Jane Applegate Belzer Photos by Shelly Belzer and author
The holidays are coming and it’s time for me to challenge my baking skills. I know that sounds dangerous because we all want our holiday treats to be just perfect. So why take on a new project instead of relying on tried and true recipes born from family traditions? I am fortunate to have a couple of friends who are very skilled bakers and they never make the same holiday treats twice. Cookies, pies, breads, cakes and candies that dazzle the eyes and the palates. Impressive. So this year I’m taking my cue from them and I’m baking Stollen or Christstollen as it is called in its German homeland. View more
For the holiday season OLLI Connects is featuring food blogs and recipes over the first three weeks of December followed by a discussion of our favorite issues on the final Monday of 2022. Deliciousness is on the menu beginning with Jane Applegate Belzer's beautiful Stollen. And don't forget to visit OLLI Connects on Thursday, December 8th to discover the identity of the To Tell The Truth competition winner.— Editors
The OLLI-USF Outdoors “hikers” explored one of their favorite places, Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, on a beautiful day in March. We would like to share it in words, but mostly pictures, with OLLI Connects readers.
If you are looking for a great place to take your out-of-town visitors, or just go for a stroll to take in amazing wildlife, this is the place to go. One of our members, Sheryl, wrote, “With the exception of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel, Circle B Bar had the biggest variety of wildlife I’ve seen of all my hikes in Florida.”
What will you see? In many places you will see birds on the left, birds on the right. You might see a great blue heron and gator face off. View more
Recently I went with a few friends to hike and take photographs at Circle B Bar Reserve near Lakeland. It was a LONG drive there but well worth it. It is a very large park of more than 2,000 acres. We hiked four and a half miles and saw not even a quarter of the park. We took Marsh Rabbit Run (where we were stopped by a large alligator blocking the trail) and Alligator Alley which was my favorite. The large trees shading Alligator Alley are lovely. View more
You may be wondering why you received an OLLI Connects email for a story that isn’t yet available over this weekend. We have to chalk that up to an unfortunate misclick during the editing process for an upcoming piece. Please disregard that notice–for now– and enjoy this week’s two offerings focused on the splendid photos produced by the hiking and nature SIG members. And, check back with us in early June for the “Flying Tigers.”–Editor
The first surprise was the actual pre-dawn hush. There really was “a kind of hush all over the world,” at least outside of Moab, Utah. Following strangers to a dark van in a dark parking lot could have put us in mind of Scandi noir, but instead we felt the hush; no one in the van spoke on the drive to the balloon, which lay flat and ghostly on the dark ground. Shapes began to emerge into the other-worldly red rock terrain of the canyon although we could not see the tops of the canyon.
The previous night I had read a review that exalted over a balloon’s basket hitting the ground and bouncing up nearly to the top of the canyon, then again (more…)
If you’d like to work on your paddleboarding or kayaking, you should consider the tidal lagoon at Tigertail Beach Park on Marco Island. As you’re probably well aware, Marco Island is a barrier Island in the Gulf, a bit south of Naples, linked to the mainland by bridges. It’s a wonderful place for a vacation.
Marco Island is also an outstanding place for photographing birds. Birds that are somewhat commonplace for us, but wildly exotic if you’re from, oh, England for example. As our photographer, Paul Sullivan, is. We’ll tell you what he has to do with OLLI at the end of article, but first, let’s take a look at his photographs. (More…)
OLLI Connects is almost three years old, and in its short lifetime, we have shared a wide variety of your fellow OLLI members’ contributions: powerful stories, rich personal experiences, fascinating nuggets of history, and humor. We’ve taken you on trips to other parts of the United States and journeys to other parts of the world. We’ve shared technology, book reviews, poetry and more. We’ve had posts that were all photographs with no more words than were needed for context.
But we’ve not had a post that was almost all video. Until today.
Theresa D’Aiuto Sokol has shared two of her blog posts, and now she shares some of her video work. (More…)
I started diving in 1994 when I taught school on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands where I earned PADI Open Water, Advanced and Rescue Diver. I returned to Florida for a year and did a little diving here on the east coast. In 1996 I returned to the Pacific to teach on Saipan for two years in the Northern Marianas Islands. While there, I earned my PADI Dive Master and Open Water Instructor.
But the photography bug did not bite until I returned to Florida once again. I started with film in a Sea&Sea point and shoot camera. Today, I shoot with a Panasonic EM5 with two Sea&Sea strobes for lighting.
Over the years, I have had a chance to travel and dive throughout much of the Caribbean including Cuba and Belize. This included (More…)
In normal times, the OLLI Shutterbugs range over the state, the country and even the world to take pictures. Staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic has made us look at what’s right around us for good subjects.
Rich Edwards was probably the most adventurous, traveling to a goat farm in May and then to the Blairsville farmer’s market in Georgia in July for these shots of a vendor and honey in sunlight, as irresistible to a photographer as to a honey lover. Gail Parsons, master naturalist, shot the pictures of a yellow-sided skimmer and a black swallowtail butterfly getting ready to drink nectar from a thistle at Lake Dan Preserve in northwestern Hillsborough County. (More…)
When reading George Hyde’s last post in OLLI Connects, I thought: Now I know I’m not alone in seeking ways to occupy myself during this period of quasi-hibernation. While this is a home of two readers, there are other activities that we of a certain age will be doing to exercise our spirits while at home for what now sounds like a couple of months. I’d like to know what you are doing to entertain yourself during these isolating times.
I just pulled five cookbooks off my shelf to entertain myself and share with you. The Black Sea, by a British journalist, Caroline Eden, is a travel guide and cookbook to the exotic world from Odessa to Trabzon. The recipes enrich the stories of her journey through this very ancient region. If things get back to normal, we hope to go there next year. (More…)
A boyhood love of cowboy movies isn’t unusual, but Tom James, now chairman emeritus of Raymond James Financial, turned his love into a lifetime of art collecting and then founded a museum to house part of the collection that he and his wife, Mary, have amassed. The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg opened in April 2018, holding 400 paintings and sculptures, a bit more than 10 percent of the James collection. (Most of the rest of the collection fills the Raymond James corporate headquarters.) Word about the museum got around, and one day in August the OLLI Shutterbugs went to see for themselves. (More…)