Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Can A Lizard Get Inside The Car When The Door Is Shut?

Photo: Daphne D. Lewis

These lizards scamper all over every time I take my little dog out into the yard here in Florida. Today this young guy had been resting on my back passenger tire for several hours, and I had checked on him each time we came outside. As Tod, my miniature Pomeranian, and I walked this time beside the car, the lizard decided to jump onto the door panel.

The lizard tired quickly of being the main focus of my photo opportunity and scurried down to crawl into the crack at the bottom of door. All I could think about was whether or not he could now get inside my car. Waiting and waiting and hoping he's not inside my car, I finally found him again.

He decided to peek out, I'm guessing to see if the coast was clear from the camera. I still am not sure whether there's a way that he could have gotten to the inside of the car, but I am so happy that he did not. 

At least the lizard will not be crawling around while I am driving, unlike the snake who several years ago crawled out of the pot which held a tree I was transporting home from a local nursery. When I lifted the door on the back of the vehicle, he fell to the driveway right beside me. Thankfully, none of the neighbors were outside to hear my startled reaction!

Have you ever experienced unwanted wildlife inside a vehicle with you? 

Who accompanied you on your drive?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Amazing Glass Sculpture by Jack Storms


These amazing glass sculptures by Jack Storms each take anywhere from eight to eighteen weeks to create. The glass is cut, ground, polished and laminated together hundreds of times until he accomplishes the desired effect.

Owain Cube

A college job working for a glass artist who was developing a technique of combining lead crystal and dichroic glass using a cold-glass process inspired Jack. He then developed more designs to test and created his own very intricate and unique style.

Jack Storms explains the creative process for these amazing pieces of glass art.


Bella Flutes Classico

Which one of these pieces of glass art is your favorite?



Sunday, July 22, 2018

And the Winner is…. Starry Night!

Photo credit: John Roaux/AP

After battling with the city of Mount Dora for more than a year and being fined more than $10,000 for being in violation of the local sign ordinance, the ordeal is now over and this home will continue to display the “Starry Night” theme created by Richard Barrenechea.

Nancy Nemhauser and Lubmomir Jastrzebski originally commissioned a local artist to turn the masonry wall in front of their home into a work of art which was enjoyed by their autistic son. They were then told by city officials that the masonry wall had to match the house, so the "Starry Night" theme was expanded.

Read their story here:

♫ But I could have told you Vincent
This world was never meant for
One as beautiful as you. ♫

(From “Vincent” as written by Don Mclean, Enrico Nascimbeni and Roberto Vecchioni)

If I could own only one masterpiece, “Starry Night” would be my choice.

What would your choice be?

See more accounts and photos of the “Starry Night” house at the following links:


And a “thank you” to my daughter for sharing the NPR news story with me.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Marcelo De Castro Engineer/Nature and Travel Photographer

While seeing the world while traveling for his job, Marcelo De Castro began his creative relationship with photography. Since 2010, his love for nature and the outdoors has directed his focus to landscape photography.

Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps
Photo:  Marcelo De Castro

The Neuschwanstein Castle has always been my favorite castle and my hope is to see it in the future. Hours have been spent placing the pieces of the 1,000 piece puzzle to create the complete image. This winter photo by Marcelo is one that truly captures the mystery and beauty of this amazing castle.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunset
Photo:  Marcelo De Castro

For the sake of photography, Marcelo now visits places he normally would not go, at times he normally would not be traveling, and braves weather which previously would have kept him inside. Photography has broadened the scope of his travel in the hope of discovering new places to find the perfect scene.

Giza Plateau, Egypt
Photo:  Marcelo De Castro

Marcelo grew up in Brasil and lived a large portion of his life in the United States where he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in electrical engineering.

Visit Marcelo's Website to see his featured photos in National Geographic Traveller, National Geographic Rarely Seen, Destinations of a Lifetime, Fotografe Melhor (Brasil), and Photo Digital (Germany).

Above Guangxi Mountains
Southern China six-image stitched panorama

Photo:  Marcelo De Castro

Marcelo behind the scenes
in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Voluntary Recalls from Kashi, Meadow Gold, and Quaker Oats

May 31, 2016

Kashi Company Recalls One Variety of Granola Bars 
and One Variety of Naked Granola

Kashi Company voluntarily recalls Kashi® Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars and Bear Naked® Soft Baked Granola, Cinnamon + Sunflower Butter in the continental United states due to containing ingredients made with sunflower seeds distributed by SunOpta which have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

This can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more photos, codes, and dates to identify the recalled products.

