Faces of Joy

Dear Friend in Peace,

Joy has many faces; this post highlights some of them which kindle delight and euphoria within me.  May they bring you joy as well.  The first photo is of the Butterfly orchid (Encyclia tampensis) which is usually found in Live Oak trees in SW Florida.  To me they look like little dolls with heart-shaped faces. It’s easiest to see the doll in the close-up photo, especially if you zoom in even more. To come across a group of these orchids spreads happiness throughout my body.

The next photos are of a Gopher Tortoise, not necessarily the most beautiful being in the world, but one which ignites my heart and hopefully, yours as well.  This dear soul was not nearly as close as the photo suggests.  Happily, for me and the well-being of the critters, including this sweet Tortoise, my camera does a great job of zooming in so this dear one was not frightened.  The second photo of the Gopher Tortoise shows the claws on its toes and gives a lovely overview of the top of its shell.

The Tarflower is one of my all-time favorite shrubs.  Their flowers are exquisitely delicate.  Walking a scrubby trail in spring to summer in Florida, they announce their presence from afar as a white beacon calling us to come closer to savor their splendor and inviting us to celebrate being alive.

The Swallow-tailed Kites are seasonal visitors to SW Florida and begin their journey back to South America in August and September.  Normally they are sighted in the sky performing aerial ballet.  Their soaring acrobatics are thrilling and definitely spark joy.  These two Kites were resting which allowed me to zoom in and capture their regal stature.

The final two photos are of Swamp Rosemallow.  To me, they express unbridled joy!  They can grow up to 8 ft. high so walking around in them is to be in a maize while surrounded and enfolded in glory.

May these many faces of joy bring us home to the peace that we are.

Yours in peace and love,



Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)




Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

Tarflower (Bejaria racemosa)

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)

Swamp rosemallow (Hibiscus grandiflorus)