a second look, adventure, birds, bucket list, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, travel

A clean slate…

One day ends…

Another day begins…

A clean slate…

The usual morning crew, plus one…

This hawk has been sitting on various lamp posts and sounding off when I’ve been walking in this neighborhood. Finally I was able to get a picture, though not such a great one with the phone. I love the phone but there are limits to the pictures you can get with it.

This Great Blue Egret finally emerged from the shadows and posed for me.

And when you are reading this we will already be heading out on our next adventure. I’m listening to torrential rain as I’m writing this, and hoping for better weather in the morning. What will the day bring I wonder?

'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, birds, fantasy images, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, kids, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Be creative…

There was a new message waiting for me at the park this morning. I heartily agree with the message, and even the spelling was creative. I could have called this post ‘the blue hour’, or even simply, Happy Halloween, but my little creative friend won my heart today.

Yesterday I saw the family putting this display up, and when we came home last night I didn’t think a photo would work in the dark. But this morning I realized that the iPhone would work well enough, so I walked up the street to check it out.
I loved the horse best…
I guess this is why they call it the blue hour.
Still water makes for great reflections.
The few clouds that were there certainly got pretty. And the birds were arriving as I was heading back.
All in all another pretty morning.
'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, birds, exploring new places, friends, fun, Ibis, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Right under my nose…

In exploring this new-to-me neighborhood I had spotted this park a while ago. I immediately imagined positioning myself on the far side of the park trying to shoot the sunset. And I tried to do that exactly once, but it would only work if I walked onto people’s property, and I’m still a bit chicken to do that. And when I thought about sunrises I’d been on the lookout for places I could drive to in less than 45 minutes that would include a good view to the east. But on Sunday morning I decided that I needed to take a walk, and much to my surprise look what I found.

A view to the east! And judging by the clouds it would be a good sunrise. I continued my walk for a bit and then circled back.
It was going to be a good morning.
I had noticed the paved area before, but it took walking onto it for the sake of the view for me to see the permanent hop-scotch all ready for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Apparently they still play.
And some charming artwork also. My kids, plus lots of neighbor kids also, once drew on the sidewalk with some kind of pods that had fallen off of the tree up the street. It turned out that they were walnut pods, and the resulting artwork wasn’t easily washed away. And I had a fuss-budget neighbor. Need I say more?
As I watched the colors come up I began to notice the birds flying in.
They were ibis, and they marched up the embankment towards me.
They didn’t seem to mind me and my iPhone taking their picture.
The colors were fading, it was time to head back.

I have admitted that I have sunrise/sunset envy, but it seems I may just need to open my eyes and look around a bit more, and appreciate what’s right under my nose.

a second look, attention to detail, friends, fun, hockey, kids, making memories, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

Those photo ops…

I’ve already admitted that I have never been a fan of hockey. It just never seemed to be on the TV growing up, or since. But now that I have a friend who’s favorite sport is hockey it seems I may be making up for a lifetime of not watching it. Which might not have been a particularly welcome change if not for the fact that I am happiest with a camera in my hands. If there is one thing that going to a hockey game will give you it’s photo ops galore. The action never stops. You don’t have to wait for a bird to turn its head, or hold your breath while you try to will the sunrise or sunset colors to develop. Nope, there is something going on all the time, and so you may leave the game with 608 pictures in your camera. Or over 1000 as one of the group said she took. And, thanks to the group, we discovered that the upstairs view isn’t covered with netting except on the ends in range of the goals. So the center is open, no scuff marks on the glass or netting to shoot through. And there’s a bar, and a place to sit with a beer to watch the game and shoot pictures. Warmer too! I think I’m becoming a fan.

The puck drops are irresistible as a photo ops. It’s about the only time they stand still, and the hope is to get the puck in your shot. If you can see the logo on the puck all the better!
Blocked that shot.
There is a puck in the goalie’s mitt. One of the group with a really great camera managed to catch a shot of the puck as it entered the glove. I came very close to missing this shot.
Focusing on the goalie usually results in a tangle of people. This was a lucky shot from up high.
I liked seeing the kicked-up ice in this shot.
Defense!
Unfortunately our home team’s goalie let a few of these shots get through and we lost the game.
Lots of action all the time.

I do wonder how I would have felt if my son had wanted to play hockey when he was little. All the contact and shoving each other that goes on, and of course the fights, would have bothered me. But then they do all shake hands after the game, I guess I would have had to concentrate on that.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, finding my way, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, unintended images

And then there is the distillery…

When we arrived at Chassowitzka the other day we stopped at the station to check in and find out if we did or did not have to pay to enter the park. We didn’t, being over 65, in our case way over. But the real reason I was happy that we had stopped was because the ranger asked if we had ever been to the distillery in the park. No, we hadn’t, and once my friend heard that word ‘distillery’, and we didn’t know the park so we were wandering anyhow, we found ourselves following the signs for NJoy. And what a fun surprise it was to find this place after becoming convinced that we had somehow lost our way more than once. If you go keep driving, there will be another sign eventually.

We found a nice brick pathway to draw us in.
This butt-shot view was chosen to eliminate cars from the background. In case you wondered.
Conveniently placed near the entrance is this out house, complete with light switch.
Just to our right we couldn’t help but notice the outdoor bar area.
But the actual distillery caught our eye, with it’s working water wheel.
The coloring on this donkey, (it is a donkey, right?), caught my eye, but he wasn’t interested in posing for a picture.
There were horses and cows in the pasture.
And a pig just outside the distillery itself.
And a charming pond to sit by and enjoy the view.
Perhaps we will have to return for this event.

I had already decided that this could make a great venue for a party of any kind. There was lots of seating, a giant fire pit, and the bar of course. If private parties are allowed, I didn’t ask. Tours are offered all day long when it’s open, which is weekends only, and while we didn’t take the tour or even sit at the bar and have a beer this time, we might just correct that oversight when we return. Hours later my friend was still marveling over the idea that back in the woods, and I mean way back in the woods, you could find such an oasis waiting for you.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky

A short visit to Chassahowitzka…

You know how it is. You head out the door intending to do one thing, but the conversation leads you in an entirely different direction. That’s what happened yesterday when we set out to see and take photos along the back roads of ‘old Florida’, but we wound up at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Preserve instead. I’ve been there before, but I’ve always been the passenger tagging along with friends who know the park backwards and forwards. Which means that I have no idea how to get around in there so I wasn’t the best guide that a person could hope for. In fact we never did see the scenery I expected to show him, but that was okay, we’ll find that next time. And next time maybe there won’t be bow and arrow hunters in the woods, a fact that kept us close to the road as we got out for pictures. Not that we are hikers. As you can see from the feature photo we found lots and lots of butterflies in the thistles at the side of the road.

There was a lot of competition over this flower.
I love the detail in the thistles.
Rain was expected later on, but for the most part the skies were pretty.
And the rains we have had meant that we had to drive through puddles that took over the road in spots.
Trees and sky are your companions as you drive the winding road.
The sky seemed threatening at times, but mostly it was pretty.
Then on the way home we saw this rain falling in the general direction of where we were heading, but we seemed to drive around it. Then it started to rain as soon as we got home. Perfect timing.

The wildlife was keeping a low profile as we drove through. Of course it was afternoon and there is usually more action in the morning and at dusk. Still my friend was happy to see the Florida landscape as it was before people decided to ‘improve’ it…