'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, birds, ducks, friends, fun, home, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Rise and shine, sunrise

Sticking close to home…

I surprised myself by being up early enough to catch the sunrise. Early enough to just go around the block to see it though. I oftentimes forget that I can see the sunrise so close to home.

A mama duck didn’t seem to be bothered by my car pulled onto the grass, or by me clicking away with my camera.
I had occasion to rearrange my car the other day and ‘found’ the lens ball, so decided to look at the scene through from another point of view.
I loved how pretty the color got against the blue of the sky.
I love when the birds fly through the sunrise color.

I’m afraid I’m guilty of thinking that if I lived a little further south then the sunrises and sunsets would be perfect every day. But really they are perfect enough just where I am…

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, bugs, Florida landmarks, flowers, gardens, life goes on, making memories, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

A quick trip through the botanical gardens…

I had to go to the bank the other day, and since it’s practically next door to the Spring Hill Botanical Gardens a stop seemed in order. But, unfortunately, the butterflies weren’t very plentiful while the no-see -ems certainly were. Consequently it was a quick trip, but not so quick that I didn’t notice all the changes that they have been making at the garden. First of all this sculpture, which is in progress. At the base of the wing you see a disruption in the tree trunk, which I’m sure is why the tree was sacrificed and this sculpture is being made. A beautiful solution. I hope it will be finished the next time I’m here.

Not everything was new however, just seemingly rearranged enough to make it look new. Namely the castle in the feature photo, I hadn’t ever seen it from that side before. I liked that picture.

I love this little scene and take a shot of it every time I go here, but I never sit down.
I suspect that this is a moth, they only flying insect that posed for me.
Just one of a few angels…
Looking for dew on the flowers…
This little scene is one I wish I could walk into and sit a while.

By this time my ankles were so itchy that I was ready to leave. I need to actually use the bug spray that is always in my car, but I forget it’s there. I’m hoping that the hot weather will let up soon, it has been keeping me close to home for a while now. I shouldn’t complain, soon we will be enjoying the weather that drew us to move to Florida in the first place…

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, friends, fun, history, making memories, perseverance, photography

Movie time…

Now that we have been home and caught our breath a bit a trip to the Tampa Theater seemed like a good idea. The Sunday matinee, we thought we bought. But somehow our tickets were for the alternate showing of Thursday evening. I had been to the Tampa Theater before, for a tour, and I took pictures and posted them. Being there in a crowd full of theater goers intent on buying their popcorn, and in some cases, alcoholic beverages, made taking photos this time a little more difficult. I could see the ceiling however, see the feature photo, and so I started shooting.

This is not your average movie venue.
The view as you enter.
This is the light in the ceiling directly over my seat. The attention to detail is amazing.
Just a peek at the surroundings.
Some theater history was presented.
Suddenly the audience was clapping and I wasn’t sure why. Then I saw that the organ, and organist, was rising up from the floor of the stage as he played. He entertained us for a while and then he slowly disappeared back into the nether regions of the theater.
The opulence of the place amazed me. Even the trip downstairs to the ladies room maintained the theme, except for the ever-present hand sanitizer to spoil the photo. I tried to remove it in Photoshop but it was beyond me.
And then it was time to go home and we got to see the marquee in it’s full glory
adventure, attention to detail, birds, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, gardens, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Distractions…

I have to confess that as much as I enjoyed the butterflies at the Butterfly Rainforest yesterday I did let myself get distracted by the adorable Chinese Painted Quail that were busy scooting around in the underbrush. And sometimes napping on the walkway. Another visitor asked if they were okay, and the workers said yes they were. And added they they are the worlds smallest variety of quail. You can see them in the feature photo, a male and female I would expect.

See that tiny little pink dot nearly in the center of this photo? That is a Summer Tanager and it was busy taking a bath and didn’t seem to mind that I was intent on getting pictures.
Thank goodness for the zoom, he was too cute to miss.
He was splishing and splashing.
So cute.
And when he was done he up and flew away.

