Don’t be fooled by the pavement.

Black Racer

Ribbon Snake

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gator

egret

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The phone has been ringing off the hook since word got out that we moved from island number four to the big city of Naples.  ‘Finally, they live in a civilized community…with pavement!’  Why are people so interested in our move?  Why this means we still live within walking distance to the beach and of course, city life must mean sunny Florida minus the alligators and snakes, right?  ‘Pack your bags! We’re heading to Sarah and Charles’ place!’ 

At the risk of sounding under enthused about being the hostess with the most-ess, I must warn potential guests…We’re still in Florida, and a lot closer to the Everglades than Walt Disney World…

Now, if you’re inclined to spend a few minutes looking, you will likely see something ‘wild’ by Northern definition of the word at least, right outside our door.  We’ve got egrets, exotic birds, and there are fresh water ponds within walking distance of our front door.  FYI if you’re new to Florida, fresh water means alligators-not just turtles- are surely lurking below the glassy surface.  I only have one gator photo so far, but I’ve seen more.  And if you’re Facebook friends with me, you may have seen a status update expressing intense hostility towards my spouse, who repeatedly refuses to stop the car or turn around so I can capture my gator photos when I spot them.  Because people I see them.  The photo I have isn’t grand, but my spouse was driving again, and let’s just say, he wasn’t feeling Sarah’s gator shoot.  I had to beg him to stop the car for the lousy photo I got.  What can I say?  He doesn’t share my enthusiasm for amateur wildlife photography.  But the point is, we’ve still got gators.

What else?  Well according to local news, there are black bears in this community.  Now, I haven’t seen one yet, and honestly hope I don’t.  The footage on the news is good enough for me.  I’ve seen two videos of black bears resting on patios.  Patios.  Like the one on the other side of the room I am sitting in right now.  Uh-huh.  Welcome to the city.  As much as I’d love the photo opp, I don’t think my dog could handle the stress.  She’s afraid of my Vitaprep blender.  And my vacuum cleaner.  And the dark.  Seriously, she won’t go out there after sunset.  A black bear would send her over the edge into an unbearable state of trauma.  I’ve got enough issues in my life for the moment.  I don’t need the dog to have a nervous breakdown.

What else do we have?  Snakes.  The little snakes I snapped photos of in this blog came right from my own back yard.  I’ve tried to get more photos, but snakes are fast, and those two were the only ones willing to cooperate for me…   I jog a little each week.  By a little, I mean a little.  Two miles at a time.  Overachiever, I know.  On my jog, I always see dead snakes, flattened by truck tires.  Hey, city life, people, it’s rough on everyone.  My point is, the snakes, the lions, tigers, and bears, are still here, oh my!  So if you’re coming to visit us this season feeling excited about our move to the big city, I must advise…don’t be fooled by the manicured lawns and pavement.  Those wild Floridian critters are still here. 😉

Thirty minutes to spare…

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My husband took us to the Naples Pier a couple of weeks ago, and though we didn’t stay long, it was one of the best mornings I’ve had in a while.  I had no idea about the spectacular display of beautiful wildlife awaiting me.

When we fist started down the pier, the water appeared deceptively calm.  The kids were impressed with the fishermen lining the pier on either side, the fish cleaning area was especially grotesque but interesting for them, and of course, their GPS trackers kicked in and they quickly spotted the ice cream stand.

After a minute or two, we spotted a dolphin swimming around the pier, but wait…not just one dolphin…lots of dolphins.

The kids immediately forgot about the ice cream, (okay, for about thirty minutes).  But what a time we had…

The kids ran back and forth, pointing to each dolphin that emerged and then disappeared into the water, shouting with excitement, “Look, another one!”  Charles kept up with them, oh so kindly I might add, making sure no one went over the edge trying to get a closer look.  And what did I do for those thirty minutes?  Well, I attempted to get a photo of one of the magnificent dolphins swimming around the pier.

As you can tell, I never got a head shot, but this amateur will take what I got.  We would have stayed longer, but after about thirty minutes, the kids remembered the ice cream stand, and well, if you’re a parent, or uncle, or aunt, or someone who takes care of kids, you know about the magical effect ice cream has on them…

Now, I don’t work in the tourism industry for Southwest Florida, but I simply have to encourage you, if you are ever in the area, a trip to the Naples Pier is worth your time…even if you’ve only got thirty minutes to spare.

