'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, birds, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, rain, sky, storms, weather

Summer in Florida…

My friend announced that he wanted to go to Clearwater yesterday, which made me think of the nesting birds that we hadn’t gone looking for so far. I was sure it was now or never to find the chicks before they fledged, so I sort of hijacked his trip by suggesting we go a little bit farther and see the birds first. Only they weren’t where we found them last year, requiring a plan B. Our second stop was going to require feeding the meter before we even knew if they were there, so he parked while I hurried down to the beach to see what I could see. And I did see several adult birds in a roped off area up the beach a ways. But I began to hear thunder which caused the lifeguards to being sounding their whistles to get swimmers out of the water. I had my cell phone with me and thought I’d get a beach picture before I left, but looking behind me I saw quite the sky.

At first we were amazed at all the lightning we were seeing on the drive home. The claps of thunder and the lightning were almost simultaneous, so we knew the storm was right over us. But when it began to rain we couldn’t keep driving, we had to pull over and wait it out. My friend never did get to run his errand in Clearwater, but I had told him that lunch was on me. And then when we were finally almost home I was amazed at how dark the skies were, but some of the clouds were lit up and looking amazing against the dark sky. We have a photo walk to go to tonight and similar weather conditions are on the menu. But that will be the story for the foreseeable future here in Florida, my adopted home.

attention to detail, exploring new places, food, friends, fun, live and learn, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

Krate…

When you already have a very nice shopping area, complete with restaurants, movie theaters, and shops for every member of the family, what more does it need? Apparently someone thought that The Grove needed 50+ container storefront shops, with lots of room to add more. This is a novel idea to me, but perhaps not so much to you. The grand opening was set for Saturday, but we went on Friday as something to do while a tropical storm was bearing down on South Florida. We wanted to avoid the crowds that I assumed would be there for the grand opening the next day, but as I looked around it was the sky that kept grabbing my attention. Amazing, wide-open skies, with ominous dark looking clouds that never did materialize into the called for rain. At least not here.

Colorful umbrellas, some people strolling, but always the sky.
You will not go home hungry if you visit this place.
I have to admit that these low-slung containers left a lot of room for sky in my iPhone photos.
I’m so glad I was here when we didn’t have cars and people cluttering up the shots of that sky. LOL.
Charcuterie anyone?
I wonder what will be sold at the Rebellious Hippie?
Something for the kids. The MaeBerry name is what got my attention, but I don’t suppose the young people would understand why.
Besides having every edible treat you can imagine available, you might also like to buy some jewelry or get a tattoo.
It’s nice to know that what happens at Krate stays at Crate.

I thought I’d be able to mention all the varieties of food that’s available here, but it was mind boggling. Suffice it to say that from hot dogs to sushi, it was all here. Plus wine bars and craft beer. And don’t forget the bakeries and ice cream shops for dessert. From what I could see this area will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, maybe to leave you to digest what you sampled over the weekend. I found this to be a fun concept and I’m looking forward to returning when the shops are open. I don’t think I mentioned that of the 50+ shops here, only one is a chain store. That’s taking a good idea and making it even better.

a second look, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, connections, facing facts, finding my way, flowers, friends, fun, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip

The facts of life…

Visiting Lake Winnipesaukee before Memorial Day is either the best or worst time to visit depending on your point of view. The only activity seemed to be the shop owners preparing to open their doors for the season. There were no boats in the boat slips, no people lining up to buy ice cream, or swimming in the little beach. My cousins grew up nearby they told me that Weir Beach was a destination for teenagers back in the day. On this day there was room to take in the scenery, and wonder if you might return to ride the train. For now it was a peaceful scene.

