Monday, March 11, 2013

Challenge - Final Day, #28: "Nature"

A few days ago when I wrote about the great lunch we had in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I spent some time going through the photos I had taken on that vacation. As I mentioned in the "lunch" post, I got sick shortly after we returned and didn't write much of anything for several months, much less about our trip. Since today's topic is "Nature," I'm going to cheat a little on the writing challenge and let the photos speak for me. I've gone through and selected a few of my favorites which show some of the natural beauties of the Caribbean Islands. 

This first batch was taken at a butterfly farm on the island of St. Maarten. The first photo is an Atlas Moth, as large as the exhibit worker's hand. Notice how the markings on the top curve of the wings look like a snake head or something else menacing -- predator defense.

This blue morpho stayed on a visitor's shirt for about ten minutes, while all of us snapped away.

The next few shots were taken at the El Yonque Rainforest in Puerto Rico. The first one, showing a giant fern frond starting to unfold is my favorite. These ferns are everywhere in the rainforest and grow very tall, way over my head. Don't miss the large snail crawling on the ginger bloom in the second photo.

These are just some of beautiful blooms you see on every island. 

Virgin Gorda was my favorite spot. We swam a while in the crystal aqua water and then hiked through the "caves" on the beach, which are giant rocks that have fallen or shifted through the years, creating an exotic passageway. At the top of the caves is a restaurant with a spectacular view and the largest plumeria plant I have ever seen; it's like a tree.

The natural beauty of the Caribbean is the main reason we continue to make trips there. Scott, in particular, loves tropical flowers like orchids and plumeria and grows them here, even though we have to start over when they don't make it through a freeze. Every time we come home, we both go on a search for homes or real estate for sale on a particular island we loved and talk about moving there. Can you imagine being surrounded by all this beauty all the time?

Today is the official end of my self-imposed writing challenge and I've learned some things about my nature over the past few weeks as well. My brain is "writing" all the time, coming up with great sentences or story ideas when I least expect it. Sometimes I can keep them in my head until I get to the computer, other times I have to make notes before I forget. I think that doing a post every day has intensified this process, that the creative part of my brain is tuned-in and turned-on. It will be up to me to keep all those neurons firing. I'm resolved to blog more frequently and to get back to serious work on my novel. Isn't that why this blog started in the first place? It was supposed to chronicle what I went through while writing the book, but somehow the blog became a substitute for the book, with all my writing energy directed there. I've got to get that process in balance now, working on both and letting the two projects feed each other. That's my new challenge.

Thanks for stopping by today. I probably won't be here tomorrow, but I'll be back soon.  

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