My somewhat quirky views as I gaze at the world around me!

Archive for the ‘Jupiter’ Category



I love the fact that, although the sun sets in the west,  you very often get reflected sunset hues in the eastern sky.   This is especially noticeable  at the beach, in this case the beach at Jupiter Inlet, Florida, which is facing east across the Atlantic Ocean   Another thing I love about this photo is that if I move my laptop screen forward/backward I get totally different images.

Copyright 2009                 Mary Jane E Clark




I’m continuing with a series of “reflections” for the first part of this year mainly because I’m very fond of them and I also love the play on  words!

This was taken at The Estuary, a community in Jupiter, Florida.  When I’m in Florida, I love to go to the beach and watch the rising of the full moon each month.   I was doubly blessed on this November evening as the setting sun gave enough light to capture this image.  In case you care, I believe this is the 17th hole at the Jupiter Dunes Golf Club, a public 18 hole, par 3, “executive” course .

Remember, you can always click on the photo to enlarge or on highlighted words for more information.  For MONDAY’S IRISH MOMENT,  go to and click on Blog.

Copyright 2014                            Mary Jane E Clark

Enhanced by Zemanta



As the lazy, hazy days of summer come to an end on this Labor Day, this snoozer doesn’t seem too concerned!  Taken at Busch Wildlife Center in Jupiter, Florida.  The Center is just a delight, especially for children, with lots of native wildlife including panthers, raccoons, eagles and, of course turtles.  Most of the birds, reptiles and animals were found wounded or orphaned and have been nursed back to health.  Admission is free and donations are gratefully accepted.  The gift shop is a wonderful source for souvenirs, stocking stuffers, and token gifts.

Copyright 2013                        Mary Jane E Clark




As well as sunsets, I have a real “thing” for the moon and also reflected images.   So this photo satisfies all three as it was taken just after sunset, with the rising full moon and the trees and golf course nicely reflected.  Taken November 2011, The Estuary at Jupiter Dunes, Jupiter, Florida.

Copyright 2012     Mary Jane E Clark



Twice each year, I make a transition between 2 earthly Paradises, Moynalty,  Ireland and Jupiter,  Florida.  My most recent repositioning was last week, and, as always, the change was both bittersweet and welcome.   I love my life in rural Ireland with the peacefulness, the glorious beauty, the simple pleasures of homemaking,  my partner as my primary contact with humanity,  a turf and wood blaze nightly and a semi-stray kitty who sings and dances on the windowsills for her supper.

And, in Florida, I welcome the warm weather, the proximity to the ocean, the fellowship of my JupiterFIRSTChurch family, a lively social life and, of course, the security of my partner’s continued presence and support.

This is a rainbow that I saw on my last weekend in Ireland.  We were on our way to Bailieborough, County Cavan and as we drove around a curve, it magically appeared out of a fast-moving gray cloud.  I love rainbows and they always remind me of God’s covenant with us, ( Genesis 9:13 ) and also remind me that, one day, my transition will be to another, Heavenly, Paradise.

Copyright 2012         Mary Jane E Clark


This is a “just because” post!  I entered the local  newspaper’s (Palm Beach Post) Nature photo contest and since the photos are all easily accessible at this point, I thought I’d share them with you, even though it’s only Thursday.  These were all taken in South Florida at a variety of locations and over several years.  Writing about my world travels and living in Ireland, I tend to forget that many people haven’t visited my paradise in the United States yet.  Palm Beach County, and Jupiter in particular, is truly a lovely place…fabulous climate, wonderful people, great cultural, dining and shopping opportunities make it truly one of the best places I can imagine living.  Before I moved here in 1999 I thought it was “God’s waiting room”.  How wrong I was!  I’ve had such unbelievably good experiences and made such amazing friends that I can’t give it up……..even for Ireland.  I’ve got to have my “fix” every 6 months or so.

So, I hope you enjoy these photos of South Florida.  


It started innocently enough.  This morning I casually mentioned that Thursday is Ground Hog Day.  My Irish Mister asked “What’s that?”  Now, have you ever been able to explain Ground Hog Day and not sound like a complete idiot?  No?  Well, listening to myself I realized I couldn’t manage it either!  So we began discussing other holidays in both countries.

We’ll work our way through the year and share the similarities and differences.  New Year’s Eve in Ireland is very like New Year’s Eve here in the US…..lots of house parties, parties in pubs, parties and dances at hotels with many people booking hotel rooms to avoid “drink driving” as the penalties are often more severe there.  And, yes, they also sing Auld Lang Syne at midnight…at least the chorus, just like here!   (Does ANYBODY really know all the words?)  New Year’s Day the partying continues, in fact, sometimes they never even stop drinking til late in the evening on the first.

No Martin Luther King Day in Ireland in January.  The “silly season” starts about 10 days before Christmas and continues through New Year’s and virtually nothing gets done.  So January is the time to get back to work.

Valentine’s Day is the same everywhere.  No President’s Day in Ireland.  Here, it’s the third Monday in February, another 3 day weekend.  (I remember getting both Lincoln’s Birthday on the 12th and Washington’s on the 22nd off from school.  We’re getting cheated by only having one birthday party!)

March brings my favorite holiday…..St Patrick’s Day, of course, on the 17th.  We’re pretty content here to make a day and night of drinking, wearing green and trying to speak with a fake brogue wishing everyone “The luck of the Irish be wit ye”.  Now, of course, the Irish drink all the time (except for the Pioneers, but that’s another story for another time), wear green, on average, about as often as anyone anywhere and speak with authentic brogues and accents that differ from one part of the country to another.  However, they party for a full week complete with parades, Masses and even more live music than usual.  Truly the luck of the Irish! Surprisingly, Mother’s Day also is celebrated in March with the obligatory flowers, candy and cards.