Across the street from the beach you find beautiful old Victorian houses, some receiving touch ups before the tourists return.
The boat slips were empty that day.
A few hanging baskets of flowers were in place, soon there will be baskets everywhere.
The hills were alive in shades of green as the new leaves fill in the scene.
A New England scene isn’t complete without a steeple.
A walking path leads you around the lake, and past ever changing sculptures done by local artists.
There was a lot more to this sculpture, a whole series of circles, but I liked the scene through this opening.
I should have taken a picture of the hand written sign requesting that if you see Canada geese on the grass please shoo them away. We didn’t bother this one.
This was my third visit to this lake, and I knew that this pretty gate was just waiting for us to see what we might see through it’s ‘window’.
This just might be my all time favorite photo op prop.
The path around the park continues around the lake, with more flowers and sculptures to see, and geese to shoo is you care to..

We nearly missed this last statue. We only saw it as we returned to the car. But that’s when we saw a big sign that featured the image of this man with the cardinals, so we took pictures and then we headed home. Visiting New Hampshire isn’t a childhood memory for me, my visits have come in these later years of life, visits to reconnect with an old friend. Those connections in life are so special, words can’t do it justice, but this place has come to feel like home to me also. I have been alone these last years of my life, but not really alone, having a friend who is dear to your heart makes all the difference.

'scene' along the way, attention to detail, bugs, connections, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, unintended consequences

Live and learn…

The feature photo is from Monday morning, pale but nice sunrise after a storm the night before. Which looked like this just after it ended, and in time for the sky to light up.

I think I was lucky enough to catch the finale of the show, because it got grayer soon after I took this shot.
This is the audience apparently waiting for the sunrise right along with me.
And this was Monday night as we left the restaurant and headed for home. An early night because our company was leaving on Tuesday, a very early flight.

Note to self: Just because you are in a parking lot when you decide you have to take a shot of the sunset, and you step up onto a curb and then onto the sandy grass, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t fire ants ready and waiting to bite your toe and make you too itchy to fall asleep…

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography

On closer examination…

I often begin telling myself stories about the photos I’m taking while I’m taking them. Looking through the lens I think I know what’s happening as I’m watching, but equally as often I am totally off the mark. When I was taking pictures of these anhinga chicks I thought I’d say they are the three amigos, just singing together while they wait for mom to show up with food. Kind of like this photo. Except of course for the fact that mom was actually present, but her dark color had her blending into the background.

The family that sings together…

The reality of the situation was revealed when I looked at the pictures in the computer. It was a different situation all together. When a photographer friend said that anhinga chicks feed by sticking their beaks down their mother’s throats I said that I was glad I’m not an anhinga. And I am… glad that is.

Ouch!
Again, ouch…
Perhaps we’ll see cattle egret chicks before too long. That would be a first for me.
This egret photobombed my shot…
I knew there were chicks in this nest, but I had to wait because it looked like a pile of feathers as I concentrated on the other birds. Then mom and dad stood up.
Have I mentioned that it was breezy that morning?
I was paying attention to these three wood storks because it looked as if they were all laying on one nest. When they got up I saw two nests, and if you look real carefully you will see a tiny, tiny chick in the bottom nest.
Maybe it really does take a village.
These wood stork chicks are a far cry from the tiny one in the last photo. I love the wooly look they get at this stage.
And last but not least, a close up of the egret chicks who will one day grow into such beautiful, graceful birds. But right now not so much…

Since I can’t ride past this nest on my way to and from just about anywhere you will be seeing baby birds a while longer. Nature at her finest!

a second look, attention to detail, childhood, facing facts, fun, kids, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Smiley faces…

I walked down the block for the sunrise the other day. I’d sort of forgotten about this little park, and the charming little chalk drawings I used to see there sometimes. The last time I was there was the day after a hard rain, and the whole surface was fresh and clean, looked brand new. But this time I saw images that made me smile.

The cute faces in chalk were hard to miss. But when I saw this photo I saw another smiley face lit up in the clouds. Or is it just me?

The color kept building, a pretty sunrise.
As I walked away I noticed message left by a slightly older somebody. Someone is having a birthday, and someone was there, and someone is single. I had to laugh when I read that one.

I’ve thought about buying myself some sidewalk chalk and leaving a message, but I’ve come to my senses. I may feel like I’m in my second childhood these days, but I’m old. I think I’d best leave these kids to their fun and just check in on them from time to time.