'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, boats, changing times, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

Floating along…

If you are at Armature Works for a car show, or just for lunch, then you are on the Riverwalk. The river being the Hillsboro River, and there are lots of places you might like to visit along that river. The easiest way to travel up, or down, the river is by water taxi, and you might choose to get an all day pass and get on and off the boat to explore all there is to see. We, however, just rode one round trip and called it a day. Until next time.

You pass under a few bridges as you travel on the river. The tour guide pointed out that you must make an appointment to bring a larger boat through the bridges, and should you miss your appointment you would incur a $25,000 fine. Plus they would have sent out crews to open the rest of the bridges for you, which might make your fine $125,000. So don’t be late.

The round building is known as the ‘beer can building’, for obvious reasons.
At one end of your trip you will find the American Victory ship. Built mostly by women during WW2, it remains fully operational. Tours of the ship are available.
The schedule for the Lightning has been released, so we’ll soon be inside, looking out, rooting the team on.
Testing the camera’s abilities by shooting these little doves as we sailed on by.
I heard the guys sitting behind me talking about a rainbow but I had to go up and join the captain to see it.
This picture has it all. The water taxis, the beer can building, and yet another of the bridges. And cranes along they way also, an ever evolving landscape.
Are these minarets out of place in an urban landscape? They adorn Plant Hall, which now holds the administration services of the University of Tampa, but was once home to the Tampa Bay Hotel. A visit to the museum here will have to be enjoyed another day.
Plant wanted something exotic as a design for his hotel, so Architect J.A Wood designed a Moorish Byzantine style building, which was popular in the Victorian period. The hotel only remained open for 40 years, from 1891 to 1932, but was visited by Theodore Roosevelt and Clara Barton, guests who helped it earn its status as a National Historic Landmark.
A nearby church echoes the theme.

What a nice way to spend a day in Tampa. The afternoon clouds were arriving right on time, and we were safely home relaxing when the storm rolled in.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, sky, storms, strangers become friends, weather

Shooting with friends…

Our photography group was incredibly active before covid, and we have now begun to schedule photo walks while we pray for them not to be rained out. After I joined I attended all the classes and photowalks that I could manage, and that has been a blessing to me with the new friends I have made. So last night we set out to St. Pete for the night photo walk extra early, to beat the traffic. This despite some very ominous skies in just the direction we were headed. We parked two hours early, and just then we heard a crack of thunder just over head. But, amazingly, the storm didn’t materialize and the clouds blew inland. And quite a few other photo-walk starved members showed up for a fun evening.

We met near the St. Pete Pier and rode the free trolley to the end of the pier to grab a light dinner and kill some time before the shoot.
The fisherman on the left has caught a shark a day since last April, or so said the trolley drivers. The fisherman knew that they were talking about him so he came over and got out his phone to show us photos of his prize catches.
This is our spot to meet the group. Silly me, I touched the ‘papers’ on the bench since I thought they had gotten all wet in the short rain that we did have… but they were part of the sculpture.
And then we walked along the busy downtown streets, peeking into doorways, and at fun store fronts, as well as busy bars and restaurants.
I will confess that I was hot and sweaty, and struggling with an extra heavy tripod that I have no intention of borrowing again. My fellow photographers were shooting up at buildings, and squatting on their heels to get the angles they were looking for. I was barely keeping up, and when I got a chance to shoot I didn’t even set up the tripod, I just used it as a monopod and I was sure I wouldn’t get any usable shots at all. That I did came as a huge surprise to me.
I almost skipped shooting this doorway but my friend told me to take the shot and he’d wait with me.
This was my last shot and my favorite. We were returning to the car about a half hour after sunset and I liked this view. Another shot taken on the run, I think I’m loving my new camera.

The group stopped at one of the bars we had walked past and all had a drink together. Or maybe two even. I think I wasn’t the only one to be happy to be out shooting in a group again. And to think of the months of nice weather we have ahead of us, and all the places we might go, makes me happy.

a second look, adventure, food, friends, fun, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, technology

Let’s dance…

“Put on your red shoes and dance the blues,”

Just thinking about looking at my pictures from last night had David Bowie in my head all day. As with most of the music of my youth I can sing the song but have no clue in the world who sang it, I looked it up.

It really was a no brainer. Friday night at Krate, with live music, this time from the 70s and 80s. Music and dancing for photo ops, plus the timing would include the sunset, and even if a storm blew in there would always be the food. I opted for the same thing I got last time, a frozen sangria and the Southwest egg rolls from Blush.

See the nice blurred background? I can thank my new ‘nifty 50’ lens for that. It was the only lens I brought to force myself to use it. And this was probably the only picture I took that really took advantage of it’s capabilities.
The class we are currently taking requires homework. I thought I might get portraits at this event, but I couldn’t very well ask this adorable little cutie and her mom to move somewhere else, somewhere without a trash can front and center in the picture. I took a lot of pictures of her, but they never moved to a better location.
A lot of cropping got me to this image. I loved the position of her feet.
These little girls presented the same problems. So cute though.
Dad walked this little guy right in front of me, Cropped this one like crazy too, but it’s a portrait anyhow.
But this is supposed to be about dancing, and this lady was dancing even before everyone was invited to dance. I had to walk around her to find a better background than the cars in the parking lot.
This couple deservedly won the dance contest.
But this lady and her granddaughter (?) stole the show for me. I wish she had on the red shoes that the song calls for, but a red bow in her hair will have to do.
How sweet is that little girl? She was surrounded by people so my ability to get a photo was limited. I don’t know that I saw those eyes until I checked the shots in the camera. I think grannie might have embarrassed her a bit.
The sunset was blooming nicely.
Lots of sky to see.
a second look, adventure, donuts, food, friends, lobster, perseverance, photography, road trip

