I'VE SEEN IT RAINING FIRE IN THE SKY
Rocky Mountain High
BEAUTY IS THERE IF YOU JUST LOOK
"Once in a while you get shown the light in
the strangest of places if you look at it right"
From Scarlet Begonias
The Grateful Dead
ODDS AND ENDS
Shots that don't fit elsewhere
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
Peggy Lee...Is that all there is?
Come on the risin' wind,
We're goin' up around the bend
Credence Clearwater Revival...Up around the bend.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul
Brokedown Palace...The Grateful Dead
Autumn in the mountains
Early one winter morn...view from hermitage
THE GOOD AND BAD OF LIVING ON THE COAST
The Gulf Coast is rich in beautiful views and wildlife
The beaches bring crowds but the crowds bring money and jobs
Sometimes the visitors are unwanted. Dennis and Ivan were such visitors.
BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY
A PAPER AND PHOTO CHASE
orHow One Child Went Bad
I have backpacked, hiked and camped in 48 states and Canada.
At 75 (almost) they say you have the face you've earned!
Serpent Mound in Ohio...a powerful place
OCEAN REFLECTION...DIGITAL PHOTO
Artist and Spiritual Guide
Jerry Garcia in New York 1992
Glenna & Bill in the Bay Area
My three favorite places in the world are: Machu Pichu, San Francisco and anywhere Glenna is.
A BRIEF AUTOBIOGRAPHY
From Sun Prairie Wisconsin To The World...This is a colorful
tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe.
THE HEART OF IMMIGRATION Another way to
look at immigration...a short story
A look at America's favorite game!
WITH LARGE BASEBALL PHOTO COLLECTION
THE BLUE ANGELS & THE NAS MUSEUM
The sight and sound of freedom
PENSACOLA HONORS OUR MILITARY
Two hundred years
ESCAMBIA UNIVERSITY There are many fine educational institutions in the Florida Panhandle.
Unfortunately this isn't one of them. You can't spell Escambia without scam.
CONFESSIONS OF A BACKYARD NATURALIST
This is a study of the natural features in one suburban yard.
ARCHAEOLOGY 101 Time is running out to solve the mysteries of prehistory.
BACKPACKING 101 This is a guide to hiking and backpacking.
A DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE
Gay or Straight
LOVE IS WHERE YOU FIND IT...OR WHERE IT FINDS YOU.
Young Love...a short story
There is a larger campus...a short story.
THE JOY OF WOODWORKING My life as a carpenter and custom furniture maker.
A YEAR IN THE LIFE
Some of my first (and lasting) impressions of Pensacola
The Pensacola area is a wonderful place for bird watchers.
JESUS AND BUDDHA
All scripture is inspired if it works.
An Inner Contest. Short Story
In Political Science we learned about the Gerrymander—a creature that eats democratic principles.
LAND OF FLOWERS
The name Florida can be translated "Land Of Flowers." These photos were made in Pensacola.
PLAYER OF ANY YEAR
Chip Hilton is the only thing Bobby Knight and I ever agreed on.
GOLF...A GAME OR A SPORT?
Some activities just don't come up to par.
WHERE AMERICA SHOPPED
Sears was more than just a store...it was a cultural influence.
This area has a fabulous zoo.
PENSACOLA SITES AND SCENES
UWF NATURE TRAIL
Part of a beautiful campus
The sea is in Pensacola's blood.
Dear me...I had a brief encounter
VERY BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY
So you want to be a photographer?
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
How you can lose an election while getting 71% of the votes,
GROWING UP IN MILFORD
Surely I didn't imagine all of this.
Yancy Spencer—a surfing legend
Pensacola's Surfing Community
MISSING FARLEY COLLINS...MY FRIEND
The streams of the mountains please me more than the sea.
THE HISTORY OF FREEDOM
Freedom is a process, not an event.
CURRENT GRATEFUL DEAD
The greatest band in history!
WALKING AROUND PENSACOLA
Our picturesque town.
FIRE IN THE SKY
Things are looking up.
A JOKE OR WORK OF ART?
Dada is in the eye of the beholder.
Great Smoky Mountains
One of our most popular parks!
