dogs, fun, grandchildren, kids, life, memories, photography, travel, weather

Happy feet…

I last went north a year and a half ago for my granddaughter’s college graduation. Since I was heading that way I got a ‘since you are coming anyhow’ request from my son, could I head there (NY) first and stay with the kids for the weekend while they headed to FL for a wedding?  I was happy to do it.  But I didn’t anticipate that turning on the oven to heat up a slice of pizza and then noticing that the puppy had pooped on the foyer floor, would result in the smoke alarm going off during the poop clean up, which caused me to hurriedly flush said poop, causing the toilet to overflow… and my grandson to call down from upstairs, “Is everything alright down there, Mimi?” Eventually it was, with help from the kids..
I’m reliving that memory because my other take-away from that weekend was that I spent it freezing to death. At the end of May! So I went on a quest for warm slippers, and these were the only ones to be found, and they caused my daughter and granddaughter to roll their eyes at my fashion choices. I didn’t care, I think the only place I went during that visit that I didn’t wear them was the actual graduation itself.
Lucky for me I was straightening my closet and discovered them, just in time for them to save me from our current cold spell in FL. My friend Kathy said she’d have to dig deep to feel sorry for me while I suffered through our 50-something degree weather. So my fashion choices for the day are the slippers, jeans, and Charley’s huge #1 Pop Pop sweatshirt, which is the only sweatshirt I can put my hands on at the moment. The dogs think I look just fine, and they also think it’s time to go out…

birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, pelicans, photography, sunset, Tricolored heron

The quiet nest…

I held a vigil for a while at the eagle nest today, camera at the ready, and almost nothing happened.  My eagle watching friend says that the fact that the eagle on the nest was hunkered down and invisible most of the time I was there means that it’s the male.  The female is bigger also, another tidbit I learned today.  I was distracted by a Downey woodpecker for a bit, and hoped I didn’t miss anything but I didn’t think so.  What I expected was for the female to join the male on the nest, that was the photo op I hoped for.  But that’s not what happened.  There was sudden movement on the nest, the male popped up and vocalized a bit, and then took off.  Several minutes went by and then another eagle flew over and settled down on the nest.  We couldn’t say for sure which eagle it was, we were just glad to know the nest was protected.

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I stopped at the Anclote Fishing Pier on the way home and found some more feathered friends there.  It’s my friend’s favorite sunset spot, but it was too early for the sunset, and I was tired so I decided to head home…

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dogs, home, life, life goes on, losing battles, photography

Who’s in charge here…

For a dog who doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in his body, Ozzie sure can boss me around. I once read something written by Caesar Milan, that said that any time your dog tells you what to do, like wants to go out when it wasn’t your idea to go out, then that’s aggression. And it shouldn’t be tolerated. Maybe allowed would be a better word. I remember thinking that if I ever had a big dog I wanted to be sure that they were trained perfectly, and incredibly well behaved. Okay, so now I have two big dogs that do nothing I say, unless I ask them if it’s cookie time, which will bring them galloping to the back door.
And the throw on the bed? That’s my side. I’ve always slept on that much of the bed, a little sliver on the side, so Ozzie really isn’t taking the bed over, that’s just his (now) side of the bed. I’ve had to resort to an extra throw these last few nights since it’s gotten cold, and seeing that makes me see how little of the king-sized bed I actually use. I took a picture because Ozzie was hiding his eyes since I came in and turned the light on to get ready to go to bed. Poor thing, I was disturbing him. I should do the same thing when he gets me up at 1:30, and 3:30 every night. I wonder what Caesar Milan would say about that?

birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, natural wonders, nature, photography, unintended images

Feathered friends…

I spent all last spring out in the back yard with my new (at the time) camera, and never ran out of things to photograph.  There were so many birds every day, plus I noticed the light at sunset, and the magical reflection of the trees in the lake that made the water look like a mirror.  In reality it’s quite loaded with algae, etc., but shortly before sunset it looks amazing out there.  As it did today.

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And of course the Sand Hill cranes.  Their story had me enthralled for months, but they had moved on.  And the reality is that there hasn’t been a lot of bird action on the lake for a few months now.  Until lately.  Lately Sand Hill cranes are all around the neighborhood, and they spend time on the lake too.  A few days ago I watched a stand off of sorts between a Great Blue Heron on one side of the lake, and two Sand Hill cranes directly across from him.

