'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, food, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

Bar hopping…

We thought we’d bar hop in Dunedin while my friend attended a meeting in Clearwater. It’s a charming town, with a lot of attractive looking places to stop. Choosing one wasn’t easy, and once we did we chatted and time passed, so when we walked out the door we were greeted with a glorious sunset happening down at the marina. We hurried down, and I was expecting that we were going to miss it completely. But it just got prettier.

Happily for us there was a nice bar right on the water so we could continue the bar hop while we enjoyed the last of the show. I haven’t seen a sunset that pretty in a while. And a chauffeur driven ride home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

At the races…

When you go through your photos after a photo shoot to the race track, and you see a shot like the feature photo, you can toss it, or you can pretend you meant to take that shot and use it as your feature photo. I have wondered what a shot of just the horses hooves would look like, I kind of like it.

We met a couple of new people who joined us for this last Tampa Bay Downs photo shoot of the season yesterday, on a day I might have expected to be sweltering, but was breezy and enough clouds to take the curse off. We had a nice session with them.

I walked down to the far corner to get an unobstructed view of the horses making the turn.
With all that dirt in the air it’s obvious that these are not the lead horses in this race. But both horses have all four hooves off the ground so it’ll do.
I made a point of taking my opportunity to get a shot of the horses leaving the gate in this turf race. Most of the time the gate is around the far side of the track and it’s not possible to try for this shot.
This horse was the favorite in his race and he led the whole way with no one on his heels.
I thought a shot of a jockey as he swings up into the saddle would be fun. Now I’m not sure why I thought that, but I sure took a lot of butt shots that day.
Of course people watching is fun between races.
There were many photographers in evidence at the track.
We all noticed the frazzled father who was pushing a stroller and had small herd of children to keep track of. Dad and this little one had identical shirts on, which I thought was cute. But I paid attention when the little guy got distracted and the rest of the family moved on, I was waiting to see what he’d do when he figured out they weren’t right there, but he just took off like a shot to catch up.
This picture was a complete surprise when I saw it in the computer. I meant to take a shot of the beautiful gray horse, but the horse was more interested in the spectators.

I usually want to take a shot of the finish line at least once per visit. This time it was a turf race so they were behind the finish line. So I scrolled my pictures one by one, in order, and saw the lead horse cross the finish line all alone. Next came a pack of horses, each trying to nose each other out. Then as the last of the tails of the pack of horses was disappearing I saw horse number 7 come into view, finishing many lengths behind. Which is when an old song my mother used to sing when I was very little came to mind. If you are as old as me maybe you know it. It’s about Horace the horse on the merry-go-round who is sad since he figured out that he’s the very last horse on the merry-go-round. But it continues…

“Then one day, Horace turned, looked around, then said gosh oh gee. I’m the very first horse on the merry-go-round, all the others are a-following me!”

And Number 7 wasn’t last as it turned out. Number 7 left the frame as I clicked on the last of my pictures, but then horse #3 came into view bringing up the rear. Was his hame Horace? Poor thing was so far behind…

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

They’re growing up…

As we drove the the Tampa rookery yesterday I did what I always do, I anticipated all the chicks we were going to see. Not just the usual suspects, I was also anticipating possibly seeing Try-color heron chicks, and Snowy egret chicks. Oh, yes, I was excited. But what I discovered seemed to be that in addition to the chicks growing bigger, the shrubbery itself seemed to have grown in the week since our last stop. The nests that I had located in the past were barely visible, and new ones were nowhere to be seen. In the feature photo is an egret chick that was out wandering on his own. I hope he found his way back to his nest. But I did see babies…

Look how round and pudgy this guy looks. I was sure he was a baby.
Then he stretched himself out to hunt and I stood corrected,,
Up periscope is what crossed my mind when I saw these two.
Mom! MOM! Llook at me mom!
I’m THIS big, Mom!
I had to zoom into the foliage to find these two, and crop like crazy.
“I’m bigger!” is what I imagine him saying.
Who’s bigger now?

I will be stopping at the rookery closer to home in the next few days. We’ll see what’s going on there. Probably more of the same.

a second look, blessings, cats, friends, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset

Easter sunset…

When the day begins to wind down you will find me in a comfy chair with my feet up, probably watching Jeopardy. And that’s usually the end of my day when I’m home, but if I’m at my friend’s house I will be looking at the TV, but with a view of the window over the front door. Sometimes that view includes some wispy clouds that begin to glow pink, and that will roust me out of the chair and out the front door. Rushing down the street a little way brings me to the feature photo view.

The closest option for view is this one, steps out the front door looking down the street across the way.
And I pass this view between the two.
And this kitty has usually just settled onto my lap for a snooze when a glance out the window sends me out the door. She was a feral cat, fed by the neighbors who moved away. She was parked on the lawn beside an empty food bowl when my friend took up the feeding routine. Then she started napping on his lanai, entering through a ripped screen. That led to short trips into the house, and the rest is history. Sweet kitty.

This time of year is a challenge. Do I go out to see if the sky is on fire, or to I stay put to see who wins Jeopardy? Sometimes it’s not an easy choice.

'scene' along the way, flowers, fun, gardens, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

Easter flowers…

We took a quick Sunday ride to the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens before Easter dinner. It was a quiet way to spend the day, with flowers and butterflies.

I liked seeing more than one color flowers on the bush.
Lots of flowers but not so many bees to see.
Seems the red-ish flowers caught my eye.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the same butterfly that kept coming back to the bushes, much to my delight.
Back he came again.
And again.
It seems his wing was damaged, but he flew around at will anyhow.
A sweet angel for Easter.
And this charming castle always makes me smile.
The statue is done now, no ‘crime scene tape’ around it anymore.
The little waterfalls in the shade are so hard to capture.
I took a picture of the gazing ball and someone was gazing back at me.

I hope all had a peaceful Easter, with family and friends. Time just keeps passing…

'scene' along the way, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, Just do it, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Two birds…

I will never have to spend time waiting line for gas at Sam’s again. Why not, you may wonder? Because this morning I got up early enough that heading out to check out the sunrise view from the little pond behind Sam’s turned out to be a stellar idea. The sunrise could have been better, but it was good enough. And I had egrets and an anhinga for company. And, better yet, gas was $3.69.99/gal. It’s seriously ridiculous how quickly that has become a number to rejoice over, but here we are and I’ll take it. All together is was a very nice morning, I killed two birds with one stone.

Quite a good sunrise actually.
It quickly began to fade however.
I had pleasant company to enjoy it with me.
And this anhinga, but that’s all of him that I saw.

I have lamented the lack of good spots to view the sunrise and sunset in this neighborhood. But I’ve known about this pond all along, and decided that I’d have a view to the east months ago. I wonder what else I’m missing.