Buddha held up a flower in a wordless sermon that was understood only by his smiling disciple Mahakasyapa.
“There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.”
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
...Eleanor Roosevelt, (and others)
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
"...rest in reason and move in passion."
...Kahlil Gibran, the World
"I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me - shapes and ideas so near
to me—so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down."
...Georgia O'Keeffe, Sun Prairie Wisconsin
"Da Patchy is not what Patchy was,
Da Patchy is as Patchy does."
...Patricia "Patchy" Brown, Los Angeles
"What, me worry?"
...Alfred E. Neuman, beloved philosopher
“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”
"The situation is the boss."
...The Grateful Dead
"Hang in there Bro, it's always early."
Rebel, Author, Counselor
"I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend
a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth,"
A Walk In The Woods
"Mama Mama, many worlds I've come since I first left home."
...Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia
"When you ain't got nothing you got nothing to lose..."
"Lord and I stay blue all the time. Yeah but
that's all right, I will overcome some day."
...Big Bill Broonzy
"This city desert makes you feel so cold
It's got so many people, but it's got no soul
And it's taken you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything"
"Think about how many times I have fallen
Spirits are using me, larger voices calling"
"And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory"
“My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what
you do it's bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.”
"But now old friends they're acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day."
"Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it's all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it's all right, everyday is judgment day"
...The Traveling Wilburys
"Take me for a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can't feel to grip
And my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'"
One toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line
Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line
Awaitin' for the train that goes home, sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time
...Brewer & Shipley
"Be careful out there among them English."
...Amish man in Witness
"There's a crack in everything—that's how the light comes in."
“I got in trouble my whole life for having a big mouth.”
"Want to hear God laugh? Tell him you have plans."
“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to
earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic
success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.”
"If the people are buying tears I'll be a rich girl someday."
(From "Look what they've done to my song Ma.")
"Life is constantly offering us jewels. It is whether we notice or not that is equally awesome."
...Personal note from Holly Near
(Holly Near singer with HARP: Holly Near,
Arlo Guthrie, Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger)
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
A CAUTIONARY (RACCOON) TALE
These guys are cute. The Beatles sang the exploits of Rocky Raccoon and Marvel Comics had a character named Rocket Raccoon. We were recently blessed with a related house guest. So how do you tell if a raccoon has been in your attic? Easy, she's still there. We don't think this one had rabies but it can happen. Rather, she was looking for a safe place to have babies.
We had a professional remove her. Actually, he deposited what he called "Raccoon Eviction Cream" which she believed was evidence that male raccoons (who eat babies) were also present and a threat to her young ones. She escaped quickly. This is a non commercial web site so I won't place an ad for the company that responded quickly and in a humane fashion. If you have a similar invasion email me and I'll be glad to tell you about the company.
ALL WASN'T CUTE
SHE DID QUITE A BIT OF ROOF AND ATTIC DAMAGE
(The raccoon photos are from previous encounters I had with raccoons. The damage was done recently.)
BASEBALL, THE WORLD AND I MOURN THE PASSING OF
Sometimes heroes make just a brief flash before our eyes. Chuck Harmon was a hero to a nine year old boy in 1955. I was attending my first ever Major League baseball game at old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. We had recently relocated from Chicago to an enclave of German Americans. Harmon had recently been signed to a contract. He became the first black player on the Redlegs. The name was briefly changed from "Reds" to "Redlegs" because local civic fathers were concerned about the "Red Menace" as Soviet, Chinese and North Korean entities were called in an era that would feature bomb raid drills and accusations of treason against anyone labeled as being "Red." The Korean War was still smoldering. The Iron Curtain was a reality.
At the time I didn't know that great athletes such as Harmon (who was also a championship level basketball player) and Jackie Robinson (A four sport letter winner in college) had been forbidden to play in the Majors because of their race. White nine year old baseball fans hadn't heard about the Homestead Grays, Kansas City Monarchs, Pittsburgh Crawfords and other Negro League teams that were staffed by great athletes like Willie Mays, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. Even the city in which we lived had varioius Negro League teams we were never told about. Military service and prejudice kept many players from joining Major League sports until they were older. Brooklyn Dodger (soon to be LA Dodger) owner Branch Rickey signed super athlete Jackie Robinson to a professional contract in 1947. I don't know if he was trying to right a serious wrong or simply trying to get a leg up on his competition. Maybe it was both. An ever declining few have missed the irrefutable truth you build a great culture and great economy the same way you win a championship or a war. You assemble the best and the brightest and get prejudice and other limitations out of their way. The lesson from the American sports scene could not be more obvious. Winners LOOK like all of America.
It was the summer of 1955. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Redlegs were battling into the 9th inning. St. Louis was ahead by one run when the Redlegs tied the score. Then chaos broke out. The two managers got into an argument between the mound and home. Cincinnati manager Birdie Tebbetts lunged at St. Louis manager Harry "The Hat" Walker. A bench clearing fight ensued and nine year old boys in the stands decided they wanted to be crazy baseball players too. We were hooked for life. When order was restored Chuck Harmon was sent in as a pinch runner to 2nd base. A ground ball through the infield sent Harmon flying around third base. He ran so fast he had to take an unbelievably wide turn but he beat the throw to score the winning run. Thanks Mr. Harmon.
I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky...
"From the park you hear the happy sound of the carousel
You can almost taste the hot dogs and french fries they sell, yes you can
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be."
"If everybody had an ocean
Across the U. S. A.
Then everybody'd be surfin'
The Beach Boys
An osprey enjoying sushi at Fort Pickens
"If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air"
The singing rage, Miss Patti Page
Editor's Note: We often repeat photos from different parts of the site. All photos are taken by me.
As kids we would stretch out on our backs and imagine the different objects the clouds formed in the sky. If you're lucky you haven't stopped just because you're no longer chronologically a kid. It's still all the magic of reality and illusion. Being in Florida, we're probably just a little more careful about where we stretch out.
This exact wispy configuration, like all clouds, will never be seen again except as how the viewer interprets what the camera saw for that instant one afternoon in August. Looking now I see a bay or lagoon…maybe a sound with another island, maybe a barrier island. I see an animal about to leap. I see loosened glaciers calving. I didn't see any of this when I first made the photo. It's that magic again.
THIS WINTER SOLSTICE MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF THOMAS MERTON
DECEMBER 20TH 2018
Is it possible to have a mentor you've never met? I believe you can, The current hint of winter times coming made me recall living in a northern climate when I heard of the passing of a friend I'd never met. I was busy with graduate school plans, a teaching job and best of all the joys of a new baby daughter. Over the years this great man has become even more dear to me. I have mentioned him before in this page. I have often said that had I not met the special love of my life I would today be in either a Buddhist or Trappist monastery. My inspiration from Father Merton makes the difference between those two monasteries less than it first appears. I humbly urge you to research and study the spiritual direction and inspiration he left with us. Please click below to see more about this great man.
Father Merton's little cabin where he once lived as a hermit
before being inspired to experience a more public presence.
A TRIVIA QUESTION
What do you get if you multiply 111,111,111 (One hundred eleven million, one hundred eleven thousand, one hundred eleven) by the same number, 111,111,111? A. Headache B. "0" because no numbers go that high C. 12345678987654320 D. 11 Bazillion E. One
THIS WINTER SECTION IS REPRINTED FROM AN ARTICLE I WROTE LAST WINTER
If you've come here for winter you may be disappointed. These
photos are from 2010. This is about as bad as it gets in Pensacola.
KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR
Pictures and stories taken from elsewhere on this site
So this deer walks into a saloon and the bartender asks: "Why the long face?"
Look carefully at the proof deer can read.
Yogi Berra once gave directions in his unique style: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
It's been said that you should target your advertising to the people who are most
likely to need your product. I live next to a golf course and found this in my yard.
Some people say golf is played for stress. I'm not sure they mean cause stress or eliminate stress. I have
found several broken clubs in or near my yard next to the golf course. One club was thrown on my roof!
I have seen golfers throw their club further than they managed to hit their golfball on a par three across the street.
I have heard the names of God and Jesus Christ implored more on the local course than at a Billy Graham crusade.
