Archive for the ‘MOTHER NATURE’ Category


I can’t afford to go to the touring Broadway shows, there are very few movies playing on the big screen for me to go and see them and eating is a pleasure that right now the scale says I can’t afford to indulge in so I have one of the greatest pleasures available to me and that is Mother Nature. She puts on a new show every day and I love just walking around and see what she is offering this day!

For instance right outside my living room window is what I call the “Wilma” tree because when hurricane Wilma in 2005 the tree was completely stripped of every branch and leaf. Why the owners of Gateway didn’t cut away what remained I don’t know but I am glad they didn’t! The tree (first picture upper left corner) has not only grown back but is even bigger and better than it was before it now being close to 4 stories tall and spread out between 3 buildings and so far the current owners haven’t trimmed it back in time for the new hurricane season. Looking out my window I saw two new pods (see arrows) have grown on this side.

Talking about hurricanes is spite of the fact this is hurricane AND rainy seasons we haven’t seen much rain yet though there are 3 more months to go. The only reason I know it has rained is seeing the white herons (#2 pictures) strolling around picking at insects and they only visit us after a rainfall which means it is raining late nights, early mornings and by the time I wake up all is dry.

I love walking around the grounds and coming across a scene that lets my imagination roam like when I came across these 3 lizards (#3 pictures)  made up a tale in my head that they just came out of their hiding place and are roaming around for lunch. I have no idea how to tell a male from a female lizard but, hey, it could be a family who have made Gateway Terrace their home because they know no one will bother them!

Walking down to the mailbox I looked up at the tree (#4) in front of building N and thought I saw a green parrot but it really was just a green branch in the center to the right. We used to have wild parrots fly into the trees every day about 5 PM but they haven’t visited for some time now.

With all that there is outside I have the reliable plants right by my computer table off to the right (#5s) and every day they are in bloom! There are the pink Geraniums and the yellow Cuban plant and thought you can’t see it in the middle is the pepper plant and right now it has blooms plus 5 peppers at all stages of growth.

How can anyone be bored when Mother Nature is always putting on a show?!?!?!?

Posted August 22, 2022 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

Peppers, Geraniums, Cuban Yellow plants and a Full Moon!   1 comment

We start off with:

7 PM


RealFeel® 92°

Hot Yes, I know it is hot all over–Memphis hit 100 degrees today!–but we have been living with this heat since March so it is nothing new but, yes, IT IS HOT! And as Bette Davis, our weather expert told us, that it will be that way all week and with the Sahara dust that has helped keep the rain going away we won’t have it this week so the rains will be back!

We all had a full moon this week and Mother Nature, with a sense of humor or I was seeing things (see the last photo, top line, right) but she had to be playing with my camera making the full moon a heart!
On the line of photos are just a few of my pepper plants and they are all colors and sizes plus showing from the blossoms to the forming of the peppers! In the fifth picture, far right, are my Cuban plants with their yellow flowers ‘looking’ at the pink Geraniums!

The bottom line starts with another pepper growing but I love the last 3 pictures! When I get up in the morning–well, not too early–I swing my feet to the left and I look directly through the wall fan between the bedroom and living room and I see the same Cuban plants and pink Geraniums that I talk about in the previous paragraph. Though you can’t tell I see/have a clear view and I almost don’t mind getting up in the morning!

As I get old—passed the “I am getting older” stage–I find 1) My body can’t take the heat like it used to though I still love both–the heat and my body! and 2) I love what appears to be the simple thing like a pepper growing or a flower blooming–welcome to MY world!

Posted June 16, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE, MOTHER NATURE, PLANTS

A WALK TO THE POINT JUNE 12, 2022   1 comment

I was about to take a walk down to The Point when the skies opened up and I couldn’t see out the window (1) so I decided it was a sign for me to stay in.  I put on the TV and there was Bette Davis (2) saying the rain would be out of the area in a couple of minutes and that the rest of the week we would have the usual 20-30% chance of rain every day.

