the body, down the hatch!

Monday, April 17, 2023


Even though segregated education was outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 decision of Brown v. Board of Education, Florida was in no hurry to comply.  After completing lower classes at Baker Academy, black students in Charlotte County were bussed to a black high school in Lee County.

In 1962, black leaders lobbied the Charlotte County board of education for a better solution.  On September 3, 1963, five hand-selected black children walked through the doors of Charlotte County High School, starting the desegregation of the county's schools.

2023 mural by Keith Goodson on the side of Baker Center School in Punta Gorda. 

Linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Lily Pads


Back to the Naples Botanical Garden.

The lilies on the pads are in bloom.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Miniature Golf


Golf Safari miniature golf is like a trip to Africa.

A cement part of Africa.