Monday, November 21, 2011

Butterflies!

We really loved the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West!!!  It's very small but absolutely fantastic!  They have thousands of butterflies crammed into a space the size of an average garage.  You walk in and are surrounded by flitting, spinning, fluttering rainbows of color!  It's too fabulous for photo to capture, but here's my attempt!

 This beauty landed on me and sat there for about 2 minutes!


 The best way to capture butterflies in photo is to wait for them to stop for a snack.  It's the only time they stop fluttering!



See the funny curly thing under his head?  That his proboscis - a long tongue-like appendage that they can extend to reach the bottom of a deep tubular flower.








It might be hard to believe, but I promise these two photos are the SAME butterfly!  Talk about a split personality!



I just love the green and turquoise colors on this one!  




Look at those crazy antennae!  What could that alien looking creature be?!






...It's MOTHRA!!!!  Muh ha ha ha ha....
Here's a nice overall photo to show you how the inside looks.  They have a pond in the middle, a couple of waterfalls, and lots of cute tropical birds flying around in here too!  


One of my favorite sayings is, "In Order to Enjoy Butterflies, You Must First Suffer the Caterpillars."  In that line, I'll end this post with a photo of a caterpillar that I took right here at Bahia Honda State Park.

Soon this ugly little worm will be a beautiful butterfly!  It reminds me that we can all transform ourselves into something better every day.  Hope you have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Not Always Sunny In Florida

The rain has been coming down steadily for three days now, the park is flooding in several places.  Here are some pictures of Bahia Honda that are not on any of the brochures!

Here's the new lake behind our house.  Whoohoo!  Waterfront property!



Sorry, campers!  The park website SAYS flooding may occur!  Not really, all the campers have been very nice.  This guy actually didn't move even though he was offered a dry campsite.



Oops!  I don't think the cop parked his boat like that!

 It's a special day in the park when the Rangers go shoeless!

Don't worry, we managed to get the boat out of the water and on the trailer.  This last picture is Ranger Fred removing the drain plugs.  He was soaked up to his shoulders!  Kept his shoes on, though.  Very professional, Ranger Fred!  :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bahia Honda

I know I haven't blogged in, oh... a MILLION YEARS! Sorry about that. I think my life is fun but I don't know if its cool enough to blog about! Chris bugs me to blog all the time. So here it is!

We're now volunteering (again) at Bahia Honda State Park near Big Pine Key, FL. For anyone who's never been to the Keys, this is right in the middle of the Keys, about two hours south of the mainland and about an hour north Key West. Even as the rest of the world cools off, its still warm and even hot some days here. We're generally experiencing 70's at night and 80's by day.

We both have online jobs to pay the bills and volunteering at the park is fun as well as it pays the rent! When we're not at work we are usually out in our little boat, or snorkeling, or diving, or hunting lobster or fishing. Catching our dinner helps with the grocery bills! We have lots of fish!

Fish going in the freezer

Catching lobster

Today the weather was rainy and the waves are high so we went to the Key West Aquarium. I had lots of fun playing at the touch tank and even got to help feed the nurse sharks!

We love the Florida Keys!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gone Fishin'

We've been having a lot of fun on the water lately! My relatives visited from Jupiter, FL and brought their boat down. We went snorkeling and riding around a lot. Snorkeling in the mangrove roots is very awesome! Lots of little tropical fish, snappers, and we even found a free-swimming nudibranch (a sea slug with beautiful bright colors)!
We also went out on a rented boat with some new friends who taught us about trolling in deep waters. Caught a nice Mahi-Mahi! He was very yummy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Set up in Key Largo

We have arrived in Key Largo and are parked at our new home, Pennekamp State Park. The water here is a little browner than the water we got used to last fall at Bahia Honda. But now we have a boat so we can putter right out to the ocean very easily! We'll be experimenting with snorkeling and diving in the area when we're not working at the park!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Atchafalaya Basin flooding

The recent flooding in Louisiana is visible on the bridge. This is usually a boggy area instead of the lake we saw. Those are tree tops sticking up out of the water!

Hi everyone!

For all my friends who have been bugging me to blog again, here it is. We've spent 5 months in Austin - the longest time we've sat still in about 2 years! We've had good times and tough ones here. When we first arrived in Austin we dealt with a freakish cold spell where it didn't get over 20 degrees for several days! It was cold in the RV! And we learned an important lesson about RVing in freezing temps. It is important not just to disconnect the water and sewage lines but also to completely empty them! Yep, we had frozen sewage in the dump line and it refused to melt for a week!

We've done some big upgrades since we've been here. We now have all new tires on the motorhome, an air conditioner and heat pump, and an on-demand hot water heater! The hot water heater plus an Oxygenics shower head is the epitome of RV luxery! I highly recommend it to all RV owners! No more Army showers for us!

We have had busy social schedules since we've been in Austin. We are so lucky to have so many friends! We've been at the lake diving and enjoyed many dinners with our friends. I've been working at an organic nursery in town, The Natural Gardener, where I made lots of new friends and loved the work! Chris has been very busy teaching Scuba at the University of Texas and also at Oak Hill Scuba shop. He is now officially an Instructor Trainer! Congrats, baby!

I have a camp host job lined up at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park starting June 1st. Key Largo, here we come!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Loving Life and Visiting Austin

We're back in Austin for a few months. Surprisingly a lot of people have thought that we are done traveling and are moving back to our house. Like the RV trip was a big vacation and now we're done. That's like saying, oh so you've finally had that baby and now you're going back to your regular life now, hey? NO!!! We think of our RV travels as a new chapter in our lives. We have left behind the ordinary and moved into a realm of extraordinary. We now realize that life does not have to be same-old-same-old. We've learned to pursue things we love. Don't be afraid of change; it's just part of life. We're perfectly happy in our little motorhome as long as we have each other and can do stuff we love every day. If we're not loving it, we will move on to something new!

So now that we're in Austin, Chris is going to teach scuba and I am applying at plant nurseries all over town. We're determined not to get sucked in to the Rush-n-Hurry club again. Life is too short so we should all get out there and enjoy it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New View

All good things must come to an end and now its almost time to leave Bahia Honda. The great people at this park have agreed to let us stay a couple of extra days in another campsite while we wait for the last of our mail to get here. We are waiting for a campsite to open up and during the transition time we have moved into the marina parking lot and although there are no utilities here it has a beautiful view!