'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, boats, connections, Florida landmarks, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography

Also on the river…

When I was in Charleston there were do-it-yourself bike rentals in convenient spots to help you get around. If we have scooters here in Tampa does that mean we are younger, at least at heart?
I saw that the dog was positioned to be the figurehead of this ‘ship’, but he never actually assumed the position. But his people waved at me!
I would never have spotted Humpty Dumpty if someone on the boat hadn’t pointed him out. He’s at a restaurant called Ulele, and he’s a holdover from a former attraction called Fairyland.
I’m not sure that this would be my chosen spot to kayak, but maybe it’s just that where I like to go on the Weeki Wachee river the water is only a foot or so deep.
I loved that helmet, and when she turned around and came back by I got my shot.
There he was, a very chill Mockingbird, in the midst of people, dogs, kids, and revving engines, just doing his thing in the shrubs.
I guess it takes two to paddle that thing. Or they lost a paddler…
Another bird who was not bothered by the activity on the water.
While I find this little girl in pink to be adorable, I have to wonder about her mother’s choice of footwear for this particular day’s activity. Dad was in jeans and a tee shirt.
This little girl and her dog were walking ahead of me, and I caught up with them to ask what kind of dog that was. It was so adorable walking along with ears sticking out like bat wings. Her dad told me it’s a Shih Tzu/French bulldog mix.
When I arrived in the morning that beautiful green (Astroturf) lawn was empty, and the Adirondack chairs were arranged in one long line facing the water. I sat there waiting for the water taxi. But when I got back things had been rearranged into socially appropriate clusters.

'scene' along the way, adventure, boats, exploring new places, finding my way, fun, Just do it, learning, making memories, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, weather

Riding the water taxi…

Eventually I realized that the cars weren’t just driving up and road and revving their engines, they were leaving, the cars and coffee event was over. But the water taxi was due to arrive in a half hour or so, and I figured that a round trip on the river might be a fun thing to do before I headed home. You can ride for the day, and get off and on all you’d like, which I’ll have to do another time so that I can explore the stops along the river. I had to google most of this information because I have realized that I know next to nothing about Tampa. But I know more now than I did before I rode the river.

This is the Howard W. Blake high school and it sits right across the river from the Armature Works where I first boarded the water taxi. What a location. This high school has a strong academic program with an emphasis on the arts.
On a photo walk a couple of years ago a ‘beer can building’ was pointed out to me. I think this is it!
Henry B. Plant built this fabulous building as The Tampa Bay Hotel in the 1880s. It had 511 rooms, and all were electrified by by Thomas Edison himself. It was to be a palace to go with his railroad empire, but the Great Depression eventually led to the property being sold to the city of Tampa, and a rent of $1/year is still being paid today. At least I think that’s what the taxi operator said.
The American Victory Ship and Museum is one of only 4 WWII ships still in operation. During the war it supplied troops and supplies wherever they were needed by all branches of the service.
The guide said that this port usually looks like an airport terminal with cruise ships lined up at the docks here.
The time to see the Jose Gasparilla is at night with the sails unfurled.
If you want ride the water taxi to all of it’s stops you must change boats here.
This sculpture is called The Form of Wander, and is supposed to represent trees overhead.
T’cars and coffee’ ampa hosts rowing teams from universities in color climates, and they are encouraged to add their artwork here along the river, in honor if their schools

The clouds seemed to be on the verge of breaking up, or so I told myself as I rode the taxi. But it was still a pretty day to be out on the water.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, boats, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Ups and downs…

That’s what the day had, ups and downs. I said that thinking of the photos I took today, but now that I think of it the first example of ups and downs was the off-again-on-again messages I’ve been getting from my car about my tire pressure. I started my day by putting air in my tires because one said it only had 27 pounds of pressure. Then the day warmed up, and by the time I came home that same tire was way over 40 pounds and I imagined it exploding, so I let some air out. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I think I liked it better when my car and I weren’t on speaking terms.

