nature, photography, sunset, friends, fun, adventure, perseverance, storms, rain, unintended images, weather, 'scene' along the way, making memories, exploring new places

Those late sunsets…

There is an upside to the late sunsets in early summer in Florida. Usually I’d rather have an early sunset so I can be home in time to relax and check my photos. But on this day when we had a meeting of our photography club we could catch the sunset on the way home. Plus this was the first time all day that it felt good to be outside. Actually the first time in many days that it was nice to be outside. And our fearless leader suggested a new-to-us spot to watch the sunset happen. What a find! Thanks Jeff!

Not one but two bridges in view. And me without my camera. But as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you, and I’m never without my iPhone.
At first I wished I was on the sunset cruise boat, but as things progressed maybe I ought to count my blessings.
I was beginning to be more interested in the clouds as time went on.
A quarter turn to my right and this was the sky.
This blue heron watched the sunset with us. I turned this way for the sky but the reflections won me over.
Now the race was on, Would the sun drop under the bridge before the rain began to fall?
The answer to that was that it was a draw. We took shelter under the covered pier, but that was useless because it was raining sideways.
We were two drowned rats sitting in the car waiting for the rain to let up before driving home. We could hardly see the pier we had just been standing on. Still a good night, regardless.
a second look, adventure, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, weather

Sunset with friends…

It had been a very long time since I’d been out shooting with the group that came out to Crystal Beach last night. I’m afraid that I was so happy to see them, and had so much fun talking with them, that I stayed in one spot and shot the same photo over and over again. Yes, the sun sank into the water eventually, but the biggest difference in my pictures was the people on the pier. We had a drink at Molly Goodhead’s afterwards, and while I was there I caught a bit of the Lightning game where another friend was rooting them into tying up the playoff series they are in. It was a nice night all the way around.

When I was leaving to head to the shoot I had a ‘severe thunderstorm watch’ on my phone, but as you see there were just enough clouds last night. There will be a sunrise in this group’s future very soon.

adventure, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, weather

Dandelion wishes…

My wishes for this trip, aside from just lots of time to relax and talk with my ‘old’, interpret that as you will, friend, was to see forsythia and lilacs. The forsythia are everywhere, though possibly past their prime, but plenty wonderful, and the lilacs are trying their best to open up.

Smells so good!
And as gorgeous as I remember.
I do notice the backgrounds for my photos and adjust myself when possible, but sometimes a lion with a pretty tree behind it is too much to resist.
A blue ox was not on my wish list, but sometimes you just take what you get.

We enjoyed an arts and crafts festival in lovely Warner, NH yesterday. I seem to have brought the Florida heat with me, but nothing could spoil this time with my friend. Being together is like getting your batteries recharged. It won’t be as long between visits from this point on.

a second look, adventure, birds, boats, dolphins, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, pigs, road trip

Seafood on the menu…

When our visitor visits Florida she likes having a drink while over- looking the water, and if there are boats in the scene that’s a plus too. Which explains how we wound up having lunch on the boardwalk at John’s Pass on Sunday. We stopped to see the scenery when we first arrived and found lots of birds near the pier where people were gutting newly caught fish and tossing the trimmings to the milling pelicans below. Among a few other scavengers.

Here we have a snowy egret surveying the scene.
She got a bit up close and personal for a minute or two.
I thought these two pelicans had found a worm of some kind, but I was told this is entrails. I had quite a few pictures of the battle, but the victor finally flew away with the entrails still wrapped around his beak.
This fella caught his own lunch.
The atmosphere is old fishing village, I find it charming.
Lots of boats, large and small, pass by.
Some require a bit of adjustments as they pass.
'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…

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Passing time, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

The Good Neighbor Trail…

I stumbled upon a website that gives you all the info you could want about all the trails we might like to ride in Florida. Or anywhere else also, but I stuck to looking at the trails that were supposed to be in the immediate area. I quickly discovered that their idea of ‘in the area’ and mine were a bit different. I also decided that most trails were going to be a ride out and then reverse and ride back the way you came. But you could tell from the information given if a trail was going to be mostly out in the sun, an important consideration for this area, even if it is newly into spring. It’s been hot in the sun when it hasn’t been raining. Ah Florida, my adopted home.

We decided on riding the Good Neighbor trail because it really was pretty close by, and also because it begins at the Brooksville Train Depot and Museum. We knew it wasn’t open that day, but the weather was too perfect to miss a chance to be out riding, like a couple of kids.
The road off to the left of this picture wasn’t very busy with cars, and the intersections we needed to cross weren’t worrisome. There also wasn’t a lot of traffic on the trail itself, so my expectation of riding side-by-side was actually possible on this ride.
We heard birds in the trees, but didn’t see wildlife beyond the occasional butterfly or dragonfly, and they didn’t stop for photos. But maybe we were riding and talking and missing what may have been going on around us, I guess I’ll never know.

It is kind of funny how easy it is to feel the kid in you come out as you pedal a bike. The feeling of the breeze in your face is the same after all, the wrinkles don’t matter. Maybe it’s the lack of immediate responsibilities that makes it feel so free. Just don’t tip over would be the biggest concern, and when your bike is actually a trike that possibility is less likely. Yup, the investment in this trike was a very good idea, now we get to go out and play, in a very grown up way of course.