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

Posts tagged ‘South Florida’



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

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They say that the New Year is a time for reflection.  So, I’ll be posting some of my favorite reflections over the next little bit of time.  Always fascinated by the mirror image, I wonder if there is an alternate reality on the other side.

The lone “survivor” of the failed Yamato Colony experiment of the early 1900s, George Morikami continued to grow and sell fruits and vegetables into his old age.  In the 1970s, he donated his farmlands to Palm Beach County with the intent of creating a cultural link between his two homelands, the USA and Japan.  Thus, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens was created.  The complex of 6 interconnected gardens is called “Roji-en” or “Garden of the Drops of Dew” and is located in Delray Beach, Florida.

Copyright 2013                          Mary Jane E Clark



Many people feel that South Florida has no seasons but I disagree.  Here, at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, you can clearly see that the leaves have turned and autumn has arrived.  It’s all about slowing down and looking around you.  Jupiter, Florida does have gorgeous beaches, palm trees, lush landscaping, great restaurants and proximity to world-class shopping.  The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary provides a much more laid-back experience with loads of native animals (mostly rescued), serene landscapes, helpful and knowledgeable staff and is a fun and free treat, especially for children.

Copyright 2011                 Mary Jane E Clark



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



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

Irish Paradise/Floridian Paradise

Owenroe or Moynalty River in Moynalty, County ...

Image via Wikipedia

Kingsfort Gate

Mr Billy Bull

Miss Puss

Miss Puss


View from Kingsfort


Up the long and winding lane

I am very blessed to be able to live in Paradise … fact, I split my time between Paradise of either side of the Atlantic.  And I live very different lives in County Meath, Ireland and South Florida.  While there are many similarities, I want to share some of the differences.

In Ireland I live in a 3 bedroom bright, sun-filled house on top of a hill,  almost half a mile up a dirt lane in the middle of 400 acres of grazing land.  The stone wall that surrounds much of the property is guarded by a gate whose stone pillars proudly state KINGSFORT.  In Jupiter, Florida, I live in a 2 bedroom and loft  townhouse with windows that don’t seem to get much sunlight at any time of the day or year.  It’s in a gated community on a golf course and a 5 minute walk to the beach.  A white metal spiked fence surrounds much of the complex and a turquoise sign proclaims THE ESTUARY.  The electronic gate needs a code or remote to open it.

My neighbors in Kingsfort are  few.  At the bottom of the hill in each direction is a single home, owned by siblings.  I can’t see either of them from my windows.  It’s very quiet, restful and, well, bucolic.  Only an occasional farm vehicle rumbles by.  Most of the noise is made by the bull in the field calling his “girls”.  Sometimes a calico barn cat (her name is Miss Puss) will dance on the window sill and sing for her supper.

There are 154 units in The Estuary so I have neighbors.  And their cars.  The landscapers are kept constantly busy on the grounds, including the golf course, and they use lots of power tools to cut, trim and groom.  My neighbors on one side , up and down,  both have little white dogs.  One barks when a stranger (me) walks by the door and the other barks at almost everything.  Since I returned almost 2 weeks ago, the neighbor in back of me has had on-going renovations, conducted primarily in his open garage, requiring much drilling, hammering, sawing, etc.  Added to this cacophony, today was the day the driveways were power-washed.  More noise…………..not quiet, restful or bucolic!

Everyone knows that driving is different in much of the world.  In Ireland I drive on the left, the steering wheel is on the right , you look RIGHT then LEFT.  I drive a manual transmission in both countries.  In Ireland I shift with my left hand, in the US with my right.  Thankfully, the pedals are always in the same place!

In the US on-street parking is plentiful and usually free.  In Ireland, in most towns, the streets are very narrow, parking is scarce and people park on either side of the street regardless of which direction the car is facing.  Also, you must find a parking ticket machine, feed it Euro coins and purchase a ticket to be displayed on the dash.  Failure to do so entails either a fine of at least 80 Euros (just over $110) or a clamping of your vehicle, which can take hours to get removed as well as costing a minimum of 160 Euros.  Unfortunately, I’ve experienced each situation…but only once.

In Florida, I go to a very elegant, up-scale, state-of-the-art salon where my car is valet parked.  There are more than 30 stations as well as a separate barbershop, manicure room, pedicure area with massaging chairs, a row of shampoo sinks, a make-up and skin care facility, 5 changing rooms, etc, etc, etc.  It’s where the “beautiful people” go.   As you’re being groomed, you can sip your choice of wine, coffee, tea or water.  If you’re hungry they will send someone to the deli to bring back your lunch.  The floor to ceiling windows gaze out at acres of million dollar yachts and sailing vessels.

In Moynalty, I go to Mandy’s house, even farther out in the williwags than mine.  I park in her large forecourt next to her husband’s pick-up and her people-carrier.  I then let myself into her efficient 2 chair, 1 sink salon addition at the back of the house.  Rarely is there another customer  at the same time but her 15 year old son and 2 1/2 year old daughter are always in and out.  No credit cards, only cash (about a third of the cost in Florida).  And I’m always offered a beverage, sadly never wine!  The view out the large windows is of her rose garden and a rising hillside covered with sheep.

There are many other differences and similarities, of course.  I’ll tell you about those later.

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