Jonathan Dickinson State Park …..

December 21, 2012

Jonathan Dickinson State Park(JDSP) established in 1950 covers over 11,500 acres of beautiful habitat, which includes sand pine scrub, pine flat woods, mangroves, and river swamps. The Loxahatchee River, Florida’s first federally designated wild and scenic river runs through the park.

An interesting bit of history about JDSP is that during WWII the army established a top secret radar training school called Camp Murphy that was located on current park property. Land had been quickly and summarily purchased or condemned and taken from landowners in order to conduct this training. (I guess once taken it is never given back.)

More than 1,000 buildings quickly sprang up and more than 6,000 personnel were stationed at the camp, which had its own power plants, sewer system, church and theater. Camp Murphy was shut down after only two years of operation.

I now realize why there are so many old paved and unused roads throughout the park. They were built when the Army built Camp Murphy and are used today as biking, hiking and walking paths.

Everyday, we have the pleasure of experiencing the varied terrain that these park trails have to offer. In years past we have seen river otter, snakes, alligators, rabbits and numerous species of birds including the Florida Scrub Jay. We have heard, but have not seen coyotes and find evidence of wild pigs also never seen in the park, but have seen them along the highway.

Hopefully, through these photos you will get a feel for this unique and beautiful park.

Howard and Kloud walking along a Camp Murphy road
Skye enjoying a leisurely walk along a bike path.
Skye enjoying a leisurely walk along a bike path
One of our Evening Walking Paths.
One of our Evening Walking Paths
Through the Trees
Tall Pines and a Little Pond
Fall colors can still be seen
Fall colors can still be seen
It has been rainy and with rain you get pretty muchrooms
It has been rainy and with rain you get pretty muchrooms
Loggerhead Shrike – an evening hunter
Northern Mockingbird - an easy photo subject
Northern Mockingbird – an easy photo subject
Everyday we are treated to some of the most beautiful sunsets as we walk along a path
Everyday we are treated to some of the most beautiful sunsets as we walk along a path

Little Hearts Beating…..

December 15, 2012

I woke up this morning with these words in my head, which hardly ever happens.

Little hearts beating to the rhythm of their joy,

Little hearts beating in these girls and boys.


Their souls so innocent, love, laugh, learn and play,

On this day these are their tasks.


In walks a monster he is also young,

His heart beats with hate, he wears a mask.

It only takes seconds joyful lives taken,

It only takes seconds little hearts fall silent.


We all ask why, no one has an answer,

It makes no sense to a rational mind.


On this day and for a long time to come,

Our hearts beat with sadness.

Sandhill Cranes…..

December 8, 2012

“At last a glint of sun reveals the approach of a great echelon of birds.
On motionless wings they emerge from the lifting mists, sweep a final arc of sky, and settle in clamorous descending spirals to their feeding grounds. A new day has begun on the crane marsh.”–Aldo Leopold

Look what you might see while driving around Hobe Sound, Florida!

These Sandhill Cranes were wondering around a neighborhood we were driving through. The warm climate and abundant food supply must draw them to this area.

They did not show any concern when I got out of the car to take a few photos, which truthfully surprised me. Of course I did not approach them too closely.

If it looks like a duck - it might not be a duck!
If it looks like a duck – it might not be a duck!
"I wonder what's under here"
“I wonder what’s under here”
A pretty Sandhill Crane
A pretty Sandhill Crane

Bad news-Good news-It’s all okay now…..

 December 10, 2012

Bad news…..

We were sitting outside enjoying the afternoon and I just happened to look over at the coach – watering was running out of the bays!! Lots of water. Before going outside to relax, I had put some shorts and tops in the washing machine.

We both ran inside and sure enough water was running out of the filter trap door on the front side of the washer/dryer. I just kept thinking, as I rushed to grab towels to soak up the water,   “Oh my-gosh what is wrong with the washer/dryer?” I kept seeing $$$$ flash in front of my eyes!

Good news…..

Howard just so happened to have cleaned the trap a few days prior to today and we finally realized, after the initial shock, that he might not have tighten the trap door tight enough after cleaning. Possibly another cause, just the vibration of the machine,  going through the wash cycle could have loosened the trap door – who knows!! And, I certainly don’t blame him!!

It’s all okay now…..

So after…..

  • a lot of wet towels hanging on a clothes line,
  • water being emptied out of the drum,
  • items from the bay lying on the camp-site picnic table,
  • bay doors opened to dry the bay area,
  • the dogs hopefully re-considering from their first impression when this episode started, that we just might be crazy,
  •  and of course tightening the filter trap door,
  • clothes being put back into the machine to spin and test with fingers crossed,
  • a glass of wine to finally relax

….. we can be thankful that the machine seems to work okay. Whew!!

