adventure, coping, finding my way, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized


I love my car, I really do. It has taken me on a lot of actual miles, which in turn lead to many emotional ‘miles’ over the last few years, and for that I am grateful.

But if I have one complaint about the car it’s the fact that the windshield fogs up whenever I head out for a sunrise photo shoot. I have no idea if my previous cars also fogged up in the early morning darkness because getting out for the sunrise was never a priority until the last few years. My routine to combat the nearly impossible-to-see-through windshield involves using the defroster, turning the heat on even though I don’t need it, and opening windows a crack, none of which seem to do much to solve the problem. So I drive with the windshield wipers on. If other drivers notice this I assume they are also struggling to see where they are going so they probably understand my dilemma.

But this morning it wasn’t the thought of a nice sunrise that had me out in the darkness, it was a hankering for a pumpernickel bagel that rousted me out. I started the car and immediately the windshield fogged up, so I turned on the wipers, opened the window a crack, and flicked away a drip of water from my hand as I started up the street. After I turned onto the main street, the one with no place to pull over, is when I saw something jump on the dashboard. I screamed my best horror movie surprise scream, but I quickly saw that it was a frog. A frog which I now realized was the ‘water drop’ that had landed on my hand and that I had flicked away. Now I was watching the frog as he tried in vain to jump out the windshield, while also trying to see the road through fog while the windshield wipers wiped away. The photo op came when I was able to pull into a parking lot and take a photo, after which I was going to figure out how to encourage him to hop out of the car. Instead he disappeared down into the opening between the dashboard and the windshield, and that’s the last I saw of him.

I can’t say for sure that no frogs were harmed in the creation of this blog post, but I must say that I did enjoy my pumpernickel bagel. And with two more in the freezer I may not have to repeat this adventure for a little while. And another day dawns…

a second look, attention to detail, nature, Natures little dramas, perseverance, photography, technology

Two sunsets…

The other night I looked out the front door and wondered if the dark clouds were going to spoil the sunset. That’s the feature photo. But looking at the pictures I wonder why I wondered since both the feature photo and this next one were pretty.

A much prettier sunset than I expected.
This little guy scolded me as I stood out front checking out the sky,
Tonight I checked the sunset app I have in my phone. It said there was a 94% chance of a good sunset. Go figure.
Sandhill Cranes are seen along some of our busy roadways these days. I’m always tempted to pull over for a photo, but it wouldn’t be wise in that traffic. This pair were spotted in a parking lot however, so I took a few shots. But that background leaves a lot to be desired.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

Also from Taylor Lake…

Somehow I took 441 pictures on our visit to Taylor Lake Park, but I can blame some of that on the ‘burst’ feature of the camera. Ten or so identical pictures at a time. It adds up. We saw bluejays all around the lake, hence the feature photo. We started on the shady side, and when we came around to the street side of the lake we were in the sun and a bit of a distance from the lake itself, and I expected to take no pictures at that point. And then we spotted the osprey.

A nice place for a walk.
I don’t know if I forgot to set my focus points, or were we too close for my new lens, but I missed his tail in all my shots.
He looked very relaxed, just sitting a posing for us.
Was he yelling at us?
I spotted this little bridge as we drove into the park, and I was tempted to hop out for a photo right then, but didn’t. Then we walked around the lake and the path took us past this spot when we were nearly back to the car. I liked it as a photo, but we also walked onto it for some additional shots.
A tricolor heron on the prowl.
This little bird excited me to see. I thought it was a new bird, one I hadn’t seen before. But, alas, Merlin says it is either an immature gallinule, or a young common loon. Since there were gallinule adults nearby I guess I’ll go with that. Notice the feet, the write up called for large ‘knobby feet’.
This last part of the lake had nice low bushes that seemed to be the place to find the pine warblers. Again, that’s Merlin’s choice based on my picture.
Busy little birds, not so easy to get a shot.
And we followed the trail back to the car.

The temperatures are back into the mid 80s, and the weatherman is talking about the humidity being back after our short break after the storm. Maybe it’s just an attitude adjustment, but I thought the weather was great for this outing. We ought to get out every day now that it feels so good. But then when would I get to look at my pictures?

adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, bugs, butterflies, exploring new places, friends, fun, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Taylor Lake Park…

I hardly know where to start. Somehow we came across the name of a park in the area, one that we hadn’t heard of before. The John S. Taylor Park in Largo, FL. It’s not a huge park, the walk was an easy 1.6 miles around. We stopped to see and photograph birds quite a few times. I’ve seen comments about migratory birds being in the area at this time of year, or maybe it’s just such a pretty park that the birds like to call it home.

Bluejays used to visit my backyard in Spring Hill, but it was a nice surprise to see them yesterday. This one seemed to want to say something.
I think I like this photo of a bluejay the best.
But my new camera has the ability to track birds in flight, so I was happy to capture this photo. I have a lot more to learn about the settings in this camera though.
Anhingas were sunning themselves, as they are most everywhere you go in Florida.
Getting the camera to focus in for a macro shot was a slight problem.
Eventually it cooperated nicely.
I had just said that we hadn’t seen any bees that day, meaning big fat bumble bees. But when I stopped to look at the little flowers in the bushes along the shore I found tiny little bees on tiny little flowers.
The tiny little butterflies in the grasses were plentiful also.
A fisherman pointed out this little gator to us.
I would like to think that we would have noticed this big gator sunning itself even if the fisherman hadn’t pointed him out.

There are lots more photos to go through, but they will have to wait for another day. It’s time to go out and enjoy another gorgeous day in sunny Florida.

'scene' along the way, a second look, backyard visitors, fantasy images, finding my way, Florida wildlife, front yard visitors, neighbors, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Adventures after dark…

Even in the daylight I watch my step in this neighborhood. There are lots of mature trees casting deep shadows, and wrecking havoc with the sidewalks with sections of concrete just dying to trip you up. But walking up the street last night I ran into a few of the neighbors…

He was talking to me, but I hurried on past.
A welcoming committee perhaps?
Keep on walking.
These neighbors seemed friendlier.
Fluttering bats and twirling ghosts, I headed back home.

Little kids might be too intimidated to approach these houses for Trick or Treating. And I thought of this neighborhood as typical suburban, but I hadn’t checked it out after dark.

'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, friends, fun, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, sunset

Plant City Balloon Fest…

I found myself to be a little disappointed as we first arrived at the Plant City Balloon Fest last night. It was smaller than I expected, less vendors and food trucks, but the nice sized crowd seemed happy. A live band was playing and people were looking for just the right spot, and setting up their chairs to get ready for a show. There was only one balloon fully inflated at that point, and I should have realized that there would be more to come. There were at least 8 or 9 balloons in all, and watching them being inflated was pretty entertaining. Entertaining and more than a little scary, seeing the flames so close to the fabric of the balloons themselves.

Flames, and fabric, and passengers, all pretty much huddled together.
For $25 you could have a tethered ride above the crowd.
I spotted Tweety being inflated and got a kick out of that one. But Sylvester was a surprise because he was facing the wrong way for a bit, and then he turned around. Of course if you have one you surely will have the other also. What surprised me was a couple of kids in front of us who paid no attention to them, they probably never saw the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons. But at least two senior citizens got a kick out of them.
I really wanted to use this shot as my feature photo, but that would have given it all away right from go.
There was a laser show at 8 PM, and they scheduled another one for 10 PM but we left after the first one. The lights were amazing, I will admit, but the photos aren’t great, only a hint of what it was like.
There was about a half an hour, maybe more, of amazing color.

The best thing about this event was that it was only a half hour from home. An easy drive, which isn’t always the case. When I see this event again I’ll happily go.