Easter is a solemn religious event in both countries and  the Easter Bunny makes his annual appearance right on time in both places, as well.  Speaking of trying to explain a holiday, where exactly does the rabbit fit into the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection???

Also in April is the commemoration of the anniversary of the Easter Uprising on April 18, 1916.  It was a failed revolution but was the first Proclamation of Independence from Britain.  The execution of the martyrs of the uprising so infuriated the general population that they began to rally to the side of the rebels, leading, in 1922, to independence.  The third Monday in April is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.  Why does this matter?  Because if Tax Day, April 15, falls on a Sunday, then you have until the 16th to file your income tax return; however, this year the 16th is Monday, the IRS office in Massachusetts is closed and so you have until the 17th and it would be discriminatory to only allow residents of New England the extra day, so everyone gets until April 17 to file this year.  Oh, and I just found out it’s also Emancipation Day in Washington, DC, so the same deal holds.  (Ground Hog and Easter Bunny aren’t seeming quite so ludicrous, huh?)

May 1st is May Day or Labour Day in Ireland.  Memorial Day in the US falls on the last Monday of the month (remember when it used to be May 30 every year?).  Also beginning in May, communities and parishes in Ireland begin observing “Cemetery Sundays” and these continue until the fall.  On the specified Sunday, friends and relatives attend special Masses and visit the graves of those who have passed away,  to show respect and often leave flowers and plants.  These Sundays are staggered throughout the summer so as not to cause traffic congestion and to allow people to visit the different cemeteries where they might have loved ones.

The first weekend in June in Ireland is the June Bank Holiday.  This is essentially a Monday-off 3 day weekend, like a federal holiday here.  And boy do the Irish love it and take advantage of the finally lovely weather!  Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June in both countries.

July 4th is, of course, our Independence Day complete with parades, picnics and fireworks.  The poor Irish don’t even get a Bank Holiday in July, it’s Britain’s turn.  But they do enjoy an upturn in the economy due to the influx of tourists hoping to enjoy the fine Irish summer weather.  Right, that can be a real crap-shoot.  Last  summer was the coldest on record in Ireland and, I for one, lived mainly in jeans, sweaters and the occasional jacket.  It was very unusual and I’m looking forward to better this summer.

August begins with another 3-day Bank Holiday weekend.  The days are still really long, with sunset around 10 p.m. and the Irish relish the extra hours of daylight to enjoy themselves.  The only US holiday I can think of is Bennington Battle Day on August 16, but I don’t think that’s even celebrated anymore.

Our Labour Day, the first Monday in September, is the unofficial end of summer and the nights start closing in on both sides of the Atlantic.  Ironically, after the children in Ireland return to school, the weather is often the most gorgeous and warmest of the summer….truly delightful!

October is a special month for me, crammed with the birthdays of my daughter, 2 sisters, stepmother, 2 best friends, etc.  The rest of you, in Ireland or the US probably rank Halloween as one of your favorite holidays, as well it should be.  When else can you eat all that leftover candy (maybe you bought it on sale on November 1????) and not feel guilty?  Of course, Columbus Day gives us another 3 day weekend. Whether you believe he deserves the honor or not, I’ve never heard of anybody refusing to take the day off.

November 11 is celebrated in many countries by many names.  In the US, it’s Veteran’s Day, in Ireland, it’s Poppy Day.  The day, of course, commemorates the signing of  the Armistice which ended the War to End All Wars in 1918.  The red poppy is worn in remembrance of  all the lives sacrificed in all wars.  At the end  of November we in America are thrilled to celebrate a National Day of Thanksgiving, which was first established by President George Washington.  The date was changed by several presidents, including Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, but on 12/26/41, Congress made it officially the 4th Thursday of November.  For us, it means football, turkey, pumpkin and mince pies.  And, hopefully, everyone does remember to give thanks for all of our abundance.  It is also the start of our AMERICAN silly season, which lasts right through until January 1. or 2.  Or 3.

December…….. Christmas!  A time of joy throughout the Christian and Orthodox world.  A time of partying, shopping, eating, baking, enjoying friends and family.  My tradition for 12/24, here in Florida,  is to have an early dinner, attend a candlelight service at Jupiter First Church, go home to listen to Christmas music (I ONLY  listen to it Christmas Eve) and watch my DVD of a burning fireplace on the big screen.  Mister wanted to stop and have a few drinks after the Candlelight Service.  I had no problem with that, but as you know, it is virtually impossible to find an open bar on Christmas Eve. (Check out “Auld Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg)  He was absolutely shocked as that is the busiest night of the year for Irish pubs!  Search we did, to no avail, so we returned home and maintained the tradition, enjoying some adult beverages.  Christmas Day in Ireland, one sits down to a huge feast at home.  Going out is not an option, as all the restaurants and pubs are closed.   For many years, I did the huge feast thing, too.  Now that it is  just the two of us, I find the very elegant and extensive buffet at a local resort to be perfectly satisfactory.  The day after Christmas is simply December 26 here, maybe an extra day off.  In Ireland, it’s St Stephen’s Day, a day of visiting, feasting, perhaps spending time in the local and hearing  Wren Boys singing and performing.  And the pubs do a grand bit of business then.  After all, it’s still the silly season.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: