Talking with a friend the other day reminded me of how much my husband and I enjoyed looking at the skies here in Florida. I remember driving to the house from the airport and we would point out the beautiful clouds to each other. And the palm trees were a marvel also. We spent three years traveling from Maryland to our home in Florida, just visiting, but anticipating the day when we would make it our permanent home. That was fifteen years ago now, and I’m still marveling at the skies and the palm trees.
And so Florida eventually became our permanent home, except the word permanent doesn’t hold as much meaning for me as it did 15 years ago. I’m pretty sure that I would have been horrified if I’d have had an inkling of where 15 years would bring me. I would never have believed that I’d feel so at peace as I do. Just looking at the sky and seeing what each day brings…
Bayport was a favorite sunrise location for me for quite a long time, but several years ago they closed the pier, and then closed the entire park while they replaced the pier. A sunken ship was the cause of the delay, but yesterday then reopened the park, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony. I would probably still be in the dark about this if not for my former neighbor who posted about the reopening yesterday, which meant that today I was going to make sure to be there for the sunrise.
I wasn’t the only one there. Many very happy fishermen were also there, greeting each other and teasing me about taking pictures of their great, but imaginary, catches. And the sunrise didn’t disappoint. I could have lived without the guy with a drone who was buzzing the area as the sun rose though.
And again the weather was wonderful enough that even after the sunrise I was reluctant to leave, but once the sun was up I thought my day was done. That was until I noticed the grackle on the mirror of one of the parked cars, and then the birds took over the shoot.
The grackles are noisy, but for some reason I enjoy their antics. And of course the seagulls were plentiful too. I saw a Great Blue Heron land and intended to see if I could get a photo of him, or two, but I was busy with the sunrise at first. He was no where to be seen when I did look for him.
I guess the great blue heron that I missed is why I decided to take an alternate route home and see if I could see One-Foot Fred. I wondered what he did once the sunrise was over and his benefactor got on with his day. And when I got to the Hammond’s Creek Bridge there he was, standing right in the curb area where I would have pulled over to park. He paid no attention to me as I pulled over beyond him and got out and took a few pictures. I felt a little sorry for him standing there all alone, not a fisherman in sight. But as I pulled away I saw a fisherman arriving, carrying his tackle box and fishing pole. That made me happy.
We were at Palmer Park, my two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law, reminiscing while the sun came down on a very nice day. We heard a few fireworks in the area, but no 4th of July fireworks display was planned. The town tradition is to have an old fashioned parade on the 4th that is very well attended, and of course that was canceled too.
It had been a great day of hiking, 7 miles, all uphill. Okay, maybe it only seemed to be all up hill when I wasn’t acclimated to the altitude and was out of breath most of the way. We cut the hike short while thunder rumbled and we got drenched on the way back to the car. We made a few stops for photos before our hike, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I got, but exhaustion is winning this battle.
Seems like life has been all about reconnecting with people these last years now, and it means the world to me…
This oasis is located just minutes from sunset beach. If I wasn’t such a wimp I might have stuck around for sunset, but I didn’t, mostly because I know I will be back many more times in the future. You see this oasis belongs to my son, his new-to-him house, where I spent the day yesterday eating my DIL’s great food and drinking bullfrogs. And enjoying this wonderful backyard.
This house was owned by a landscaper, which of course shows. My DIL’s challenge is to use the app she downloaded to look up what the plants are as they bloom, and what care is required. My son may have thought that the lack of grass meant a no fuss backyard, but after taming the Mexican petunia yesterday he was planning to ice his back after I left. The kids? Well, it may be a race to the hammock…
Spending the last couple of days going through the photos that were stored on the internal hard drive of this computer has been mostly boring. But sometimes they brought up nice memories too, like the Swallow-tail Kites that spent an afternoon at the little lake in my backyard. I had seen them fly over, you can’t miss the split tail. My ‘best’ shot has him flying out of the photo, so it’s not really my best shot.And I hadn’t ever seen them before, but because of all the pictures I see online every day I knew what they were and dashed out with the camera. I was barely able to get a photo of them in flight at all, but then they landed in a tree out there. I believe that the female landed in the tree and I was surprised to see the male come and feed her. That’s what’s going on in the feature photo. It’s an assumption on my part but it makes me happy to think so. I don’t miss the work and expense of maintaining a home that was too big for me alone, but I do miss my feathered friends.
I wasn’t literally back in the backyard, I was revisiting a photo shoot from two years ago. That was the second year that I watched this Sandhill Cranes couple raise a family right under my nose. I knew from experience that this would be the one day that those parents would keep the babies right there, close to the nest. I had been shocked the year before when they had marched the two day old chicks off the nest and disappeared and didn’t return until late afternoon. I took 415 pictures that day, which I have now culled down to 22 photos. My first photo was taken at 1:45 in the afternoon, and between the harsh light and the fact that the babies were in grass that was taller than they were, even the new zoom lens I had bought couldn’t get much of a picture. But still I kept shooting. My last picture was taken at 5 PM, and by then the light was much nicer and the parents had taken the babies to the edge of the water where they were more visible. And that’s when they all swam to the nest, which was on a small island in the center of the lake.
Also on the lake that day was the ever-present little blue heron, and a tri-colored heron.
I think I remember that this was a Pied-billed Grebe. This was one of the many different birds that dropped in for a visit, and then I didn’t see them again. The wildlife I saw from my backyard is what drove me back to my interest in photography. And what a blessing that has become for me, bringing me new friends and adventures. I’m happy to re-visit these photos while I wait to see what adventures are still to com.