Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"A Different Painting Every Night"

I remember years ago when I was a child my mother use to take us kids to the Madeira Beach area for soccer practices or ballet recitals. It felt like between me and my three younger siblings we were always there or one reason or another. Often times while we were waiting we would get ice cream and watch the sun set. 

One time, almost out of the blue, she said that each night the sky was painted by a different angel and that was why the sunset never looked the same twice. You got to see a different painting every night and you should always appreciate its beauty because it would never repeat. 

It was one of those little things said in passing but it stuck with me. Maybe it was because I loved art so much or maybe it was the first time I realized just how quickly a beautiful moment can disappear. 

To this day I can't look at a sunset with it reminding me of a living work of art. 

This photo was taken overlooking the Orlando Executive Airport. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bee Rescue

Months ago I remembered reading something a friend had posted to Facebook. It was an article about saving bees, particularly tired bees. The article went on to explain how sometimes people come across bees that appear sluggish and the assumption is that they are dying. However, in many cases the bees are simply tired from gather pollen and just need a simple boost with some sugar water to get back to the hive. 

I remember the article all this time because I thought it was interesting, but I actually got to test it out for myself.  

One day I was doing laundry and walking back and forth between my apartment and the laundry room. On one of my trips back I noticed a bee right at the foot of my doorstep. Instead of being startled by my presence and flying away he move slowly and didn't make any attempt to fly away. At first I thought he might be dying but I remembered the article and I noticed that his legs were dusted with pollen. I went to the Starbucks down the street to get some regular sugar packets and I mixed it into a small cup with water. 

I used a piece of junk mail to move the bee and I ended up saturating it in my failed attempts to balance the spoon close enough to get him to drink the sugar water solution. But persistence paid off and he was able to drink some if it. 

I balanced the piece of mail over my knee to get this shot. From above you can see the tiny flecks of golden pollen that washed off the bottom of the bee's fuzzy legs.

After a while the bee started to move around a little more and even started to use his wings. I put him back down on the ground with a few more drops of sugar water. When I came back outside a few minutes later he was gone. Hopefully this little guy was able to make it back to the hive. I'm so grateful I happened to read that article months ago.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Green Bean

Most people who live in Florida are accustomed to seeing brown lizards (anoles) everywhere. Few realized that they are actually a Cuban import. The lizards that are the true Florida natives are the Green Anoles. They coexist peacefully the Brown Anoles, who are more visible because they dwell on the ground. The Green Anoles prefer the trees. The green ones are much more rare but I have one that lives right outside my apartment. He likes to hunt for bugs near the electrical boxes.

Born to stand out, his lovely green hue fades to a reddish-brown near his extremities. His eyes are also circled by a ring of pale blue. He is not as skittish as the other brown lizards. This little green bean likes to stand his ground.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Window Seat

The first time I was ever on a plane was when I was seven years old visiting my grandfather in Wisconsin. I've fought for the window seat and I've been enamoured with it ever since.  I think it would have been easy to be scared of heights, especially as a child, but I couldn't get enough. I spent hours with my face pressed against the glass. 

The landscape rolling by in slow motion, a glittering city in the dark, being above the clouds. The thrill of taking off and landing. Getting to be somewhere else. I fell in love with the whole experience. 

Years later I was flying from Miami to Orlando on my way back from Brazil. The sun had just risen. Shortly after take off one of the flight attendants asked if I could close my window so people could watch the in-flight movie better. The passenger to my left was asleep and as soon as the flight attendant walked away I opened my widow again in defiance. I didn't care how bright it might have been you only get treated to this kind of a view every once in a while. 

I can't think of any movie that could match exhilaration I was feeling. The sunrise and the billowing clouds were breathtaking. 

Most passengers were asleep or watching the movie. I was enjoying the view with my face pressed against the glass. There was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.