 

It looked pretty calm when we first arrived…

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Kindle book deal $0.99 for MARRYING MISSY

“While at first I couldn’t explain how Tate could possibly be friends with someone as vapid and narcissistic as Missy, the author makes a point over the course of the book that true friendship, however mismatched, isn’t explicable. It’s a chick power story that will keep you hooked…” ~Kelly I. Hitchcock, Author of The Redheaded Stepchild

Author Sarah Elle Emm

MARRYING MISSY is on Sale in Kindle books for only $0.99!  (Kindle apps available for I-pads, I-phones, PCs, etc.)

Praise for MARRYING MISSY…

“A cute romantic novel–a quick read. A delightful way to spend an afternoon if you just want to be entertained.” ~ Amazon custom

A Story That Captures the Essence of True Friendships…Sarah Elle Emm’s debut novel, “Marrying Missy” is a tribute to long-lasting friendships, especially those that have undergone numerous trials and yet remain steadfast. Her book reinforces the fact that those who find such relationships during their lifetime are quite fortunate, as shown in this wonderful story of main characters, Missy and Tate.  From the opening paragraphs, Ms. Emm skillfully drew a picture of a catty and self-centered bride-to-be, and a patient and caring matron-of-honor that I was left wondering how the two could be such close friends. My heart repeatedly went out to Tate…

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A pack of wild authors!?!

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Okay, so I know this isn’t my official website, and this is my blog featuring the many scenic delights of Southwest Florida, whether that be a picturesque ocean view, an up-close of a flower that makes me smile, or one of Florida’s “wild” animals.  But I just had to let you know I haven’t had time to chase down scenic shots lately!  What have I been doing?  Well, here are the basics:

I moved…again.  No, I’m not addicted to moving, but there is just something unsettling about a strange person sleeping on your doorstep.  Hello, Naples, I’ve finally got my bags unpacked, and so far, my family loves this place.  So if you could refrain from sending the welcoming committee to mess with us that would be delightful.  😉

I’m writing a book, and unlike some of my amazing author friends out there who can pump a book out a week, this requires some effort on my part and what’s the word I’m looking for?  Oh yes, time.

Plus, I’m a mother.  (I know, they let just anyone be a parent these days, right?) 😉  I’m trying to help my children navigate their way through the educational system, which, let’s just say, can be trying at times.  (We’ve only had one parent teacher conference requested so far this year- in the six weeks school has been in session.) 🙂

But as far as wild animals go I haven’t really…Oh wait, there is the one.  The wild dog that follows me around and sleeps on my feet or near them as I write.  Also,  some very lovely birds have stopped by to welcome me to my new neighborhood…

Still, I just haven’t had a lot of camera time lately, so as you can tell if you’ve made it this far, I’m sharing photos with you from my most recent book signing.  It was a delightful afternoon last Saturday in Ft. Myers at Barnes and Noble with a pack of respectable, interesting, and hard-working…authors.  I admit, no one was wild.  Unless of course you count the two little ones who are pictured with me above.  We’re still working on ‘appropriate’ book signing behavior…in between teacher parent conferences that is.  Have a great day!  I promise to share something “wild” with you very soon…

There’s something about a pelican…

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I love watching pelicans fly.  And maybe I’ve seen one too many animated films, but they strike me as goofy, and I can easily imagine them chatting away with a Disney princess or cartoon hero.

My seven-year-old sighs wistfully when she sees a pelican, or any bird, fly by.  “I wish I could fly, Mom.”

Her little sister echoes in agreement.  “Yeah, me too.  I wish I could fly, Mom.”

Needless to say, I usually join in, “Yeah, me too.  Wouldn’t that be cool?”

We’ve had our fair share of, “If I were a bird…” conversations.  Where would we fly, what kind of bird we would be, and though I tease them that I would obviously be a graceful, sophisticated bird, like a swan, ha, ha, ha, I think Audrey and Sabrina would disagree.

In fact, Audrey just came home from school a few days ago telling me how silly her music teacher is.  I said, “Really?”  And she said, “Yeah, he’s goofy– just like you, Mom!”

Goofy.

That’s my word for pelicans.

So much for being a swan.  Of course, there’s just something about a pelican.  And I really do like watching them fly.  So maybe, if I were a bird, I’d be a pelican…    😉

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