Monticello Rotary Raffle Adventure

Tom Harmon guiding Paddle on WacissaMy friend Tom Harmon invited me to be his guest at a Rotary meeting. Well–knowing the food would be prepared by Mary Frances Dawdry, I said yes immediately because EVERYTHING she prepares is delicious. Besides that, the company at a Rotary meeting is always excellent and they invariably offer interesting speakers.

Another tradition at the Monticello Rotary meetings is a drawing. As their guest, I was asked to draw out a number. I scrambled the tickets around a little and grabbed one.  I didn’t have on my glasses (vanity) so I asked Tom to read out the numbers. He did and then checked my ticket for me and the numbers matched!

I won the prize! It was a canoe trip with Tom and Jeff Wilcox from the headwaters of the Wacissa to Goose Pasture.

The Wacissa is full of birds

This beautiful trip filled in a section of the Jefferson County Rivers I had never seen. I enjoyed the paddle to Blue Spring several times. Ed Green took me through the Slave Canal connecting to the Aucilla. David Ward treated me to a paddle on the north end of the Aucilla when it was in flood, entering at Snead’s Smokehouse landing.

With a larger group, David paddled so I could photograph a segment of the Aucilla from Lamont south to the site of a lost town called Cash Money. Back in 2010, Charlie Ward and Jack Carswell gave me a wonderful photographic tour of the lower Aucilla, Apalachee Bay and the Pinhook, entering the River at Mandalay in Taylor County. Someday I hope to photograph the section of the Aucilla referred to as the “Races.”

Another time I hiked the underground part of the Aucilla called the Aucilla Sinks. What are called “Sinks” are small and large windows into the underground river forming beautiful small ponds and lakes.  I look forward to seeing the “Races” and completing my photographic tour of the rivers.

Finding our way through the braided channels



After eating breakfast (vegetarian Quiche, of course) at Tupelo’s, talking to my friends for about an hour, I drove to the post office to pick up the Main Street mail. When I came back to my truck to drive home I found a butterfly resting against my windshield. Happy I had my camera with me, I shot several pictures of the apparently comfortable butterfly, put my camera away and started the engine.


Traveling Butterfly

Fully expecting Mr. Butterfly to take off as soon as the engine started I was astonished and delighted to see he seemed to be content to stay where he was. I drove slowly across Jefferson and down Pearl to the corner beside Rancho Grande and eased along one block north on Cherry to turn right on High Street. The butterfly fluttered a little. I drove a slower yet, hardly moving. My pick-up barely rolling, I made it down High Street and turned into my driveway. Apparently Mr. Butterfly liked the quiet greenness of my yard and the overhanging branches of my orange trees.

He began to move around on the windshield as though checking out his new location, and with a couple of flaps of his wings flew off to disappear somewhere into the branches of my tall grapefruit tree leaving  me to hope he had found his home right there in my yard.


Patriotic Butterflies

I haven’t seen Mr. Butterfly again, but a Monarch visited me although I don’t have any particular plants the books say that butterfly needs to thrive. I snapped several pictures and when I had one enlarged, he has hair (sort of red) and a scruffy little beard which I thought astonishing.



My sister, who lives in Virginia plants shrubs and flowers known to attract butterflies and it is possible to photograph several at once. I even shot a photo of two I call “Patriotic” butterflies. In all, I took more than 1,500 photos of butterflies that day.

Some of the best butterfly photographs and the easiest to obtain were the ones I shot during a trip to the “Butterfly House” at Calloway Gardens in Georgia. I was surprised to learn that some of them are not native to the United States. My favorite photograph is a native of the Great Britain.



Christmas Tour of Homes in Monticello, FL, 2016


Pearl Street in Monticello

Pearl Street in Monticello Florida

The 2016 Christmas Tour of Homes in the City of Monticello in Jefferson County Florida is on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 12:00 to 6:00 PM. This event includes a self-directed tour of nine (9) historic venues and is presented by the Monticello Area Historic Preservation Association.

The tour costs $15.00 and you can buy tickets in advance from Monticello/Jefferson Chamber and several other venues in the town of Monticello and Southern Friends Framing and Antiques in Thomasville.

The most fun however, will be to go to the Women’s Club building at 985 East Pearl Street (Monticello’s prettiest street). They not only have tickets for the tour, they have their famous holiday cakes and if you are hungry they also offer a light meal for sale. The sponsors of this event provide a phone number if you have questions – 850-997-6552.

This tour encompasses an area of Monticello that is often overlooked except by local residents. You will see several houses that are truly beautiful as well as interesting historically and culturally.

One other thing you should look for during the tour is the magnificent Monticello Avenue of Oaks. These wonderful trees are worth the tour alone. Ask someone to direct you when you visit the Women’s Club.

The tour sponsor, Monticello Area Historic Preservation Association, works with our Women’s Club, Monticello/Jefferson Chamber, Jefferson County Tourist Development Council and Main Street of Monticello to encourage the preservation of the treasured buildings in this tiny 1827 town.

Monticello’s tree lined streets are full of small and large historic homes, many dating from before the Civil War. They are an expression of the best of our culture and we welcome your visit.

JC #1 347

JC #1 248

Located - Pearl and Jefferson

Located – Pearl and Jefferson