You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘palm trees’ tag.

Hint: This is NOT the Upper Peninsula, I can guarantee it.


This blog is dedicated to the many readers who randomly discovered this blog by utilizing a search engine.  You know who you are.  The reader who types in “close up pictures of puddles” or “never mind what I have posted yesterday” or “cauliflower brocoli salad” and end up on this blog. gives us all sorts of statistics, and search engine statistics are some of the funniest.  You wonder why in the world people would type in “people running in snow filled night”.  You sometimes even make up funny stories about it. 

I am here to tell you the all-time top searches that resulted in finding this outdoor blog during the 365 day commitment.  Are you ready?   (Don’t tell me you already can figure it out, based on the title!) 

The first and third top searches were status quo. and Opening the door, Walking Outside were to be expected.  But who would have thought that 111 hits have resulted from the search “Palm Trees”?? 

Look at that palm tree blow!


(For all you new or itinerant visitors, the palm tree photos came from a trip to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, back in late March.) 

Search Term #4:  wood splitter.  Well, this is a perfect Yooper (Upper Peninsula) search engine term.  And do we know about wood splitters!  We are expert wood splitters.  (I can say this with assurance after a whole year of operating the lever.  We have not split off any fingers or other accessories and hopefully we never will.  Perhaps I should leave out the word “expert”.  Let’s substitute “experienced” wood splitters.) 

My husband with our lovely wood splitter (back in April)


Search engine term #5:  Sand movement on Lake Superior.  I am curious about that one.  Eighty seven hits followed these words.  Were they all the same person?  Is there a group of sand movement analysts?  Did my blog offer them anything concrete for their research?  (metaphorically speaking, of course…) 

Sand movement on Lake Superior. In and out, and out and in...


Then we have the feather-searchers.  Eighty two feather searchers have landed on this blog.  I have posted a few photos of feathers, and we have lots of birds in the Upper Peninsula, that’s for sure.  Here is one of my favorites from late June: 

Bald eagle tail feather in the sand


#7 search engine term:  dead bird.  Hmmm….  Sixty two views on this post from searching for “dead bird”.  Unfortunately, my own search on this blog did not find a photo of a dead bird.  They apparently had more luck.  I have a vague memory of photographing a dead–maybe–robin or chickadee in the yard.  But neither my memory nor the blog search engine could discover it.  It’s hiding somewhere in this year-long blog.  Fifty cents to the avid blog reader who can find it!  Just kidding! 

#8 (and we’ll stop here):  the infamous Vegetable Scraps!  I have told you before that searchers keep landing on this blog seeking Vegetable Scraps.  Maybe they are looking for soup recipes.  Maybe they want to make brocoli-cauliflower salad. Instead they arrive at a photo of scraps we throw out for the deer during the winter time.  I thought this photo back in January looked almost artistic. 

The infamous vegetable scraps


If you have a blog for two or three or more years, the search engine hits can reach into the thousands, so I’m told.  It’s odd to think that years down the road people may still be typing in “palm trees” and arriving at this Upper Peninsula of Michigan 365-day outdoor commitment blog. 

For any of you who are reading this post (having typed in palm trees, wood splitters, sand movement on Lake Superior, feather, dead bird and vegetable scraps) I have a little note for you: 

Sorry I missed you!


P.S.  very cold today for the outdoor adventure.  Eleven freezing degrees.  It took three trips in and out the front door to fulfill the commitment.  In and out…kind of like sand movement on Lake Superior…

Ibis in the Bird Sanctuary

Ibis in the Bird Sanctuary

First morning in Florida.  What to do?  Obviously, the first thing we always do.  Take a hike down through the Bird Sanctuary, out to the Gulf of Mexico along the white sands behind the Holiday Inn, then meander along the shore to the Outrigger.  At the Outrigger we linger beneath the thatch-covered tiki huts drinking orange juice or coffee (take your pick) while laughing with family members.  Ahhh…we’re in Paradise.

My dad always looks up at the jets flying into the Fort Myers Airport, sighs and informs us:  “Another bird coming in to Paradise.”

He rode his bike to the Outrigger and my brother walked along the sidewalk, but Mom and I took the “Kathy Walk” through the Bird Sanctuary.  They call it the “Kathy Walk” because my mom usually only walks it when I’m around. When other folks (like my sister-in-law) accompany her, it’s referred to in that infamous manner.

Oh how I love this walk!  Years ago a ferocious hurricane blew wildly through the south end of Fort Myers Beach, altering the previous landscape.  It left small lagoons between the condos and the beach.  Here great wild birds pause to peck underwater creatures, to float, to dive.  We’ve seen egrets, pelicans, ibis, oyster catchers, sandpipers, terns and even the elusive pink spoonbill.  How I wish a pink spoonbill will appear before the end of my vacation.  You would ooohhh and ahhhh to see this magnificent creature.

