Nature’s music.

“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” ~Anaïs Nin~

mermaidsimunns

UnderSea by Shijun Munns

This is not a random mermaid picture. Many of you may remember it from my bead shop where it graced the main wall for close to a decade. This beautiful canvas print by Shijun Munns is available for purchase. Please contact info@thesanibelbeadshop.com for more details. In-store pick up only.

UnderSeaShop

And now, your Sanibel/Captiva zen:

There’s nothing more peaceful than being out at sea and listening to nature’s music.

You will not be forgotten.

I love posting fun topics here every week, but today I was uninspired. The loss of life in the recent Orlando massacre is still weighing too heavily upon me. I’ve read that we Americans have become desensitized to violence. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s painful every time.

Please join me in solidarity with the victims and their families.

Below, some simple, but tranquil scenes to remind us of the beauty of life. Let’s never give up on the power peace and harmony. Love and human decency will always prevail.

~Lily Rose~

Healthy oceans, healthy planet.

Whenever I hear about the problem of global marine debris, the image that comes to mind is that of a turtle being choked by a plastic 6-pack ring. The thought is heartbreaking and infuriating. Six-pack rings were just one of the many types of garbage my family and I found during the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup event last year on Sanibel. The event was coordinated locally by one of my favorite island organizations, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). We are looking forward to volunteering again in the Fall. Today is World Oceans Day, a United Nations-recognized event, which is another great way to bring attention to the growing epidemic of pollution in our waters. Did you know that plastic disintegrates in water over time into microbeads which are now being found in plankton? I love beads for jewelry, but definitely not these kind of beads!

I usually include a picture of a charm or jewelry for sale with my post, but today I only have a heartfelt message: Every bit of help adds up. Please do your part, big or small, to keep our oceans clean! Partaking in beach cleanup events, eliminating the use of plastic bags and opting for reusable water bottles, are just some of the things you can do. This year’s theme for World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. Below your San/Cap zen moment, you’ll find several links I hope you’ll visit with more information about marine conservancy at the local level by SCCF, and globally by worldoceansday.org and the UN.

And now, your Sanibel/Captiva zen:

Sanibel and Captiva’s beaches are among the cleanest beaches I have ever seen. Despite that, we found a lot of garbage including an old fishing net. When we picked it up to take it to SCCF for proper disposal, we encountered something we’d never seen before on Sanibel!

Contemplating life’s mysteries.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a nature lover. Not exactly a mountain-climbin’, paraglidin’, nature-bar-eatin’ type of gal … but rather more like a nature geek who simply likes to observe. I grew up in an urban environment, so my nature fix came in the form of shows like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins. Much later, my favorites were Cosmos and Nature on PBS. Now I can’t go a day without checking out the lastest NatGeo photos on Instagram or a week without listening to podcasts of Star Talk radio. But you’d think that with all my nature-lovin’ talk I’d have a green thumb  … I sadly don’t :(  … which explains why just a few weeks ago I erroneously predicted and posted that my key limes would be ripe by this time … well they’re not. :((    So, ever since, I’ve been walking past my key lime tree twice a day when I walk my dogs to see if my key limes are ripening. By day, you see the usual bees and butterflies. But at night, it’s a whole “nother” world and it’s amazing what you’ll see when you pierce the darkness with a flashlight. There’s interesting spiders, busy ants and even curlicue-tailed anoles nestled in the leaves in deep slumber. Occasionally, you’ll see a palm rat scurry through the branches. My favorite critters to observe are the little tree frogs. They’re usually clinging on a leaf, probably simply waiting for a meal to crawl by. I prefer to think that they’re sitting there quietly, deep in thought, contemplating life’s great mysteries.

And now, your Sanibel/Captiva zen:

I photographed these little cutie pies over a period of several nights and weeks. I took a million shots, but these were the absolute best three. Not sure if it was the same frog every time, but they sure made me feel like I was an important wildlife photographer from my favorite childhood nature shows.

frog on key lime tree3

frog on key lime1

frog on key lime2

Speaking of cutie “pies” … as soon as the key limes are ripe, I’ll reveal that special recipe I’ve been dyin’ to share with you!

tree frog charm

Click here to purchase our Tree Frog charm.

What happens below?

About two years ago, I had the fortune of attending a lecture by Greg Marshall at BIG ARTS here in Sanibel. Marshall is a biologist, researcher, conservationist and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. As head of the National Geographic Remote Imaging Program, his most recognized contribution to scientific research has been his invention of the Crittercam. This device is a lightweight camera that attaches on its animal hosts without interrupting their natural behavior. It enables the capture of footage of their private lives and the never-before-seen places they visit. His lecture was amazing because he showed undersea footage that would have never graced our eyes had it not been for his invention. I remember Marshall saying that when he was a child he loved whenever animals revealed themselves above water, but always wondered where they went and what they did when they went back in. I’ve always had that same curiosity, except that I can’t scuba dive; snorkeling is something I only get to do on vacation; and a Crittercam is not something I want to try to attach to a shark anytime soon! So I did the next best thing that I could to “take a peek” at what happens below the water: My husband and I submerged our GoPro by the mangroves at our dock. We thought we’d be lucky if we caught footage of a little bait fish or two, but wow, we were so surprised by what we saw!

And now, your Sanibel/Captiva zen:

The next time you look out at the ocean or even a simple pond or stream, remember that there’s a magical world below … one we should enjoy, but must also fiercely protect.

schooloffishsilvlft

Click here  for our School of Fish and other sea life charms.

 

Sea monster inspiration.

In the foyer at the entrance of my home is a book with reprints of Old World maps by 17th century Dutch cartographer, Joan Blaeu. I’ve had this book for ages and have spent countless hours pouring through every page, admiring the artistry of each map. What I love most about Old World maps are the depictions of giant sea monsters, like the ones I remember from old Sinbad movies. For me, seeing a dolphin jump out from the water is YUUUUUGE! I can’t even imagine what early explorers felt when encountering a large shark or whale for the very first time!

Foyer

My foyer featuring Blaeu’s The Grand Atlas of the 17th Century World. All the sea monster pictures to follow are ©1997, Blaeu’s The Grand Atlas

Favorite Monster

This is my absolute favorite sea monster. Love the red lips! It was the inspiration for my Dream Catcher Pendant design featured in Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine a few years ago.

Dream Catcher pendant

Dream Catcher Pendant featuring Asian Marine Dolphin focal. You can purchase this focal at www.thesanibelbeadshop.com.

Monster 4a

So interesting: half sea serpent, half horse.            

Monster and sinking ship

                                    Uh-oh. This ship’s in trouble!                                  

Monster 5

Very pterodactylian (if that’s even a word).

Monster 4b

This looks like a Goliath Grouper. 

Monster1

I like how this sea monster is taking a leisurely swim! 

Moster2

 Leisure’s over. It’s time to eat! Chomp! Chomp!

Viginia and Florida

Map of Virginia and Florida (©1997 Blaeu’s The Grand Atlas)

Neptune

Depiction of Neptune. I have a pot pourri holder quite similar to this. 

Ocean cherub

Sea Cherub (or Neptune’s grandkid)

And now, your Sanibel/Captiva zen: 

Here’s my “sea monster” sighting.  I shot this video a few days ago while on a boat ride near Sanibel. Enjoy!