As expected, both balls were stolen (or hit) out of the trap. Golfers would appreciate this. I once played golf with a struggling golfer who hit a grossly errant shot out over the parking lot. As the ball descended toward the pavement he shouted: "Bite, bite." It didn't.
When I first moved to this golf course property there was a snake and spider infested thick forest adjacent to my pool. I soon
cleared my land and installed a park like setting that included a stone walkway, park bench and lamp post. At first I decided
to mark the stumps for safety in trimming and mowing. I hit on the idea of nailing a white golf ball on each item that was to
be avoided in trimming. The idea got quickly out of hand proving the adage that too much of anything is just enough. Most
people thought it was hilarious and a few golfers even gave me extra golf balls to add to the display. A disgruntled few were
offended and one even tried unsuccessfully to pry the balls away. Few golfers carry tools I guess.
By far the most interesting response came from a school in Maryland that somehow got a photo of my site similar to this one. They featured it in their school of art and design catalog as an example of "Dada influenced art." I believe that makes me an artist.
Talk about being mixed up, I looked out my window on a night in 2014 and saw this concrete mixer parked neatly in the middle of my yard! The deputies who responded tried in vain to find the owner. Home Depot was not missing the unit even though their sticker was affixed. No local contractor was missing it. Area 51. The only logical answer is that it was a disguised alien vessel on a secret mission.
This at first was suspected to be some kind of alien infestation related to the aforementioned mixer craft. Further investigation suggested it to be a mushroom called Stinky Squid...Psuedoculus Fusiformis. I personally like the alien craft explanation better.
MY SISTER THE SCHOLAR
OK, granted, the first thing people notice is the strong family resemblance between me and my younger sister, Bonzette. We are often mistaken for twins. Like most of my family, she had some early adjustment issues and ended up being home schooled. Her attempt to attend high school and have a sports career didn't work out so well. Despite poor eyesight, she would have been a star had the opponents in her first game not come out wearing banana yellow uniforms. The game, and her high school career, ended in several injured opponents and a subsequent forfeit. Our hopes were for her to go directly to college to further her career. You can imagine our pride when we heard she ACED her SAT! It was later that we learned she actually ATE her SAT and the #2 pencil. So much for college.
OK, I know bananas aren't a big part (if any) of the gorilla diet. I hope you don't think that's the only mistake in the story. It was my shameless attempt to get your attention so I could promote the local zoo. The Gulf Breeze Zoo is excellent. It is located at 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy in Gulf Breeze. The phone number is 932-2229. They are preparing their Christmas light show. Zoo Lights can be seen in December. Call or check for information about hours and admission fees. And no, despite the resemblance, I don't even have a sister.
SOME MORE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Where do they carry the money for the offering plate?
Not angry enough with me yet? This should do it. They say the
popularity of this sect is taking off. I'm told they are barely legal.
I think this congregation broke away from the Fancy Church of Christ across the street.
(Actually, there really is a town called Modest.)
I have this page nailed to a tree in my yard for those for whom the Internet is
a mystery. If birds are so smart how come he moves his beak when he reads?
Gators are extremely fast. That's why you never walk alone.
All you have to do is outrun your (slower) hiking companion.
"It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry." (Bob Dylan)
LOST AND FOUND
THINGS I'VE FOUND ON OR NEAR A GOLF COURSE
The world is his ashtray. Can you use cigarette coupons for medical bills?
I'm at a loss for words...
A golfer sold his sole to the devil in exchange for a cure for his slice!
(Yes I know the difference between a sole and a soul but it's barely funny the way it is.)
I shudda bin home skooled. Actually, the smartest person I
know is doing an amazing job of home schooling kids!
Oddly, the religious medal on the right is for St. Anthony—the patron saint of finding lost items!
Looks like Odd Job is still caddying for Goldfinger
This site was originally created for my wildlife photography. I
took this photo and Unique Western Florida just seemed to fit.
BAY FRONT PRESS
Email Bill Stockland
THERE ARE TIMES MY HEART COULD JUST BURST
BUT I WAS JUST PASSING THROUGH
FIELD HOLLERS OF THE DISPOSSESSED
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN
FOR ALL MY DAYS
A CRITIQUE OF BEING