So out I went to take photos on a sunny morning…

Low tide but no wading birds, just wading people.
It was quiet at Anclote River Park.
Two osprey at Key Vista Nature Park. Parks line the water in this area and I stopped at them all.
Sailboats seem peaceful to me.
You knew I had it with me.
Can’t resist the pelicans.
The view along the trail at Key Vista.
A little different view.

But I had started the day watching the eagles, and forcing myself to use my biggest lens and even the extender so that I could get really close shots. I have to manually focus when I use that combination, and that’s a challenge because I don’t trust my vision, and rightly so since I deleted over half the photos I took. But I was delighted that the fledgling was hopping around and flapping his wings, and then I saw Mama flying towards the nest and started shooting. It wasn’t until I got them in the computer that I saw that I did get her, and that she had had a fish with her. I was so pleased. And then I noticed the photography no-no called chromatic aberration. Purple fringing when something very dark is next to something light, caused by your lens, but supposedly fixable. Not by me though, I worked on these photos all afternoon and couldn’t make a difference. If you are seeing them on your phone you may not see it, I wish I could un-see it. Sigh. But it was a good day, good to be outside, good to see the sun.

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, Florida landmarks, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, nature, perseverance, photography, say goodnight, sunset

Favorite places…

You may have noticed that I love to go to Hudson Beach for the sunset fairly often. And I frequently start my photo session with a shot of the houses across the inlet, because they usually are lit up by the setting sun’s rays when I arrive. Last night nothing was being lit up by the sun’s rays, the rays were barely able to shine through the thin spots in the overhead clouds. But I was grateful for at least that much color on this sunset trip. And with a less than spectacular sunset my lens ball attracted some attention from other sky watchers. Several people took pictures through the lens ball, and they were enthused with it once they figured out what the view actually was. Nice night, but I’ll have to return soon and hope for a nicer sky.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, boats, changing times, Florida landmarks, fun, go with the flow, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Sunset scenes…

I’ve said it before, probably more than once, but sunset at Pine Island never disappoints. But not always for the reasons you may think. Like the feature photo. I had to circle back to take that picture, and after that I decided that even if the sunset wasn’t great I was glad I’d made the drive. I love happening across things like that.

I think they’ve redone some things since I’ve been here. The grill area looks great, and the playground has a pirate theme too.

I often come across a photo shoot at sunset here, but not always one like this one. They had a phone balanced on the nearby grill and reenacted this pose over and over the whole time I was there.

Of course I had to play with the Lensball while I’m trying to learn it’s potential. I was looking for little kid footprints in the sand but had to settle for the seagull prints.

This sailboat/sunfish (?) caught my eye.

After that I got carried away with sunset photos, with and without the Lensball. Which I happily discovered fits in my jacket pocket. One guy asked if he could borrow my jacket, it was cold! That boater must have been freezing!

And I did say they were still at it, the love birds I mean. Yes, Pine Island never disappoints!

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, blessings, boats, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, simple things, sky, unintended images

Camera worthy moments…

I had my camera ready in case I saw anything photo worthy on my way to Longboat Key, so when I saw horses on the beach you know I had to stop for a picture. For a brief moment I thought how fun it would be to ride a horse on the beach, and then I remembered my age and thought better of that idea. I also stopped to see the whashed up boat on the causeway again, hoping that the RV would be gone. And it was! But a car with a kayak on top was parked way too close to the front of the boat. Seems you can’t win.

When I heard that there was a lot of driftwood on the beach nearby the condo I really didn’t picture this. Driftwood trees, decorated with shells, was new to me.

My friend found it amazing that this Great Blue Heron let us walk as close to him as we did while we were on our walk.

I also saw two new birds to me, the tiny little Sanderlings, and two Piping Plovers.

On this trip I learned that this is called ‘wrack’. It just looks like ocean junk but it provides an important environment for tiny organisms to thrive. Nothing is wasted in nature.

Social distancing was not a problem on this trip. We had the beach to ourselves, or nearly so. Walking and learning and enjoying the days.