a second look, brainstorms, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, hockey, Home Team, perseverance, photography, second chances, storms, weather

Instant replay…

The stage was set. Adirondack chairs in place. The tantalizing aromas of all the various restaurants made it hard to choose just one. Which is why my plan was to get a little something from a few of them, in the interests of providing a fair and balanced report on the festivities. Our first stop was the Brew Pub, where my friend quickly spotted a beer he liked and hadn’t had for a while. You can wander with your drinks, so we headed over to Blush, the wine bar that offered frozen sangria. After I’d seen a photo of that online I knew I had to have one. It didn’t disappoint.

You might think that I had noticed the dark clouds in the background as I took this picture, but I was way too focused on enjoying my drink for that to happen.
Honey feta dip…
After nibbling on honey feta dip and chicken parm meatballs we settled into our camping chairs to enjoy the game.
There were umbrella covered picnic tables to the right and left of the screen, and playground equipment to keep the kids busy. But shortly after we settled in we got a severe thunderstorm warning on our phones. The first time I was here all I paid attention to was the sky, but until that moment I hadn’t noticed the sky at all this time.
A few fat drops of rain fell, and we decided not to leave quite yet. But when we saw lightning we decided that maybe we should head home and enjoy a front row seat to the game from there.

You will see this post on Saturday morning, and on Saturday evening we will have an opportunity to have an instant replay of this particular adventure. Hopefully the Lightning will win this time, and the storms will not materialize to keep us from sampling more of the tempting treats available. Rest assured, I see another frozen sangria in my future…

a second look, boats, brainstorms, exploring new places, facing facts, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, technology, unintended images

Missing the boat…

It wasn’t the right setting to try the photography technique we had intended to use. Our photo club guru, Jeff, says that You Tube how-to videos can be made by any Tom, Dick, or Harry so watch out. But in this case I think it was more the two people on the receiving end of the information who missed the boat. Further practice is needed.

The feature photo was taken with a new lens I bought, and I wasn’t attempting any particular settings when I took it. Which is evidence that the new lens bears no responsibility for the lack of desired results. Nope, blame operator error, as usual. But with Lightroom all was not lost, which is a good thing since it’s been too hot to venture out for photos in the daytime lately. Venturing out to check out the pool wouldn’t be a bad idea however. Just heaven forbid, no pictures please.

I like the softer focus on this one.
How about a black and white-ish effect?
Various people wandered onto the dock to watch the sunset.
I liked the cloud in this picture. It looks like it’s straight out of the new Jurassic park movie, which is another possibility for an activity for the heat of the day.
birds, brainstorms, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

At the Venice Rookery…

Procrastination is one of my best talents. It was when I was a kid, and it’s still with me all these years later. As a matter of fact I have two phone calls I need to make, and I ought to be packing for a trip I have coming up. But at this moment I’m lamenting the trip to the Venice Rookery that I’ve been talking about taking for weeks but only got around to going there yesterday. The Great Blue Heron babies bobbing their heads weren’t there, as I’d promised my friend, though the great egrets and anhingas were raising a ruckus. A little mockingbird flew by and landed on a fence, giving me a nice feature photo. But I confess that I was disappointed when another photographer told me that the great blue babies had fledged the nests. But we began to take pictures of the birds that were there.

These anhingas were keeping busy high up on this snag.
Although you might think these are grown up great egrets, they are still babies who looked as if they were going to take off flying any second.
These two anhinga ‘kids’ looked like they might tie their necks in a knot as they bobbed and weaved. Their neck pouches were fluttering the whole time, I’m told that’s how they keep cool. The day was hot, but breezy, so we were comfortable as we ate our picnic lunch in the shade.
This great egret wading on the nearby shore caught my eye, and it soon became evident that he caught himself a nice fish for lunch.

As I walked to the car to get our lunch I noticed a great blue heron flying towards the rookery. She landed on the very top of the shrubbery, and, much to our surprise, up popped two ‘babies’ who were very happy to see her. We hadn’t been aware of them at all, and if we had been I probably would have thought they were adults, they were that big.