She doesn’t lie and 15 minutes later the sun was out and in 30 minutes you couldn’t tell it even rained!

I went outside and the first thing I saw was one of the beautiful Jacaranda trees in bloom-the same one (3) I take a picture of every year–and so I continued walking only to have a bird (4) land a few feet from me as if to say ‘take MY picture’ so I did!

Since I was there I decided to take a picture of me in front of my yacht (5)—someday Allen will have to take a look at it and tell me how big it is–and then before the help took off for a ride (6) to Karen Bay–I let them have it every Sunday nice employer that I am  I took a picture of it just in case they had an accident! At night the top has an ongoing show of neon colors that really is beautiful.

I continued walking to the Bay and had to stop when I saw the tree (9) on the top of the house!! I looked again and took a closeup picture of the tree and house and it is directly behind the house! (They better chop it down before a hurricane comes!)

After that I went into the pool area (8) and sat for about a half hour feeling as if I owned the world–it was so quiet (guess all the old folks were taking their afternoon nap) and peaceful!

Before I knew it I had to get back upstairs to get dinner ready because the Tony Award show is 4 hours with the first hour on Paramount+ and then on CBS for the next 3 so taking a quick look at the Queen Crepe Myrtle tree in full bloom at the end of my walkway (7) I walked into my place and just felt great!

Posted June 12, 2022 by greatmartin in LIFE, MOTHER NATURE


(This is my edited review from August 13, 2021, when I saw it in a theatre at a time not many people were going out to see movies. I was very disappointed that the movie did so poorly and that Hudson wasn’t Oscar nominated for this dynamite performance. Here is a chance for to see it for the first–or 3rd time like I will!!)

In 2004 I was cheering (and voting) for Jennifer Hudson to win that season of American Idol. She didn’t but do you remember who did??  In 2006 I walked out of the Gateway Movie Theatre after seeing “Dreamgirls” and said that if she didn’t win an Oscar I would never go to the movies again—whew! She did and I am still going to the movies! (In fact I haven’t understood why her movies haven’t done much better including a great performance as Winnie Mandela in the picture of the same name.)

It is easy to see why Aretha Franklin wanted Hudson to play her in the movie because Hudson is perfection in the role, not imitating her but being her. I was never a fan of Franklin’s but Hudson makes me want to listen to Franklin’s records again and see if I have changed my mind.

In 2008 Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were killed by her brother-in-law knowing tragedy at at a time when she should have known none but then Aretha Franklin’s tragedies started earlier at the age of 12 being raped by a friend of her father and giving birth to her first son. She, like her mother, was abused by her father, not physically but mentally, who also raped a 12 year old girl and got her pregnant but was never accused due to the laws at that time.

Franklin was attracted to abusive men and didn’t make it big until she took charge of her career and sang what she wanted to sing, not what and how the men in her life wanted her to sing.

Aretha Franklin’s career is what make legends and Jennifer Hudson puts across the pain and joy the woman felt as going through the phases of her personal life and career while she also uses her powerful voice to show how the star became a legend.

There is a strong supporting cast with 6 time Tony award winner Audra McDonald in an almost cameo role as Aretha’s mother though she does get to sing one song briefly and simply plus Mary J. Bilge plays Dinah Washington, also in a cameo, not singing but showing how a woman has to have strength to survive in show business.  Kimberly Scott as her grandmother, Haily Kilgore and Saycon Sengbloh as her sisters and back up singers while Skye Dakota Turner, who recently played Tina Turner as a child on Broadway plays Franklin as a the child ‘with a big voice’, all give effective performances while among the men Forest Whitaker as her father, Marlon Wayans as her abusive husband and Marc Maron as a record producer who believes in her all do standout jobs.

Leisl Tomm, making her first feature film, has a few missteps but, obviously, loves working with actors and certainly lets her star do her ‘thing’.”Respect” is 2 hours and 25 minutes long—and one must stay for the last song which is sung by Aretha Franklin–but it is the 2 hours of Jennifer Hudson that makes this movie whether it is her singing or acting or her just being Aretha.

Rainy & Hurricane ‘Seasons’   1 comment

Our rainy ‘season’ is May 15 to October 15 while the hurricane ‘season’ is June 1 to November 30! Does that mean it doesn’t rain October16 to November 30?!??!? Only in Florida folks!!

We have been very lucky that most of the hurricanes have by-passed Fort Lauderdale with us only getting 2 major hurricanes which were Wilma in October 2005 and Irma n August 2017. Most of the hurricanes have veered up north or west towards New Orleans but that doesn’t mean we won’t get it this year.

I am ready every month/day with supplies such as cans of tuna (and an old fashioned manual can opener), batteries, 24 bottles of water, nuts, flashlights, battery operated radio, fans, backup meds, etc. No hurricanes??? I can use all the above in the following months!

Regarding the rain—we usually get our heavy rain between 9-11 AM and in the afternoons between 2-6 PM but year by year (caused by weather change) it can come at any time of the day or night.

By the way the one thing I don’t do is evacuate my apartment and go to a ‘shelter’—someone needs to protect all my plants, pictures on the wall not to forget my “A Chorus Line” mementos!!

I hate to say it but the fury of Mother Nature during hurricanes can be breath-taking and, in some incidents beautiful!

Posted May 31, 2022 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

Another week in Fort Lauderdale May 2022   1 comment

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Though it is not officially summer we have been hitting the temperatures if the high 80s and low 90s for a couple of weeks now and I have no objections. Today officially starts our rainy season which also means the humidity will start climbing but right now all is comfortable and walks outside, looking around, is a pleasant way of spending time on a Sunday afternoon.

In the upper left corner is a picture of the Queen Crepe myrtles coming into bloom (which means the Jacarandas aren’t far behind—some already showing buds of red!)In the top row in the center 2 pictures and in the lower left corner a bird almost joined me on the walk. I took a closeup of his head but it didn’t come out. Though the bird looks very familiar  he had some ‘different’ markings on the top of his head–yellow and white flowers.

In the two middle pictures in the center row are a few other ‘strange’ birds! I think they are called humans and come in all shapes and sizes and they don’t agree how to maneuver their modes of transportation but they are always fun to look at.Of course I don’t have to go out to spend pleasant time as my place always offers things to see.  I enjoy watching the weekend weather man give his predictions and I often wonder if he just makes up the projected amounts of rainfall chances to cover his backside. We will get rain most everyday (or night) from now until November and it can be a short, misty fall or a hurricane but as long as he says it is going to rain he is very seldom wrong!!

Looking around my place I can see all kinds of plants from the pink Geraniums in the upper right corner to the yellow Cuban flowering plant below it and below that is the ‘Christmas’ cactus blooming in May!Last, but not least, are two pepper plants with one producing a round pepper and the other an elongated pepper, both green. Now I am waiting on a couple of red ones on another plant!

I look around inside and outside and I can easily tell myself that life is good—-for today at least! :O)

Posted May 15, 2022 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, MOTHER NATURE

WELCOME TO MAY 2022   Leave a comment

April went out and May came in with   but I have a feeling it was cut back because a) I didn’t hear the continuous barrage of noise over our buildings and b) there was on and off rain though none really that heavy.

#2 pictures–I walked around Gateway along the canals and down to The Point and even though it was Spring since we had mainly temperatures in the 80s since February it was like a summer day–the grounds were wet but not a drop of rain all afternoon and the sunny was out and bright!

#3 pictures–Spring or not the plant on my kitchen ledge consisting of the yellow Cuban flowers and the pink Geraniums were blooming! All from little snips of older plants and just stuck in a pot of dirt and left alone to do their thing!

#4 pictures–talking of blooming and Spring my 5 pots of pepper plants started showing flowers towards the end of April and on the first of May I had a few peppers to use in my dinner tonight. I don’t know why out of 15-20 blooms I only get about 6-7 peppers and they are very small (but enough to flavor a recipe!) I suppose I should cut them back, have less branches and the results would be better and bigger but I love seeing the blossoms and since each plant seems to rotate in producing peppers I am not really complaining!