Instead you may view another pink creature playing along the shore.  She stared so fixedly at her pink pail and shovel, lost in imaginary worlds, that she barely even noticed our passing.

Digging by the shore

Digging by the shore

We watched flocks of seagulls spreading upward from the sand in white undulating waves of birds.  Another photo I would love to share with you, indeed!  We plowed through deeper sand walking from the shore back to the Outrigger.  It’s a good work-out.  Kind of like going to the gym.  While it’s a snap walking atop the harder crust of compressed sand, deep sand stretches endurance.  By the end of this week we’ll be fit and in shape.  (You believe that one?)

Tiki huts at the Outrigger bar

Tiki huts at the Outrigger bar

It’s a three mile walk from condo to the Outrigger and back again.  Today we didn’t return home until almost noon.  How much do you want to hear about our leisurely vacation?  I’m sorry some of you are envious… 😦   I wish you could all be here, too. 

Do you know there were actually people around the pool this afternoon complaining because the clouds obscured the sun and wind whipped the palm trees to and fro.  They actually uttered the words “cold front”.  Ridiculous!  These people don’t know what “cold” is.  It was 78 degrees.  I lay atop a beach towel by the pool and baked.  Not a boiling bake where sweat drips off your sunscreen lotion, but a luxurious slow bake that warms you down to the frozen innards.  I’m sure there’s still frozen innards, deep inside, after this long winter in Upper Michigan.  The whirlpool helped melt away any remaining frost.

Immature coconuts in those palm trees (I think that's what they are)

Immature coconuts in those palm trees (I think that's what they are)

One last photo for my husband.  Hi Barry!  I’m posting this just for you.  Just think, if you were down here you might be catching a little fellow like this for our grill.  It’s only about seven inches long though, and the fisherman threw it back in the Back Bay.   Ooops, sorry, didn’t mean to rub it in…

Baby red snapper (once again, I think that's what it is!)

Baby red snapper (once again, I think that's what it is!)

…was I dreaming?  Could it be true?  Had spring fever finally overcome rationality?  Could that be a palm tree growing next to Lake Superior?  Could it suddenly be 80 degrees?  What was happening?  Was I losing my mind??

Palm tree branches waving in the breeze

Palm tree branches waving in the breeze

 Enough joking!  Michigan’s Upper Peninsula couldn’t grow a palm tree if it tried.  And for 80 degree temperatures to hit our thermometers it would be mid-summer.

Instead, I have flown half way across the country to beautiful Fort Myers Beach, Florida, to visit with my mom and dad for the next eight days.


This involved getting up at 4:10 a.m., two airplanes, a bagel in the Detroit airport and a blessed bath of hot air when we finally walked outside at the Fort Myers airport about 2 p.m.   Double YES!!!  YES!!!

Gorgeous Florida yellow blossom

Gorgeous Florida yellow blossom

My camera searched for vibrant colors.  Rich green leaves.  Splashing yellow and red and blue flowers.  From white winter snow drifts to…exotic blossoms.  It feels like one has awakened into a dream of summer.  Summer isn’t a hope and a prayer after all.  It exists.  And I get to play in it for the next week!  (and that means you all can play alongside me…)

Shall I set the scene for you? The condo where they spend four to five months a year has seven floors.  It oversees a point of land overlooking the Back Bay, a brackish backwater filled with dolphins, manatee, pelicans and egrets.  The Gulf of Mexico can be glimpsed out their front door, about a half mile to the west.  We’ll walk there tomorrow morning, through the Bird Sanctuary, a walk infamously known as “Kathy’s Walk”, don’t ask me why.

My parents have been coming here about 17 years now; I’ve visited off and on during those years. Last year I came twice, once with husband and once with daughter.  This trip is solo, as everyone else has other commitments.

Hungry blue heron begging fishermen for fish snacks

Hungry blue heron begging fishermen for fish snacks

So, you want to know what my outdoor experience has been today?  You wouldn’t believe it!  Besides the fifteen minutes lusting after everything green and vibrant and multi-colored in the landscape and wildly snapping photos, I attended a St. Patrick’s Day party down by the pool.  I was introduced to a dozen people, every one named Bob and Bill, and enjoyed the most fantastic potluck. 

I could get used to this kind of outdoor adventure, let me tell you.

Condo St. Patrick's Day party

Condo St. Patrick's Day party

It’s now almost 8 p.m. and I’m almost ready for bed.  Here’s a theoretical question for you.  Should I go down for a soak in the whirlpool before bed?  Let the spa hot water jets melt away and dissolve all those memories of 13 below zero and six foot snow drifts?  Goodnight, dear reader…

Anyone care to join me...?

Anyone care to join me...?

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