boats, fun, humor, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, sunset

Christmas Boat Parades…

In most circumstances a sunset photo is the grand finale of a photo shoot, but in this instance it was only the beginning.  I’ve been hearing announcements of boat parades being held in neighboring towns this week, and truth be told, I know they used to do them in Maryland also.  Now I wonder why I never went to one?  But I saw that members of the new photo group were going to the Dunedin boat parade on Saturday night, and I thought it was a good opportunity to join them.  And it’s a good thing I did because it took some finagling to get my camera set up to account for the lights, my lack of tripod, and the movement of the boats, so kudos and thanks to Kate for all her help.

There were lots of boats, large and small, and they paraded right in front of us for judging.  I was tickled by the crowd who cheered for them all no matter how simple or elaborate the decorations.  They even cheered for a guy on a paddle board with his dog, even though he wasn’t part of the parade.  And the police boat when it docked at it’s spot in the marina.  This is the exact area where we spent my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding weekend almost 20 years ago.  I could never have imagined where life would take me all these years later…

 

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adventure, birds, boats, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, pelicans, photography, safety Harbor, sky, sunset

Safety Harbor Sunset…

In the interests of finding new and different places for photo ops, plus my social life could use a kick in the pants, I joined a big group of photographers for a shoot last night at Safety Harbor.  Drove through a very cute town with shops I would have loved to have had time to explore, maybe I’ll do that next time.  Actually we were having fun exploring and photographing birds, enough so that we very nearly missed the sunset all together.

An immature Black Crowned Night Heron, was a new bird to me.  Merlin says that the white tips on the feathers are what tells you it’s not a mature bird.  He posed like a champ.  As did the Downey Woodpecker, and there were lots of pelicans swimming alongside the pier.

1130nightheron1130downeywoodpecker1130pelicansBut we did turn our attention to the sunset in time to catch some pretty color in the sky.

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Even the walk past the boats in the marina on the way back to my car had me stopping for another couple of shots.

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But the real adventure came on the way home.  One of the group officials had suggested that I take a right out of the parking lot to avoid most of the congestion in the area on the way home, and he told me what street to take.  But I was still unsure so I asked my pal Siri to “direct me home”.   I always forget that when you do that you get a very close up map with the route highlighted in blue, but you can’t see even your next move coming up.  Or where you are or where you are going, just that blue line glowing in the dark.  And the road she had me on kept snaking to the right and the left, and reversing itself so that it seemed like you were going the wrong way.  I began to wonder who’s house she was taking me to, but, as always, she got me to the Suncoast Parkway and it was fine from then on.  All in all a fun adventure…

 

Bayport, boats, Florida landmarks, nature, photography, sunrise

A good morning…

1125featureOzzie got me up at 1 AM. and also at 2:45 AM, which is when I gave up on sleep and started the coffee.  But the good thing about that was when I finally thought about going out for the sunrise there was time to go to Bayport.  I haven’t been there for what seems like quite a while, so I was excited as I drove up the road.  But as soon as I turned onto Rt. 50 towards Bayport the fog rolled in.  Pea soup fog.  I thought about turning around but I’m glad I didn’t because I drove out of the fog before I got to the park.  It was nice and clear, with the glow of sunrise already beginning.  This little memorial was something new, I couldn’t help but wonder what the story was.

1125memorial My favorite sunrise photos include the reflection of the palm trees in the inlet, but there were boats leaving one by one, so as soon as the water calmed back down another boat would come through.  Good thing I like a challenge.

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And I also always like the pastel reflections of the sunrise.

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1125sunset1All in all a very good morning…

 

birds, boats, bugs, eagles, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunset

No-See-Ums…

I couldn’t see them so I can’t show them to you, but they are the biggest take-away from last night’s sunset trip to Jenkin’s Creek.  I had doused myself with bug spray just in case, so what they attacked was my face and scalp.  Imagine trying to hold the camera steady while your scalp is stinging and things are crawling on your face.  Figures that there were photo ops a-plenty so I’ll probably go again sometime, when the memory fades a bit.

I expected a wood stork and wasn’t disappointed, but he made himself scarce pretty quickly.1118woodstorkThere were kayakers and boaters to watch.  I thought this guy came in a little fast and might crash into the bridge or get tangled in the fishing lines, neither of which happened.

1118baoterI would prefer to think I’d have noticed the eagle on my own, but thankfully it was pointed out to me by a fisherman.

1118eagleLong ago I took pictures from the observation tower in Linda Pederson Park across the street, and I got mad because you have power lines across your sunset pictures.  The tower is closed now, hurricane damage I assume.

1118observation towerThe egret stole the show though.  I think he liked posing, he sure stuck around and did his part.1118egret21118egret31118egret41118egretcloseAnd the sunset.  Always the sunset…1118sunsetcheck1118sunset2

birds, boats, Hudson Beach, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, photography, special effects, sunset

Bah humbug…

I suppose that was my attitude toward Halloween this year.  Well, every year.  It envelops the entire holiday season for that matter.  I enjoyed it when my kids were little, but those days are long gone, and, as I do about many things, I beat myself up over my bad attitude.

So I went shopping on Halloween afternoon, followed by watching the sunset at Hudson Beach, followed by writing the blog post for the day at Panera.  That got me to 8:30 and I figured I could sneak home and wouldn’t be bothered after that.  But my neighbor posted the nicest little video of their front walk all decorated for the trick-or-treaters and, yes, I feel guilty.  And really it was the candy I was avoiding.  I could be sainted for my eating and exercise habits lately, but having it in the house for the kids who might not have even showed up was asking for trouble.

The shopping was successful, as evidenced by buying the smallest sized pants that I’ve bought in probably 20 years.  I’m kidding myself, 30 years.  So that ought to have cheered me up, right?  And upon arriving at Hudson Beach I saw a Great Blue Heron flying into the area so I got the above photo almost immediately.  It boded well.  I hadn’t been to Hudson Beach for a month, and wandered the length of the area, but went back to the raised enclosure for the rest of these shots.  There were other photographers there and we all were taking photos.  But I was the only one with my arms around the huge post in the corner in order to take this shot.

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Plus a few more.  I’ve been using my Canon DSLR more, up until lately I used to use my iPhone for all my landscape type shots because of the wider angle it gave me.  Whatever my settings are in the Canon it really enhanced the color in these photos, but I probably shouldn’t confess that.  And manual focus these days.  I’m learning.

 

This fishing boat chose the perfect moment to leave, for me to take a picture I mean.  And once I saw the picture I couldn’t resist putting it through an app called Waterlogue.  Just for fun.

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birds, boats, Florida landmarks, fun, nature, photography, travel

Tarpon Springs

A visit to Tarpon Springs is a must for tourists when they visit the Tampa Bay area. It is noted for having the largest Greek population of any town in the US, which is largely because they came to work the sponge industry that is part of the history of the area, and that continues to a lesser degree to this day. There are restaurants, Greek of course, plus boat tours, plus shopping. plus…  wait, I’ll let you see for yourself.

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