Mom must have brought back a fish for her babies.
It looked to me as if this baby is going to down the fish in one gulp. Mom will have to go fishing again if his sibling is going to eat.
I guess we need to fluff up a bit after that excitement.
I liked the depth of field in this photo.
Someone looks like he wants to go with Mom.

Soon it was time to go. What started out a bit disappointing had turned out to be a fun day. Mother Nature is like that.

Thank you to joannie6535 for reminding me of where I actually was yesterday.

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Passing time, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

The Good Neighbor Trail…

I stumbled upon a website that gives you all the info you could want about all the trails we might like to ride in Florida. Or anywhere else also, but I stuck to looking at the trails that were supposed to be in the immediate area. I quickly discovered that their idea of ‘in the area’ and mine were a bit different. I also decided that most trails were going to be a ride out and then reverse and ride back the way you came. But you could tell from the information given if a trail was going to be mostly out in the sun, an important consideration for this area, even if it is newly into spring. It’s been hot in the sun when it hasn’t been raining. Ah Florida, my adopted home.

We decided on riding the Good Neighbor trail because it really was pretty close by, and also because it begins at the Brooksville Train Depot and Museum. We knew it wasn’t open that day, but the weather was too perfect to miss a chance to be out riding, like a couple of kids.
The road off to the left of this picture wasn’t very busy with cars, and the intersections we needed to cross weren’t worrisome. There also wasn’t a lot of traffic on the trail itself, so my expectation of riding side-by-side was actually possible on this ride.
We heard birds in the trees, but didn’t see wildlife beyond the occasional butterfly or dragonfly, and they didn’t stop for photos. But maybe we were riding and talking and missing what may have been going on around us, I guess I’ll never know.

It is kind of funny how easy it is to feel the kid in you come out as you pedal a bike. The feeling of the breeze in your face is the same after all, the wrinkles don’t matter. Maybe it’s the lack of immediate responsibilities that makes it feel so free. Just don’t tip over would be the biggest concern, and when your bike is actually a trike that possibility is less likely. Yup, the investment in this trike was a very good idea, now we get to go out and play, in a very grown up way of course.

a second look, birds, brainstorms, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Passing time, perseverance, photography, simple things, Tricolored heron

A proposition…

The proposition? Head to the rookery and then stop at Ford’s Garage for pretzels and shrimp. And beer. Now that sounded like a really good idea.

I took a lot of pictures of these two. They were hamming it up a bit.
These tricolor herons were two by two also.
Hiding in the foliage, but I spotted him.
But he didn’t stay long.
Waiting to be noticed perhaps.
Off he goes.
Time out for a drink.

And speaking of having a drink, it was time for us to head to Ford’s and belly up to the bar. That beer was nice and cold, the shrimp was spicy, and the pretzels can’t be beat. The perfect finale to the day…

adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, turtles

Riverhills Park…

It was not an original idea, going to this park. A few days ago our photo group had a walk to this park, but a prior commitment kept us away. But it was now on our radar screen, and it was fairly close by, so with a couple of hours to fill today we decided to check it out. My immediate reaction to this place was to be stunned by just how peaceful it was. Still water reflecting the beautiful trees, and the clouds in the blue sky. I knew that my phone would capture the scene perfectly, so these pictures have had very little done to them besides cropping. And straightening the horizon when it needed it. I had to chuckle to myself when I found myself thinking about how peaceful it was, because the adjacent elementary school was having recess and there was plenty of happy kid commotion going on. But still it was a perfectly lovely place.

Perfect reflections. Lily pads on the water, with lots of buds but no flowers so far.
There were quite a few trucks with empty boat trailers attached in the parking lot, but we didn’t see boats.
Live oaks are always amazing, but this view was just stunning.
Cypress knees, and cypress trees along the shore.
Wildlife, sort of.

When the weather gets a little warmer I think this might be prime dragonfly photo op territory. I think we should bring lunch and check it out.