Actually the fun started right when you walked into the lobby, before you even entered the rainforest. In the lobby was a huge screen on the wall, and when we entered on the screen was a Mastodon and baby, wandering in the lobby. We quickly discovered that if you walked into the area the animal on the screen would start following you, and chasing you. You can imagine how excited the two young boys we saw were as they were chased by a tiger.

Not a great photo I know, but it was quite effective in person.
Tigers chased you more than the Mastodons did.
Also on display in the reception area. Fossils was the other big feature while we were there. I was sort of along for the ride, not expecting to be as interested as I turned out to be.
This display was nice, in the kids’s play area.
Hanging above the kids’s heads, the stuff of nightmares.

Did you know that giant sloths existed years ago? Big! Like 14 feet tall or so. And Dog bears? Not a dog and not a bear, but a dog bear. And did you know that horses used to be small and have gotten bigger over time? I didn’t either. And now I wish I’d taken more pictures.

'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, exploring new places, friends, fun, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip

Looking Glass Falls to Chimney Rock…

Waterfalls were supposed to be the destination for stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway on our last day. Nearby Brevard County, NC has dozens of waterfalls, but we had been away for quite a while and if we were to go there we wanted to spend lots of time, so we settled on the falls that were right on the parkway as we continued south. Only there was a detour that took us past Linwood Falls without being able to stop, a big disappointment. But Looking Glass Falls made up for it.

The view from the road was certainly nice, but I had to go down the steps for a closer view.
Not the biggest waterfall ever, but the weather was rainy off and on so we were glad for this opportunity for a few shots.
Sometimes having other people around makes a place seem even more special, and on this day a few more hardy souls were braving the rain to come to the falls.
And when I looked upstream I discovered yet another unexpected photo shoot happening. This time a pregnancy shoot. Not a great picture but it’s the best one I got.
We stopped to see a rocky stream along the way.
As we ascended yet another steep drive up, with lots of twists and turns, we encountered mirrors along the way to make those hairpin turns a bit safer.
And then there it was, way up high, Chimney Rock. Seeing the walkway I knew I was going to have to go up for the view. And discovering that there was an elevator was a happy surprise.
The view, it wasn’t disappointing.
Zooming a little closer, because I could.
Lest you think there was a nice, level patio of sorts to stand on and enjoy that view. Nope, it was impossible to approach the railing at the sides without climbing over lots of rocks, so I just stayed put and got what shots I could.
This is the view of the tunnel that leads to the elevator. The signage along the walkway tells you that if you are standing in line at this spot your wait will be 30 minutes, etc. On that rainy day there was no wait at all. When I reached the elevator I turned to take this shot.

Somewhere in this trip we found a cliff-side overlook, where, we were told, they held events that allowed people to become certified to paraglide. (I hope that’s the right term.) For the life of me I couldn’t see down the cliff, try as I might for a photo. The feature photo was from this same area. Spending a few days traveling those very scenic roads was a pleasure, not only for a photographer, but for anyone who appreciates nature in all it’s glory.

'scene' along the way, adventure, antiques, attention to detail, backyard visitors, courage, exploring new places, fences, finding my way, friends, history, just imagine, learning, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Thoughts of the past…

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers more than just the fabulous scenery at their stops along the way. Sometimes you find a preserved example of an Appalachian Farm to explore. It was nice to get out of the car for more than a minute or two, to walk a little, and to think of what challenges people faced not too long ago, to make a living in this quiet place.

If you stop to think for just a moment you realize that each section of fence was the result of hard labor on someone’s part. The lovely tree we can attribute to God’s handiwork.
Simple home for simple living.
The barn, to shelter the animals who depend on you and also provide their labor as well as food.
We didn’t talk with these photographers, though now I wish we would have. They had a nice camera/lens set up, and a tripod, and they seemed intent on the flowers behind the fence. Or was it something else?
The root cellar, preserving the fruits of your labor for the long winter days.
And the outhouse. We all know how necessary that is.