June 1, 2016

Meadow Gold Dairy Recalls Whipping Cream 

and Half and Half

Photo:  Food Safety News
The Meadow Gold Diary plant in Boise voluntarily recalls Meadow Gold brand Old Style Whipping Cream and Meadow Gold DairyPure brand Whipping Cream and Half and Half because of insufficient pasteurization.  Pathogens which may have survived which are present in the raw milk include Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and/or E. coli. These could cause serious or life threatening issues. Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more photos, codes, and dates to identify the recalled products.

June 2, 2016

Quaker Oats Recalls Quinoa Granola Bars

The Quaker Oats Company does a second voluntary recall of ALL Quaker® Quinoa Granola Bars due to further sunflower kernel contamination discovered by ingredient supplier SunOpta. Quaker issued a recall on May 16, 2016, on a small quantity of Quinoa Bars which were potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Visit the U.S. Food andDrug Administration for more photos, codes, and dates to identify the recalled products.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Faces of South African Artist, Gerhard van Vuuren

Faces provide identity, display emotion, and house the sources for the portions of our being which provide for two of the human senses, both seeing and taste.

Gerhard van Vuuren

Gerhard van Vuuren

Gerhard van Vuuren began drawing and painting in elementary school allowing him to win prizes for his art. Drawing biology sketches for fellow students in high school gave him the opportunity to begin making money for his incredible talent.

Being color blind has worked as an asset when painting by removing the prescribed limits of color which others might see. Gerhard’s unique presentation brings life to the portraits he creates somewhat in the abstract, but at the same time being very realistic.

Gerhard van Vuuren

The following two paintings from his Proverbs and Idioms series invite the viewer to explore the meaning of the portrait.

Gerhard van Vuuren
Neck in Neck
Gerhard van Vuuren

Using mostly acrylic, Gerhard has developed various methods of his own for creating the interesting effects we see in his portraits. Focusing primarily in female portraits, his male portraits, murals, drawings, and furniture painting also reflect a style which is completely his own.

Contemporary Seascape
Gerhard van Vuuren

Which colors would define your portrait?

Gerhard van Vuuren
Pretoria, South Africa


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Haberdasher Extraordinaire, Maor Zabar!

In today’s world, the term haberdasher is most generally used to describe a clothing outfitter for men. Haberdasher is derived from the Middle English word hapertas, which was an Anglo-French word for a type of cloth, as is the now obsolete noun haberdash, which once meant petty merchandise or small wares such as sewing needles and thimbles. However, throughout history, the term haberdasher has referred to someone who deals in hats or caps. With that being said, I would now like to introduce Maor Zabar, Haberdasher Extraordinaire!

Pitcher Plant Fascinator
inspired by the 
deadly Sarracenia pitcher plant
Photo:  good jude

As the grandson of a tailor, Maor Zabar began playing with fabric and learned how to sew at an early age. His studies in fashion and costume design led him to the creation of many complex costumes invoking a unique dreamlike appeal.

Photo:  good jude

Having always loved hats, Maor’s basic learning from a milliner impelled him to begin experimentation to discover new ways to mold and manipulate fabrics. With the addition of beads, fur, plastic, paint, and a variety of themed items, this stunning line of hats became filled with true works of art.

Baby Chicks in the Meadow Fascinator
Photo:  good jude

After seeing Maor’s costumes featured in a play, Tal Markovitch, a fashion designer, contacted him with the hope that the two of them might begin working together. Before long, a business partnership was formed and the hat business began.

Crustacean and Wine Hat
Photo:  good jude

These fascinating fashions originate from varied themes, including carnivorous plants, baby, fruits, infestation, food, folk tale, and others. Visit the Maor Zabar Hats Website or their shop on Etsy to see the end result of the artistry involved in this fascinating wearable art.

with lemon and lettuce
Photo:  good jude

Which of these surprising hats would be your first choice? 
Mine would probably be either the Pitcher Plant or Venus Fly Trap from the Carnivorous line
 or the Shrimp and Caviar Fascinator from the Food line.

Maor Zabar
Tal Markovitch