Do I really have to explain the two unnumbered pictures? I didn’t think so!Here’s to May 2022 on the way to summer.

Fall AKA Autumn in Fort Lauderdale in October   1 comment

All you have to do is look at the first picture and you know what the news is all about! IT RAINED! If you are like me you can sleep through anything so a rain storm, no matter how heavy, doesn’t wake me up. All I have to do is walk from my dark, no light allowed in, bedroom to my living room and can’t but help look out the windows and there they are! The egrets who show up after a storm to get their easy pickings meal!

It is Fall in Fort Lauderdale which means the rainy season is over, we have 2 more months and hurricane season will be over so, of course, having beautiful weather for 2 weeks with little or no rain when the rainy season is over the rain falls.

We had 1 inch of rain in an hour yesterday and today it is raining off and on but the sun is battling to come out!

Talk about the sun–13 more days and we lose that extra light I love at night as Daylight Savings Time kicks in.Meanwhile I have my inside plants blooming and telling me it really is still summertime! The Begonias, the Holiday cactus and the babies, along with Geraniums in their reds, whites, pinks and variations on those colors are all in bloom.Not to be outdone the peppers—see last photo–are blooming and turning into green peppers!

Things might change next week because it seems we may go down into the 60s one night next week! I may have to go up North to warm up!

Posted October 25, 2021 by greatmartin in GARDENS, LIFE, MOTHER NATURE

Week of October 20, 2021   Leave a comment

#1 and 5  Rainy season is over but we have 6 more weeks of hurricane season–whatever ‘season’ it is the weather has been beautiful (some might even call it ‘cool’ going down to the 70s overnight!) Only problem are the King Tides which floods the property but but Noon all is dry.

#2  For people who might think all I eat is carrot cake!! Every night, with dinner, I have a tossed salad with various lettuces, onions and tomatoes, a baked Idaho or sweet potato and grapes while it is a glass of orange juice and an apple with breakfast#3 and 9  Jeff with his guide dog which he is training–the dog is great but right now too friendly with everyone

#4 and 6  Little by little we are being taken over by Iguanas–in #6 the number is right under the tail of this Iguana on the side of the tree–some are growing toooooooooooo big

!# 7 and 8  Hard to see in number 7 but the squirrel fades into the tree while in number 8 his head is right above the number

# 10 the tree orchid growing bigger and more beautiful each day

#12 What is nature without pigeons???

#11 Have you ever heard of Ranchers (trade name) steaks? With prices going sky high people really can’t afford to buy steak consequently they go on sale before the end date and I get one every Thursday as a treat–they really are the best beef steaks I have ever had and in some cases I am getting a NY Strip under $5 a pound–I add a salad and a potato and, somehow, I don’t know how that happens, I see a dark chocolate bar sneaked in–well, dark chocolate is healthy, right?

Posted October 20, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE


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Sorry but I never get tired of Mother Nature and, in fact, she is the first thing I check on when I get up in the morning–no matter what time it is!! She has really been surprising us this week with what ‘we’ call Fall weather! It is rainy and hurricane season yet we are only getting light rain showers now and then and not a hurricane—so far–this season!

The most amazing plant to me is the Christmas cactus which I have renamed the Holiday Cactus (#1) because she blooms all year round!!! From the original plant I snapped off a few bits here and there, put them in pots (#2) and within a few months they started showing buds and are now blooming. I gave Terry & Chuck a small plant and within a week of their getting home it is in full bloom! The ones you see here with the buds will be in bloom in a couple of days and I will take their pictures!

Then there are the pepper plants (#3) and I never know when they will provide peppers let alone what colors the peppers  will be as is the case with my yellow and green peppers though they are from the same pepper seeds!!

Last, but certainly not least, is our mysterious orchids (#4) which blooms every year about this time with the white ones on one side of the tree and the purple ones on the other side and each growing a bit more every day!I LOVE MOTHER


Posted October 17, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

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