Gastronomically speaking…

I had several ulterior motives in mind when it came to this recent trip of ours. Going back to Red’s Eats was first and foremost on the list. So as we approached our first destination of Boothbay Harbor, ME I was heartbroken to drive past a closed and shuttered-up shop. It looked so sad and forlorn without the crowds out front and spilling down the hill to the right. I needn’t have worried though, it was only that it was Monday, they would be back in business the next day.

That hill looks shorter from this angle. The umbrellas will shade customers as they enjoy their food. Lots more available items than lobster rolls, but that is what they are known for. Across the street are more restaurants which also serve lobster rolls, with lots shorter lines.
Ah, now that’s what we are used to seeing.
This day we stopped, and I’d been waiting in line for a while before it dawned on me to take a picture. I chatted with the guy in front of me, the couple behind me, and the guy behind them who heard me mention Baltimore, where he was from. Waiting in the line is part of the experience, at least when you are on vacation and have nowhere else to be. I did feel guilty that my friend was waiting down the hill somewhere, having, hopefully, found a place to park. I was also shading myself with one of Red’s umbrellas, and I accepted a cup of water which they also provided to the people in the line.
Something to read while you wait.
This is Zoe, she belongs to the couple behind me in line. Just when I commented (negatively) about the poor dogs who had been walking by with their owners on this beastly hot day, my fellow waiter spotted her husband walking their dog down to join us. This is where I found them as I joined them to wait for our orders. I’m thinking that she was just fine, as it turned out.
And the ‘Maine’ event. I discovered this place 3 years ago when I was camping in the area, and I’d been looking forward to getting back here ever since. See that big piece of lobster on the left? I took a bite out of it already, before I remembered to take a picture. There is no dressing at all, just melted butter to dip the pieces into. It was every bit as good as I remembered. My friend agreed. Just be prepared to enjoy the company in line while you wait, and you will. We decided that we were in line 100 minutes before we ordered. If I ever get the chance I’ll do it again too. In Wiscasset, ME, on Rt. 1.
Ulterior motive number 2, The Holy Donut. If you are ever in Portland, ME, and are ready for breakfast, this is the place to go. Only a couple of blocks from the second campground I visited 3 years ago, I spotted it as I waited at a traffic light. Potato donuts, and boy are they good.
The line was shorter than Reds, and air conditioned too!

We stopped here as we were leaving ME and headed to my friend in NH. We bought extras to share. I failed to take a picture of the actual donut I got, and ate on the spot. It was a blueberry donut with lemon glaze. I got one last time I was here and it was so good that I went back the next day for another, and they were gone. Their season had ended, apple cinnamon donuts were the new featured donut. The apple was good, but I’m so glad the blueberry/lemon were back in season on this day. I was hungry…

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Egg Rock Island…

A cruise to Egg Rock Island hadn’t ever been on my radar screen before this trip, but today was our chance and we took it. An Audubon cruise to see and learn about Puffins, the cutest birds ever.

They are social little things and a group of them such as this are a raft of Puffins. Males and females look alike, and they both take care of the one chick per year that they produce. August is towards the end of their breeding time and we were told that we are among the last of the people who will see them this year.
I imagined seeing these birds standing on a rock, so that we would see their cute feet. But our instructor told us that these birds struggle to become airborne. They must flap their wings over 400 times per minute to become airborne. Sometimes, she said, you can see them running on the surface of the water as they are taking off. I love this picture because that’s exactly what we see here, and we see those orange feet. A lucky shot for sure.
Think of them as pudgy, slow-moving, hummingbirds, said the instructor.
We were lucky to see them at all. What a treat.

There were no more Puffins in Maine by 1901, and sewing machines were at fault. Ladies were so enamored of having feathers adorning their clothes and hats that the population of Puffins, and other birds, were affected. It wasn’t until the 1970s that attempts to repopulate the island began, and it took over 8 years to make progress. The winning combination involved bringing young chicks to the island, playing their mating calls, populating the island with Puffin decoys (back to that social thing), and even placing mirror boxes on the island to make them think there were more birds in residence and this would be the place for them. And it worked. There are 300 mated pairs on this island, and over 1000 in Maine as a whole. And these same conservation techniques are in use with other species of birds all over the world. This was a great experience on a wonderful day. We couldn’t have asked for more.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Heading north…

I was supposed to be loading the car, but there were these pretty flowers, and bees! Can’t resist the bees. But eventually we were on the road, heading north. Destination, Boothbay Harbor, ME. But there were stops along the way…

First was Nubble Lighthouse, just in time for a proposal.
But here is Nubble sitting up on it’s own little island.
Lots of birdies live there too.
Looking across to the left of the lighthouse.
Another hour up the road and we stopped to see the Portland Head Light,
What a pretty sight. And off to the right in the distance you can see Whaleback Lighthouse.
Zooming in on
Whaleback..
Our destination, Howard House Lodge, tucked away off the street.
Ahh…