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Botanic Royality

A selection of photographs from our February 2022 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Royal Palm grove (Roystonea elata) in honor of Dianne and Jacob Brown and Mary and Stephen Keating. This grove of Roy Palms was planted in 2002 to commemorate one of the best loved features of the old McKee Jungle Garden. Royal Palms are native to Florida, Cuba and Honduras. They are among the tallest palms in the world.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, Amargasaurus, a “small” sauropod.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Mystery hole in the ground

A selection of photographs from our February 2022 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

The holes are land crab burrow entrances. The burrows are often several feet deep. These crabs are often blue in color and they eat leaves, fruits and berries. They are very shy, but if you stand still they may make an appearance..

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, Baellynasaura, “Big Eyes

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Fishy Business

A selection of photographs from our February 2022 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Beginning in 2018, McKee Botanical Garden had an opportunity to work with the US Geological survey to inform our visitors about what a healthy native fish population is. Countless human hours went into a fish population program within McKee’s 800,000-gallon waterway system, including the pond you are now looking at. Our efforts were successful and the established populations of non-native, invasive cichlids were eradicated. While we did lose some fish during the project, McKee’s waterways are now thriving with diverse Florida native fish.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, Neovenator, teeth like steak knives

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Modern Drystone, Dún Aonghasa

a season of wildflowers across a karsk landscape

Modern stonework borders the 1/2 mile path to the inner Dún Aonghasa walls, keeping tourists off delicate plants, maintaining the integrity of this ancient site. 

The view north, northwest over the walled path to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) looking across karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “Dún Aonghasa.”

Dying Man House

Ageless

Cong Village, County Mayo Ireland. A scene from “The Quiet Man” has a man, on hearing a fist fight underway, jump from his death bed to run from this house on Riverview Street. This is the view heading east with the Cong River behind.

Dying Man House on Riverview Street is a popular photograph on my Facebook Photography page, to this day visitors leave comments with occasionally inside information about “The Quiet Man.”  Here are some examples:

Edward James Soul The dying man in the film was actually, John Ford’s (the director) brother in real life. And the actor who played the young priest was, in real life, Maureen O’ Hara’s brother. The movie is definitely a classic.

Diane Benson Morrow And 2 other brothers were in the film. The older priest and the man who met John Wayne at the railway station at the beginning of the movie were brothers.

Edward James Soul,you are in the right church but the wrong pew. The older priest was Ward Bond. The man who met John Wayne was Barry Fitzgerald. In real life he was the brother to Arthur Shields, the actor who played the Protestant Minister, ” Rev. Playfare”.  If you look at the two, you can see the family resemblance.

Diane Benson Morrow yes. I meant Arthur Shields

Edward James Soul, also remember the scene at the lnishfree race, where there were children sitting on a railing next to Maureen O’Hara? They were John Waynes children.

Kerry Keegan Mulhern  what was the name of Barry Fitzgerald’s horse?

Pauline Ryan Grew up and around the village of Cong lovely wee place its swarming with visitors most of the time but it’s nice and quiet for a few months of winter. It’s getting very commercialized but thank God there is very little room for it to grow.

Eileen Fitzgerald Uber So wonderful to maintain the precious buildings of the past.

John Feeley The guided tour of Cong includes the tourists playing a scene from the movie. I got to play the part of Barry Fitzgerald. I had one line…”Where’s me pint?” Type-casting?

Jackie Smith Just watched that movie this weekend.

Greg Thompson Will never forget our singing tour guide and the most glorious artisan shop ever there in Cong…….

Ethel Beth Gallagher That was John Ford’s brother. He’s the man who referred to Seaneen as “tall man” in the Pub and got the coat thrown over his head.

Kolokea Kakiki I didn’t realize that film was made in 1950! I watched it in the 70’s and loved it!

Diane Eiden Been there, it was great to see after watching the movie all my life. I believe Maureen O’ Hara grew up close to Cong, and spent her final years there.

Marnie Rosé This is on my bucket list of places I want to go and I only live up north .. my favorite movie 🎥 ❤️

Robin Axler Kupfer We really enjoyed our visit to Cong. Got some great poses of my husband and me on the Stone Bridge.
Enjoyed seeing where they filmed the race on the beach….charming town.

MichaelStephenWills Photography If you walk by the Abbey over the River Cong and forest path, you will recognize another shot from the film where Mary Kate and Sean walked along the river. 2

Ann McNamara Visited Cong a few MONTHS ago.Love taking photographs- so between Cong,the grounds of Ashford Castle,Ashford Lodge and Ballinahinch castle I was in 7th heaven.Lots of wonderful photos to use for my calligraphy + card making class in the Library over Halloween- if I can arrange it!!!!

Julie Dance I bet it is, my family are from co Clare, a little place called Kilkee, and I visit Killarney a lot got friends there.

Click me to view more photography from Ireland .

Click me to read another Ireland story “The Cloigtheach of Glendalough.”

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Grand Views

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve on an early May morning

Click me for the first post of this series, “Burgeoning Forest .”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Two Snags

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve on an early May morning

I found these snags surrounded and, at a distance, hidden by the burgeoning Brock-Harvey forest preserve here in the Finger Lakes.

As with burgeon (see yesterday’s blog post), the word “snag” has a long history from a forested northern region of the planet, though it hales from Scandinavian languages rather than Old English and Old German. As a noun “snag” is something with a point and a body long enough to cause inconvenience, the point catching on anything handy. As a verb “snag” is to become inconvenienced by a projecting body.

In forestry, a snag is any trunk of a dead tree. Commonly, a tree top breaks off leaving a jagged point which possibly can become an inconvenience. For birds, an upright dead tree is a blessing, perfect for homemaking.

Fallen, the snag is still a snag and also a home first for fungus. When the work of the fungus is done, the resulting mound is perfect for growing new trees.

Click me for the next post from this forest preserve, “Grand Views.”

References
snag definitions are from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Burgeoning Forest

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve on an early May morning

There is a word to describe the first growth of spring, rare in a way as having grown within the English/French languages without roots from either Greek or Latin, wholly suitable to a forest people. The first growth of spring so impressive it has words of its own: burgeon.

Both as a noun, burgeon the bud itself, and a verb; to burgeon, as in to burst forth. Burgeoning: the process of the act itself.

Click me for another post from this forest preserve.

References
burgeon/burgeoning definitions from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Feeding Frenzy

Nine videos taken the same morning, February 5, 2022

A multi-day hatch of small fry around the time of a new moon triggered this Black Skimmers (scientific name: Rynchops niger) feeding behavior surf off Cocoa Beach, Brevard County on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Here and There

Around Cocoa Beach

Sights and Sounds

Black Skimmers

Scan of Lori Wilson Park beach

Hunter

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved