Arts and Architecture: The Dali Museum

Last Sunday we went on an artsy outing with some friends to see the Picasso-Dali exhibition now showing at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL.

And it didn’t disappoint! This exhibition combined rarely loaned works from 25 art museums and private collections around the world, and showed a number of similarly themed paintings side by side.

Exhibition poster by Dali Museum
Exhibition poster by Dali Museum

Two giants, who represent surrealistic art at its best, showcased the power of imagination freed from suppression by the conscious mind. Very interesting indeed to see the contradictions between dream and reality dissolve right before our eyes … in the paintings of these two surrealist artists. And to be able to compare, side by side, the unchained creativity of their unconscious minds.

A Dali themed wall clock
A Dali themed wall clock we bought here a few years ago, and now hangs right here in my office.

It was not possible, of course, to take pictures from inside the exhibition, but the lobby area and the building itself with surroundings offered some eye-catching scenes. This “Fire Horse” in the lobby/shop area was quite good on the eye, I thought.

The "Fire Horse" in the Dali Museum lobby
The “Fire Horse” in the Dali Museum lobby

Next to it was the intriguing “Rainy Rolls” with snails crawling on the roof and hood of the car, and the driver inside featuring a heavy diving helmet.

rainy rolls at Dali Museum in the lobby
The diver/diver in the Rainy Rolls
rainy rolls hood at Dali Museum
The hood of the Rainy Rolls

It was a windy but beautiful day, so while others were shopping for some souvenirs, I decided to take a stroll outside.

sailing boats in st. petersburg marina
Marina next to the Dali Museum

I walked around the building designed by architect Yann Weymouth, admiring the huge glass bubble, known as “enigma”, bursting out of the building. It is made up of over one thousand triangular pieces of glass!

the Dali Museum glass bubble "enigma"
One side of the “enigma” at Dali Museum
dali museum 2
Another side of the glass bubble at Dali Museum
dali museum entrance
The entrance to Dali Museum
surreal palm reflections on windows of Dali museum
Surreal reflections of palms on the glass bubble of the Dali Museum

The gardens around the building are also interesting. There is a Dali-inspired dolphin sculpture and a huge “Dali mustache”, in addition to intriguing and beautiful landscaping.

dolphin sculpture at dali museum
The dolphin at the cafe entrance to Dali Museum
dali museum garden - mustache
The Dali’ish mustache sculpture  in the Museum gardens

The interior of the building is equally fascinating. From the 3rd floor landing, where the exhibition halls reside, one could admire the sights in many directions through the glass windows. And even check the skies.

st pete pier from Dali Museum
St. Petersburg Pier as seen from inside of the Dali Museum
view towards the marina from through dali museum windows
View towards the marina and downtown through the Museum window
sky through dali museums glass roof2
Through the roof – sky

Hubby made sure we added a new piece to our Picasso collection 😉 so that the previous piece we bought in Barcelona a few years back would have company.

picasso plate from Dali Museum
Our Picasso plate from the Dali Museum
Picasso plate from Barcelona Musee Picasso
Our Picasso plate from Museu Picasso in Barcelona

This exhibition is worth visiting if your ways lead you to the Tampa Bay area before February 22nd or to Barcelona in the spring. This exhibition will open there, in Musei Picasso, mid March.

We all left the museum in a surreal, festive mood that had to be celebrated in the form of fine dining on our way home.

I hope you had a bit of a surreal time too, Tiny

Battering Winds, Tireless Work, Love. And a Parakeet.

The Osprey Family’s nestoration project has now entered its 3rd week. Despite the extremely windy conditions in the last few days, the osprey couple has continued to work without a break to get their nest ready on time.

stormy ocean wave2
The ocean was angry on Saturday.

Most other birds hunkered down taking shelter from the wind as you can see in this gallery. It was so windy that keeping myself standing steadily enough to shoot acceptable pictures was challenging.

On Saturday when I decided to dare the winds, I found Mama Sandy balancing on the edge of the nest facing the wind. She was calling on Papa Stanley to bring her fish…but he was busy. Eating on a dead palm trunk nearby.

osprey holding on in the wind
Mama Osprey balancing against the wind…
osprey eating fish
…and Papa Osprey on “his” palm trunk eating lunch.

He heard her calls and looked in her direction, but I couldn’t stand the wind long enough to see how much of the fish Mama would get. It looked like a lunch for two, and I assumed he would share.

Yesterday I found the nest empty when I arrived, but just a minute or two later Mama Osprey zoomed in with a huge swath of soft nursery materials flying in the strong wind.

osprey delivers nest materials
Mama Osprey has gone shopping for nursery materials…
mama osprey eager to build
Mama Sandy is eager to finish the nursery design.

It was clear to me she was eager to get the materials secured in place and was calling for Papa to help.  In a very determined manner. But where was Papa Stanley?

osprey calling
Mama calling for Papa…

You guessed it.  I found him on “his” palm trunk eating fish.  Mama’s crop was fairly full, so she had already gotten an early lunch. Now it was his lunch hour.

osprey eating fish
Papa Osprey eating lunch…
osprey with a fish
…but looks who’s there.

He looked at me, then continued eating. I walked back to the nest and saw Mama Sandy had started to prepare the nursery on her own.

 osprey redecorating
Mama Osprey redecorating the nest…

Then last night, just before sunset when the winds were at their strongest, I went out on our terrace to check on them. I saw them huddling together in the nest. Looking at each other. Love birds.

Papa and mama osprey together in the nest
Love birds daring the wind together…

The wind had finally calmed down this morning, and I took a longer walk in the salt marsh and around the park at lunch time. Birds were out and about everywhere, and I found Mama Sandy alone in the nest. She had not finished her lunch, but it looked like all the nursery materials had been put in place.

osprey with a fish in the nest
Mama Osprey has a fish for lunch…

Just when I was taking pictures of her, Papa Stanley flew into the nest. Only for a second or two. I guess to show her his lunch catch. He flew away in the direction of “his” palm trunk nearby.

osprey flying away w fish
…and now Papa osprey also has a fish.

So I walked over there expecting to find him. But found something completely different.

Nanday Parakeet
Nanday Parakeet says hi…
Nanday parakeet 2
…and checks on Tiny.

A Nanday Parakeet had reserved Papa’s perch for herself! I have never seen this pet bird in the wild before, but apparently there is a sizeable feral population here in our area.

So where did Papa Stanley go with his fish? Mama helped me in that regard. She called and he answered. So finally I found him just beyond the park’s border on a lamp-post. He had almost finished his  fish.

 osprey finishing his fish
Papa Osprey has eaten fast…

That’s when Mama Sandy sounded a long alarm call! Even I knew what that meant: another osprey was approaching the nest. Papa Stanley didn’t waste a second, he flew to the nest with such speed I couldn’t even snap a picture. That’s love. I jogged back to the salt marsh.  Getting good exercise with these guys 🙂

osprey flies by the nest
Osprey Steve flies around the nest…

The osprey flying above the nest was Steve, normally friends with both Mama and Papa. But it all changes when they start nesting, so now he was a threat.

When I arrived Papa Stanley was already there, and both of them were scanning the skies together.

mama and papa osprey scaning the skies
…Mama and Papa osprey scan the skies together.
Papa protects the nest while Mama finishes her lunch.
Papa protects the nest while Mama finishes her lunch.

When everything calmed down, Mama Sandy finished her lunch while Papa Stanley stayed there protecting her. That’s when I decided it was a good time to go home.

Hope you enjoyed the adventures of our couple.  Reporting from the salt marsh, Tiny

Monday Musings: Reflection

Everyone and everything that shows up in our life is a reflection of something that is happening inside of us.  – Alan Cohen

This quote expresses something I’ve been pondering quite a bit. We may want to understand why something unwanted shows up in our lives. Instead of always looking at something or someone external to blame, it might also be useful to look inside – into our mind, heart and soul. Although we may not understand the reasons behind everything that happens to us in life, we might find some useful answers there. It’s worth some contemplation.

Have a wonderful week, Tiny

Footnote: The picture above shows a part of the outer wall of the Dali Museum. The building itself (more on that in a later post), and the reflections in the windows are almost as surreal as the paintings inside 🙂

Romance in the Osprey Family. And Plans for a Nursery.

It’s extremely windy today.  Another cold front is approaching. Daring the wind, I wanted to check how the osprey family was doing.

windy on the bay


When I arrived in the salt marsh, Mama Osprey was sitting in the nest with only the top of her head visible, not perching on the edge as she usually does. I noticed the nest had grown a lot since last week.

Mama osprey greets Tiny

When she saw me, she got up a little bit to say hi. Her crop was full, so Papa Stanley must have brought her a fish earlier in the morning. I stood under my “observation tree” for a while keeping her company. Suddenly Stanley flew in, as it were, for a brief romantic interlude.

stanley arriving 1 stanley arriving 2 osprey romantics stanley leaving

Afterwards Mama Sandy instructed him on what to bring from his next trip. I’m guessing it was some specific materials for the nursery.

stanley leaving2

Then Papa flew away for yet another visit to Home Depot.

papa stanley flies away

After coming home I checked on the nest from our terrace. It clearly had some soft nursery materials already in place.  And Mama Sandy was busy arranging them to her liking… in the gusty wind.

mama osprey preparing the nursery

I hope they and their nest will fare well through the storms that are supposed to pass overnight.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Love always, Tiny

Fish Platter. Buy One, Get Two Free. Frame by Frame.

great egret in salt marsh
Time to get some lunch…
great egret hunting
That looks like a good appetizer, I think I’ll go for it…
fish flying into the mouth of a great egret
Gee! That was fly-in’ service!
hreat egret hunting 2
Now, what to select for the main course? The fish platter looks good…
grea egret hunting3
And it’s a good bargain. Buy one, get two free!
great egret with three fish closeup
That’s it. Yummy!
little blue heron and great egret fishing
That was a good lunch. I’m too full for a dessert, and it’s starting to get crowded here…
great egret flying home
… an afternoon nap at home might be in order…
anhinga and great egret
…I just hope my new neighbor knows to keep quiet.


Musing Monday: The House of Life

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.   – Alexander Graham Bell

A closed door is … a closed door. And it’s in the past. It doesn’t matter how hard we bang on that door as we cannot walk though it and relive the past. A new door opens in the present. Once we see it, we have a choice whether or not to walk through it.

Is there an open door in my House of Life I am not seeing? Something to ponder this week.

Have a wonderful week,  Tiny



I Made a Mistake. But Have Been Forgiven. By the Ospreys.

This is a long post. Confessions tend to be long. And I don’t even know how to begin. But I can’t do another post about the Osprey family without telling the truth. Now that I know it.

two ospreys
Mama and Papa osprey flying together

Here we go. Papa Osprey is actually Mama Osprey.  Phew…I feel better already! This week I have realized I made a mistake last summer when one of the osprey parents returned to the nest. I studied my pictures from the nesting season taken with my old camera. I had no clear close-ups, and both ospreys seemed to have a “necklace”, although I now realize Papa’s is much smaller and mainly visible in flight from the side. I came to the (wrong) conclusion that the osprey reclaiming the nest was Papa Osprey. That also aligned neatly with the traditional gender roles for ospreys. But Mama Osprey is not a conformist. She’s a trailblazer for female ospreys! She did many things usually done by male ospreys. And the male osprey I thought was Papa’s friend Stanley is actually Papa Osprey! He’s been hanging around Mama for quite a while now.  They have even been fishing together. So now you have it. And I will need to correct all my posts about “PO”. That will take some time…

Since I already gave a name for Papa, I thought I’ll need to give one for Mama too.  She cannot simply be “PO” any more. She will be Sandy…because she’s living in Sand Key Park. So please check out the handsome couple: Mrs. Sandy and Mr. Stanley Osprey.

Mama and Papa osprey
Mama and Papa Osprey

Last Sunday, January 11, I went for a jog around salt marsh. I saw Mama Sandy in the nest, but still thought it was Papa Osprey. She was calling and calling! But it was a call that I recognized Mama Osprey did repeatedly last year, and I had not heard “PO” do, ever. “Bring me fish!!” I realized something was not right. Listen to this.

She continued to call for about 10 minutes, and then suddenly (just when I was talking to another jogger, of course) I see an osprey fly in with a fish for the osprey in the nest. Male ospreys do that when they start courting and rebuilding the nest. He feeds her.

Papa Stanley brought a fish for Mama Sandy
Papa Stanley brought a fish for Mama Sandy

I still wasn’t willing to admit my mistake. But the next day, I witnessed (from my terrace) Papa Stanley performing the “sky dance” when Mama Sandy was in the nest. He hovered high above the nest and then did a dramatic dive, rose again and dove again. I got one good picture of his flight and another of Mama in the nest.

Sky dance by Papa Stanley
Mama osprey in the nest
Mama Sandy in the nest

Then I’ve followed them all week long from my terrace. They have continued their courtship and the big nest remodeling project.

Mama osprey redesigning the nest
Mama Sandy redesigning the nest

Today I saw them both in the nest and apologized for my embarrassing mix-up. They seemed okay about it, both of them tolerated me in their social space. I could approach the nest with no alarm calls from Papa Stanley.

Papa and mama in the nest...forgiving
Papa and mama in the nest…forgiving

In a way it’s good that I am bff with Mama Sandy, since she’s the one who’s going to feed the nestling(s). Maybe I can get closer than last year to take pics of the little one(s) without her being alarmed.

Love birds...
Love birds…

I hope you’ll also have a forgiving heart, and still look forward to the nesting season adventures of Sandy and Stanley. ❤ Tiny