Bayport, friends, fun, photography, sunset, technology

Bayport Battles…

The combatants were gathering.  Young adults for the most part.  They were civil, actually quite friendly with each other as they waited.  But they became more quiet as the time for the battle approached.  Looks of concentration came over their faces as they readied themselves.  I was offered the opportunity to participate, but the rules of battle were totally foreign to me so I preferred to watch.  Soon it was time and everyone manned their devices, sometimes more than one, and began to wander, zombie-like.  The Pokemon battle was underway…

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adventure, childhood, coping, courage, finding my way, life, life goes on, loneliness, memories, photography, unintended consequences

Rolling back the clock…

I suppose there are endless ‘what if’ scenarios I could play out in my head, especially at 69 years old. Lots of water under the bridge, over the dam, forks in the road, and many more cliche phrases apply. But there is something about being alone at this stage of life that has me thinking, wondering, about the person I was ‘supposed’ to be. How did I spend so many years ‘under the influence’ so to speak? I was a spunky little kid. My cousin and I once decided to go for a walk, and set off, a 5 and a 4 year old, having an adventure. We were spotted by a woman who I think chatted with us as we passed her chain-link fenced yard. The next thing I knew there was a policeman on the scene, asking us who we were and where we were going. My cousin must have been much more polite than I was because she told the policeman everything he wanted to know. Not me though. I was mad. I wasn’t lost, and I certainly wasn’t finished having my adventure, so I wouldn’t tell him a thing. But since I lived upstairs from my cousin that was a bit of a moot point. I don’t remember the upshot, what my parents had to say about it, I only remember the woman, the fence, and how mad I was.

I just love that little kid that I was. But I have to wonder, when did I lose her? How did I let her go and never notice that I had done just that? That memory, and there are more from when I lived in that house and was that spunky kid, all date back to before I went to school. Is that when I started worrying about what other people thought, and doubting myself? By the time I hit high school I was quite sure that I didn’t measure up in any way, and spent most of my mental energy on trying to make sure that no one else knew just how out of it I was. I never expressed an opinion, practiced a go-with-the-flow attitude, got married young to hide from the bra-burning women’s libbers who seemed to be saying that I shouldn’t want a marriage and family, which is exactly what I told myself that I wanted, mostly because I thought of it as ‘safe’. Don’t misunderstand, I really was happy, found myself living all over the country and thought that was quite the thing. Enjoyed the heck out of raising my kids, and appreciated the accomplishment of raising them to be the people I’d hoped they’d be. And at work with Charley I had a position of authority that I enjoyed, but I also was aware that I hadn’t earned it as much as I had married into it. It wasn’t a bad life at all, so why am I so unsettled now?

I am an old lady who, now that I am alone for the first time since I was very young, finds myself relating more to the little kid that I was than to all the years in between. No one hijacked my life, I willingly participated. But now what? If you thought that I was going to wind this up with some sort of brilliant conclusion you’d be wrong. All I do know is that I have a vague notion of heading ‘home’ this summer, back to the people and places that I find myself thinking of so fondly. Back to where I was a spunky little kid with my whole life ahead of me…spunky.jpg

birds, Cranes, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, photography

Would you believe…

… that this is the latest creature that I spotted in the lake out back? I hope not.  Nope, meet Lu, an honorary Floridian who lives at Homosassa Springs Wildlife park.  When the state took over the park in 1989 the exotic animals were all sent to new homes, but a public outcry to keep Lu resulted in his change of status, and he will live out his days in the park.  Along with quite a few varieties of Florida wildlife.  I’ve heard of some of these birds being photographed at other birding sites, but I haven’t seen most of these in the wild.  Or not so far.  But now I’ll have to make it a point to visit as many of the Florida State parks as possible, with my new yearly pass.  Who knows what I’ll find, but I’ll bet that I won’t find another Hippopotamus.2-18Homosassasprings

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Green heron
Northern Crested Caracara, a bird of prey who is both sluggish and a scavenger


White pelican, and no I don’t know what that protrusion is on his bill and google didn’t tell me


Whooping Crane, who come by their name honestly
Pelican Island, there was a power struggle going on
On the boat ride to the park


birds, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Getting my Spoonbills in a row…

Seeing Roseate Spoonbills was a bucket list thing for me, and I managed to do just that at Circle B Bar Reserve.  But it was just a tease.  I had to glimpse them through the foliage, and they were hunkered down because of the chill in the air that day.  So when my photo op for the day fell apart, meaning that I chickened out of a two hour drive in the dark, and in the dense fog (really, really dense), I decided to head to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park to see the Spoonbills there.  There is a school of thought that says that you shouldn’t photograph animals in captivity, but I don’t have a problem with that.  I’m in hopes that seeing the beauty of these birds will only make people appreciate them, and nature, more.  Of course getting the photos was a bit like shooting fish in a barrel.  So how come I got so many truly bad photos?  I wanted to get them in flight, and fly they did, but maybe it was the close quarters but all the photos were disappointing.  Or I tried for an artistic effect.  You be the judge…2-18spoonbill52-16spoonbill6-22-16spoonbill4-22-16spoonbill3-22-16spoonbill2-22-16spoonbill1-22-16spoonbill5

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Pretty little savages…

It was the Sandhill cranes again, out there on the lake, that made me take a second look at what was going on out back. Which had led to my visit with Wilbur, but I wasn’t done. Once I had been throughly snuffled I turned my attention back to the lake. The cranes were on their newly constructed mound, and there were Ibis roaming, but none posing as nicely as the one did recently, the one when I didn’t have the smart card in the camera. And the Tricolored Heron. He is my favorite, probably because he provides all the action out there. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to photograph him as he flits, and I wind up with photos of his tail and feet disappearing out of the photo. Sometimes I quite like those sorts of shots, but it probably constitutes one of those ‘you had to be there’ sorts of things. But this time I was surprised to see the images I got of him, and that I got them when I needed them so I could catch up mentally after an unexpected day of work. I still didn’t get my usual amount of recliner time, but I’m making up for it this morning. I wish I could see what he caught, because whatever it was he made short work of eating it. I have read that they are quite the hunters, I’d say they are pretty little savages…

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backyard visitors, go with the flow, nature, neighbors, photography, pigs, simple things, unintended images

The Wilbur Effect…

My only hope, I thought, as I walked out of work on my ‘day off’, was that maybe a photo op would come to me in the back yard, because I didn’t know if I had a trip out in me.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Okay, Zoe actually came to the rescue when she went to the back gate and Wilbur came over to say hello to her.  They snuffled each other through the fence.  Ozzie, on the other hand, acts like a savage beast, but the effort is lost on Wilbur.  He just snuffled through the fence, totally unimpressed with Ozzie’s mean killer dog act.

So I let myself in the gate to say hello.  I thought he’d frolic and I’d take pictures.  His hair is so wiry, not a cuddly creature.  Then he laid down so I could rub his belly.  And there was so such thing as watching him from afar, he likes things up close and personal.  I sat down on a paver to get a better angle, but that gave Wilbur a better angle also.  He came over, wet snout covered in sand, and proceeded to snuffle my feet, my legs, and my pant legs until I was wearing more of the sand than he was.  It felt like I was being sandpapered. I haven’t been that dirty since I was a little kid. I call it The Wilbur Effect.  Now excuse my while I toss those pants in the wash….

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