A helpful hint:

If you have a washer/dryer in your RV always check the filter trap, first to clean it out and second to make sure the door is always tighten.

Just another fun day RV’ing!!!

Searching, Singing, Sunning and Smiling…..

December 5, 2012

Everything seems to be bursting with color this morning in Jonathan Dickinson State Park following an overnight rain and a gorgeous sunrise.

After coffee we set off for a hike to enjoy the fresh morning air, the vibrant fall colors and to see how many critters we might find. We never know what we will see, which is part of the fun!

On our hike today we were treated to an Alligator enjoying the sunshine, a Robin singing away it seemed just for the pure joy of doing so and a Mockingbird searching for bugs.

An Alligator enjoying the sunshine
A male Robin singing away high up from his perch in a dead tree
A Mockingbird searching for bugs
A Mockingbird searching for bugs

Being able to experience nature’s beauty fills me with pure joy and keeps me Smiling!

Hobe Sound, Florida – Our home for the next two months…..

Tall Pines, Palmettos and Tall Golden Grass
Tall Pines, Palmettos and Tall Golden Grass

Beautiful Hobe Sound, Florida, with its subtropical climate, lies in what is called the Treasure Coast region of Florida. The Treasure Coast region is located on the state’s Atlantic coast, comprising Indian River, St Lucie, and Martin, and in some definitions, Palm Beach Counties.

The name, Treasure Coast, refers to the Spanish Treasure Fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane. The 1715 Treasure Fleet was a Spanish treasure fleet returning from the New World to Spain. Some artifacts and even coins still wash up on Florida beaches from time to time. Wouldn’t that be a treat to find some Treasure Fleet coins while strolling along the beach!

The name Hobe Sound comes from the name of the Jove or Jobe Indians, one of the Native American groups that lived in the area before European settlement. The Spanish pronounced the name “Ho-bay,” which has evolved into the current name “Hobe”.

Hobe Sound is a quite, easy-going, laid back, beachside community with a population of about 12,000. The average high temperature in January is 74 degrees with July and August being its hottest months with average temperatures around 90 degrees. Thanks to some Hobe Sound web-sites for supplying some of the historical and demographic information that I included on this page.

Leaving Wildwood on Sunday morning, December 2nd, and arriving in Hobe Sound mid-afternoon we were treated to a delightful, light drizzle. We have been told that this fall has been unusually rainy and we can see the results of this extra moisture – the landscape here is very green and lush.  I noticed on our ride down the trees and other foliage were brilliant with fall colors of gold’s and reds.

This is our fourth winter trip to Hobe Sound. It began as a way to spend time with family and has turned into an annual event. We certainly enjoy this part of Florida; the weather, the ocean and especially the laid-back, easy-going atmosphere of this quite town.

We are thrilled to have this time to spend with family!

Waiting to be taken out on the Loxahatchee River!
Waiting to be taken out on the Loxahatchee River!
A beautiful hiking and biking path.
A beautiful hiking and biking path.
A small lake in Jonathan Dickinson State Park
A small lake in Jonathan Dickinson State Park

A Day with friends…..

The day before we left Wildwood, FL we spent the day with our friends Karla & Larry touring around the unique town of Inverness, FL. This was our first visit to Inverness. We met at Stompknockers On the Square, where we were treated to our very first gator nuggets.  Larry, said that we would never again look at a gator without thinking of eating this appetizer and he was right. This just might be the first and last fried gator nugget for this girl. We enjoyed a very nice lunch and then walked over to Cooter Pond Park.

Cooter Pond Park is within walking distance of the historic, downtown area of Inverness. The parks’ boardwalk, over the pond, allows you the opportunity to view its inhabitants from a high and safe place.

As we walked along the boardwalk we observed Cooter turtles, bass and alligators swimming among the tall reeds, Lily Pads and Water Hyacinth. We spotted a Little Blue Heron and several Kingfishers fishing for their lunch! Good thing we did not have to do the same!

Cooter Turtle
A Cooter Turtle (yellow phase)
What Lies Amoung the Lily Pads?

As we were walking to our car, after this fun walk, we heard and then spotted two Pileated Woodpeckers, tap, tap, tapping away. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a clear, sharp shot, because they were too high up in the trees.

It was a very fun day and our friends were wonderful hosts. I am sure we will return to this unique and beautiful area. Maybe next time we will go have a milkshake at the old Rexall Drug Store and chat with the bikers!

"Look Mom I Caught a Leaf"
“Look Mom I Caught a Leaf”
Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth in Cooter Pond

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home