Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



So if this post is a bit muddled I have two damn’ good excuses, right?

Actually, I crossed both lines a few days ago. In the normally fraught what-to-pack frenzy, this trip was a breeze – pretty much what I’d be wearing at home.But not as scruffy!

I’m in Sarasota,FL, staying in a friend’s house and looking out for one old dog and one slightly younger cat. And, rain being its usual fickle self, playing with hoses.

Did I use an F word ? Yes. Back at home, when rain might have been expected to chuff off for 6 months or more, My Man emails that it’s been raining on and off, sometimes quite hard , since I left.Well, enough that he hasn’t had to rush about and water desperate plants!

I’m seeing birds and butterflies new to me and, with a new 70-300mm lens, hoping to have some worthwhile pictures.

The day after I arrived, my friend drove us out The Celery Fields  where I saw my first Grackle.


This chap is familiar to me – the Cardinal.That’s Mrs Cardinal on the left. If I manage to get a closer, brighter shot I’ll come back and edit.Don’t hold your breath!

Cardinal him nd her .JPG


But this a newbie

The Mourning Doves  will have to wait.Also the Blue Jays and as for flutterbyes-hah! I’m beginning to think the easiest way to catch the blighters is to video them and grab a screen shot! But here’s a Monarch that wont make it into the National Geographic                                monarch IMG_2069 (2)

I rarely manage more than a cat-nap on long-haul flights, so I take a book. I stuffed a Jack Higgins spy/terrorist/kidnapper paper back in my bag and started reading on my flight to Brisbane.Left the wretched thing on the ‘plane and wished the cleaners luck. With something like 13+ hours ahead I went looking for something more interesting and settled for this, partly because the period interests me, partly ‘cos it has a nice cover!  I’ve not finished it yet (I may be on holiday, but still have things to do) but can recommend it for those who like historical fact-based novels. What really “gets” me though is Glasfurd’s way with words.No further spoilers,try it and see.

And before leaving I’d re-read all of the “Millenium” trilogy.Unfamiliar to you? That’s the Stig Larsson books about the girl with the dragon tattoo.Somehow, I’d missed #2 years ago, though  I did see all three movies (good stuff!). And that’s about it for my reading list, unless you count various technical periodicals and garden tomes.

The sun is dipping and I can see some Orange Fritillaries in the garden so that means hose time and one more crack at snapping a butterfly…

How about a squirrel? Squirrels are easy!IMG_2063.JPG





Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!


  1. Those are the same birds squirrels seen here in Texas. I especially like the cardinals.

    PS: Congrats on the line crossing! If you crossed both at the same time, you’re a Golden Shellback!


  2. So, you’re tripping again! Well done, you. And what a great place to be… I liked the Grackle , a very handsome bird. For some reason I’d told myself that a Grackle would make a “grackle” type noise. Hmm, obviously my imagination ran away with me. Have a wonderful time, Di, and take lots of photos with that nice new camera. Oh, and that book sounds/looks very interesting. Wonderful subject.


  3. PS: I also did not read the source books of the Millennium trilogy, but enjoyed the three Swedish movies very much. I also saw the [unnecessary] Hollywood movie version of first book. I thought that the two women who played Lisbeth Salander in both versions were excellent.


  4. I didn’t know Hollywood had had a go at it.Really liked the Swedish ones.I think there are both sub titles and dubbed versions.


  5. Welcome back, weary traveler. That bird is beautiful!


  6. I did like the grackle!
    Long haul reading….I’ve given up on airport books so have to time my orders from Better World Books to have something interesting arrive before i fly.


  7. Oh, there were other unread books at home, but rather too big for hand luggage and comfortable reading.
    I like the Grackle, too 🙂


  8. I was a little unnerved by the Grackle, and not just due to its similarity to Beaky. It struck me as rather machine-like when it made that alarming noise! Maybe it was the flashing eyes?

    Your photos are lovely! I look forward to seeing more. How long are you in Florida for?

    The only Millenium trilogy I’m familiar with is this one.


  9. Beautiful looking bird but I wouldn’t want one cawing outside my bedroom window at all hours, bad enough with the foxes gekkering. I’d have it stuffed and mounted in no time. Reading on any type of transport brings on one of my heads.


  10. Thank you for sharing these wonderful captures of the local wildlife & plants. Birds are just lovely to look at, as are butterflies & squirrels. Do enjoy your trip & be careful, as they tend to do things a bit weird in Florida–things like importing Burmese pythons & African rock pythons, probably as way to manage the population of the iconic animal that is the mascot of Florida, a giant rat with his own theme park.

    Have a lovely vacation! May your adventure be full of good people, good food, & good times! Hope you get to enjoy some pecans with some Florida oranges!


  11. I want a Grackle! I am smitten by the end of its call.
    And the book. I want to read the book too… but then again I want to read a lot of books….


  12. As an American, and in the spirit of good will and world peace, you may have all of our grackles. Also, house sparrows, starlings and Canada Geese (who should have stayed in Canada to begin with). In return, we ask only for the privilege of infesting your cities with our fast food emporiums (emporia?).


  13. Um…thanks, but no thanks. We already have Golden Arches and The Colonel and Pizza Hut and various other suspiciously-coloured foods that i think originated with your chemists. And our local geese might take exception to the Canadian kind. Oh, and Starbucks is here, too,but confined, for the moment, to the bigger cities.
    Probably best to think of us as another star on the Banner.


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