1211heronThe heron never moved an inch, so I really can’t say that it wasn’t a statue of one.  He stared at those cranes for well over an hour.  I was busy but each time I looked outside to see what was going on he was in exactly the same place.  I’ve seen a heron out there from time to time, but they haven’t ever been as common a visitor as the Sand Hill cranes are.

Today I needed to get some new pictures, so when I heard the cranes out there I picked up my camera and went outside.  But instead of seeing them across the lake as I expected, they were right in my backyard.  Someone must be feeding them because they weren’t afraid of me, in fact they headed straight for me.  Someday I’ll contain my excitement when I think I’m going to get some nice pictures and actually look at the settings instead of picking up the camera and starting  to shoot.  Most of the time when I do get a good picture it’s dumb luck, and this afternoon was no exception.  They were coming so close to me that I had to change the lens on the camera.  I’m really hoping they will make their nest out there on the lake again this year.

1211crane21211crane11211closeup1211crane31211cranecloseup31211cranefrombelow1211cranefrombelow2I never knew their beaks were so well ventilated.  Or that they have chubby cheeks.  They were so close to me that I could only take close ups, and as I did they turned their heads this way and that as if they were getting directions.    I finally sat on the ground for a different perspective.  I had been wondering where I ought to go for some photo ops yesterday, and it turned out I only needed to head out the door…

life, photography, on closer examination, grandchildren, memories, fun, moments, life goes on, family

On the way…

We passed this pond every time we went to visit my son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Katie, for a lot of years.  And every time we did pass this pond it nearly took my breath away with how beautiful it was.  And if the dogs were with us, dogs being Zoe and Gleason for most of that time, and then Zoe and Ozzie, once we got to this pond Zoe knew for sure that we were going to their house and she could barely contain herself for the rest of the way.  Which wasn’t far, thank goodness.  But I never stopped to take a picture, I suppose I didn’t expect that heading to Mike’s house would one day be a 21 hour drive north.

After we bought our house with the pond in our back yard, and especially as we had only seen the place twice, plus the neighbor on the left side of our lake kept his yard like a park, I began to imagine that our pond looked like the pond on the way to Mike’s house.  Minus the fountain of course.  And alligators, no alligators in my pond, thank you very much.  But that pond never seems to have the algae that my pond does, I wonder how they keep that down?  At any rate it was a slight bit of disappointment when we settled on the house and I saw the pond again, and saw that it was much smaller, and quite a bit sadder, than the one on the way to Mike’s house.  Oh I love my pond, and I’m grateful to have it, especially after it dried up for a couple of years, but it would be nice…

So I recently found myself passing down this street again, and wishing that Mike still lived nearby, if only because I would have stopped in to use the bathroom.  But on the way home I stopped for pictures, since I don’t know when, or if, I’ll pass this way again…

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adventure, childhood, photography, Pine Island, silliness, simple things, sky, unintended images

Widget’s tale…

After two cold, rainy, and entirely dreary days, it was almost startling to see some blue sky that afternoon, but still lots of clouds. Clouds that just might be lit up by the sunset. I hadn’t been out for the sunset at Pine Island in quite a few days, so off I went. I complained when the wind wasn’t there the other day, and the no-see-ums were there, well, the wind was back, in spades. The clouds had been blown almost entirely away and the seagulls kept taking to the air, and flying nowhere. They couldn’t make headway against that wind.

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And that wind, well, the seagulls weren’t the only ones who struggled with it. Don’t I always say that Pine Island never disappoints? That the people I meet are just as important to me as the sunsets? Well, we can now add elves to that list, or, one elf at least. His name is Widget, and he had quite the tale to tell…

Widgets mission
It seems he had been chosen by Santa for a very special mission, one that had taken him to Hawaii. It was hard work training those elf recruits, so before he left Hawaii he earned a chance to relax on the beach…Widget gets some sun

But then a huge gust of wind blew across the beach, and Widget found himself flying through the sky.  All he could see were all the seagulls who were also being blown in the wind with him.  He was flying and flying, and he was very scared, but mostly because he didn’t know if he would ever see his boy Jonah again.  He just wanted to go home.

Widget touches down

There were hardly any people on Pine Island on that cold and windy evening.  But lucky for him Jonah’s mommy was one of the people there on the beach, and we all saw him as he flew through the air, and landed with a thud, and we ran to see if he was okay.  He didn’t care that he was cold, or that he was covered with sand, he said he just wanted to go home.  And then he smiled…

Widget's selfie

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