Tuesday, October 30, 2018


My story with dahlias:

I had a friend who had a large garden filled with dahlias of all shapes, sizes, and colors (not black). It was magnificent! I had never seen such a beautiful garden. I had also never seen the dahlia. As dahlias cannot live in cold climate, my friend would dig them up and save them until spring when he planted them yet again. Each year they came up more beautiful than the year before. We used to visit Jack and he'd show us his garden each year for about four years. I wish he were still here today. He was an amazing man.

Dahlias originated in Mexico. It was the Aztecs who grew them. People would visit Mexico, love the dahlia and take them home. As this happened, dahlias spread around the world. They are named after Anders Dahl, a botanish from Sweden.

Have you ever seen a garden of dahlias? It's a sight to behold. It is said that they are the most glorious flower. Their stems are between 12 inches and 6-8 feet tall. The difference is in the variety of dahlia.They come in 42 varieties and, if you have a variety in your garden, you will have them blooming at different times. They are related to the daisy, sunflower, chrysanthemum, and aster.

Their leaves come in a variety of shades of green and shapes, depending upon the variety of dahlia.

As stated above, dahlias come in different sizes. They come as small as a saucer and as large as a dinner plate. To think that a stem can hold such magnificence! 

Dahlias are edible. Both the petals and the tubers (the "bulbs") are edible. You can use them to decorate cakes, salads and more. No, I don't believe I've had a dahlia. Have you?

Believe it or not, dahlias have no fragrance. This especially helps if you want to give flowers to someone who is sensitive to scents.

Have you seen a dahlia? If so, what do you think of them? If not, keep your eyes open. They may show up in bouquets or a garden near you.

Each of the above prints are available for purchase.

Thank you for visiting!



Wells, D. (1997). 100 Flowers And How They Got Their Names.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Brown Pelican
(Pelecanus occidentalis)

My husband and I went to Sanibel Island, Florida and were mesmerized by the brown pelicans. Early in the morning, we saw more pelicans than we could count fishing just off the shore. They flew in groups and landed in groups as they watched as far as 65 feet up for fish. Have you seen how they fish? They dive head first, wings back and go into the water like a knife. Sometimes there are several of them aiming for the same area of fish. It's a sight to behold. 

Pelicans are fabulous fishermen. When they go down into the water, their large beak opens up and balloons out. It makes for a large opening so when, the pelican closes its beak and flies back up out of the water, it has many fish inside. Yes, there is also water but the pelican knows how to drain his beak without losing any fish.

When we first saw the pelican dive down like a scissors, it was fascinating. We stood there watching for a long time and, yes, I took a lot of photos.
We had been to Sanibel Island many times but had never seen the numbers of brown pelicans as we have this year. They truly brought wonder into our days. Each day we would watch them as we shelled. Some of them kept their eye on me.

Brown pelicans are approximately 7.6 pounds and their wingspan is up to 7 feet. They live on salt water and they eat mostly fish. Quite the fishermen they are. You'll see boats watch the pelicans as they fish to tell them where the fish are. I call this photo: Fishermen.

Brown pelicans like to be with others and could be in large groups for more than a year. They live a long life as one pelican who was tagged, showed it was 31 years old.

So, who eats pelicans? Coyotes enjoy pelicans. People enjoy capturing them for their meat and their feathers. Sad? Yes.

How long have pelicans been on earth? A fossil was found that showed it was here 40 million years. Now that's a long time!

So, what do you think of when you see a pelican? I see a bird that soars through the air and aims like a knife for its dinner. I see the pouch open to go into the water and then come back up draining the water and eating the fish. I see the bird with the largest beak I've ever seen. Yes, I've seen it all.

Luckily DDT was banned in the 1970s and the birds were able to make a comeback. DDT had killed quite a number of them. At the time, they were endangered and a step was made to help them come back. So far, so good. They are no longer extinct. They are growing in numbers.

Each of the above prints are available for purchase.

Thank you for visiting! Hope you have a chance to see a pelican.



"Amazing Animals of the World" (volume 7). Scholastic Library Publishing.

Sibley, D.A. (2009). The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior.


Baughman, M. (Ed.). (2003). National Geographic Reference Atlas to the Birds of North America.
Kaufman, K. (1996). Lives of North American Birds