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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

I'm back. I'm cold.

So, here I am, back from my trip home to the States.  The warm states.  The lovely, beachy, salty, sunny, warm and balmy state of Florida, specifically.


I am freezing.


If ever there was any doubt (there wasn't) that I'm a Florida girl, my return to winter Melbourne would have put paid on that theory.  It wasn't even quantifiably cold on our arrival Saturday, but I was so cold my teeth rattled.  Probably just a perk of jet lag, but still, it's hard to be happy about going from shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops one day to 4 layers of clothing and 2 quilts the next.


Anyway ... enough whinging; I missed my cats and all the rest of the Hawthorn zoo I call home, and I missed all y'all here.  And boy oh boy did I miss a lot of Booklikes-opoly rolls. Time to play catch-up; I won't call what's coming a wave, strictly speaking, because my catch up posts will likely be too spread out.  I've accepted the fact that my life is now one long string of interruptions, what with work actually resembling work, and my husband beating me home most days.  But I'll get them out here, eventually.


Holiday wrap up, the TL;DR version:  My mother had a great birthday.  I had a blast catching up with friends.  I got a mild suntan (not enough imo).  I saw fireworks.  I bribed my sister into making me not one, but TWO quilts.  I bought books.  A lot of books.  FedEx is due today with my box of books, so that post will probably be tonight.  Unless FedEx tries to deliver my box after MT leaves work (likely), and then it will be tomorrow.  


Now for the pictorial part of this post, feel free to skip.


My beach:


My vantage point for the fireworks:


My mom's new neighbor:


Also in the neighborhood, a Green Heron


and an Armadillo hanging out in the backyard:


One morning I went to a local birding hotspot, the Venice Audubon Society's Rookery.  It was teeming with birds (and another 'gator).  The short list of highlights:


An anhinga:


A least bittern:


Another anhinga, this time with fungus!  (Plus, I liked that I captured the rain drops, which is too small to see here.)


An egret - with superhero aspirations:


And oddly enough, this little guy is my coup on this trip - MerlinID declares him/her to be a northern waterthrush and 'rare'.   There were at least 4 of them at the Rookery.


We wrapped up our trip with a 12 hour layover in San Francisco - my first time there (not counting the airport).  There are really only two 'important' photos from that day:


and of course, for those that stuck around this long - the book tie in:

Why yes, I bought books.  Of course.  Only two though.  Hardcovers.