'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, bucket list, butterflies, exploring new places, finding my way, flowers, perseverance, photography, road trip

Reruns…

1344 is how many pictures were on the camera’s SD card when I inserted it into the computer when I got home from our trip up north. Not a lot really, having been away for a couple of weeks. I had looked at my pictures on the iPad on the first couple of days we were away, but now I could see them on the 27 inch Mac desktop. I couldn’t resist working on some of them, possibly ones I posted before, or maybe they are additional/identical pictures since I tend to take multiples of each shot. My mind is still playing catch up, thinking of all the people we visited with, and the places we saw, and all the things I might like to do next time…

The Mayflower II, again.
Anchors away…
A double crested cormorant. Another of the birds I only became aware of in Florida but were always there.
Flowers and bees, I just can’t help myself.
More Fields Park swans…
Butterflies are great subjects too.
Sailing ships, heading where.
Flowers with speckles.
Flowers without speckles.
Bees again
And again.
And again.

This trip started off with a bang. Literally. The bang of a piece of shredded truck tire being tossed into the right front corner of my car on I 95 at 70 mph. The fender ‘seam’ was now not flush with its neighboring piece. Without thinking about it I pushed it into place yesterday, and it stayed there, it didn’t pop back out as I had expected it to do. So now all I have are abrasions in the paint. It’s looking a little worse for wear, kind of like me.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens…

A friend who lives in Maine and is an avid gardener took me to visit this wonderful botanical garden three years ago when I was camping in Maine. She found me the nice camp ground also. So she will be ashamed of me when she discovers that when I saw the little sign pointing out the turn for a botanical garden it never dawned on me that it was THAT botanical garden that they were talking about. If I’d have known that I would have made a better plan to go there. As it was my friend asked if I wanted to go see it, and we only had an hour and a half to enjoy it before it closed. It was time enough to to see some beautiful displays, and more than a few bees.

And butterflies too!
Simple, but beautiful.
More bees, because I can’t resist them.
Lots of wonderful settings also.
And a scary new addition to the gardens.
And a water feature.
I know, I’m addicted to bees.
Such a beautiful dark purple on these flowers.
The varieties were endless.
These caught my eye, but so did those dark purple flowers… and the yellow flowers.
He must have photo bombed my shot.
A nice peaceful setting.
I was so happy to see that this quaint little building was still there, with it’s kitty-faced pickets on the fence.
I like pink flowers too.
I love how this one is constructed.
Last but not least, an orange beauty.

If you ever get to visit this place make sure to leave yourself plenty of time, you will be glad you did.

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Lazy daze…

It was HOT. Not the day for a later start for the zoo than usual. We found the animals to be lazing around, keeping cool. The feature photo is Randee and Riplee, I think, who tucked themselves into the small cave just at the edge of the little waterfall in their enclosure. I couldn’t fault mama for that, even if the droplets were showing in my photos.

The pink netting was a popular item among the orangs. Here the big male has draped himself with it, and then sat and tenderly, it seemed, groomed this female. I used to think he kept to himself all the time, but I the last few times I’ve been there he has played with young ones and now this nice interaction.
Here are Randee and Riplee again, and a few more droplets.
One of the young ones, on her own.
A ‘wild’ butterfly, who calls the zoo home by choice.
I loved the look of this shack, which is actually part of the manatee treatment facility.
This cougar was having a siesta.
I have given up on taking a non-closeup of a giraffe. There is just too much of them. Plus I love their eyes.

It was about at this point that I was thinking about suggesting we call it a day, but my friend asked if I wanted to see the elephants and giraffes before we go. Obviously we did, and I was quite happy that I hadn’t shot that idea down. On one visit to the zoo the elephants were in their pool area, and a quite small baby had fallen over into the water and provided quite a hilarious photo op for all of us there as he flopped around. Ever after that day I have wished for them to be in the water, and I said that out loud yesterday, and I got my wish. The smallest elephant of the group, the same one I wonder, headed to the water.

He stayed on his feet, and squirted himself thoroughly while backing further and further under the waterfall.
The adult elephants didn’t join him, or even come close to keep an eye on him. He knew how to keep cool.

I sort of wished that little elephant would squirt us, or maybe not, but it did cross my mind. While I was watching him I forgot about the heat for a little while, but after this stop we headed home. ZooTampa is small enough, and shady enough, and close enough to home, that an early morning trip for a couple of hours is enough to make this photographer happy.

adventure, attention to detail, butterflies, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

A new botanical garden…

If you spend enough time drinking coffee and talking about what to do that day you might find yourself thinking that it’s too late to do anything. Photography is better when you can take advantage of the softer light around sunrise and sunset, but this day we decided on a noon-time trip to the botanical garden at the University of South Florida. There was lots of pretty scenery, and welcome shade on this December day in Florida when the temperature reached 86.

A doorway to draw you in.
I just love the graceful branches of the live oaks we have here.
This particular trunk bent to touch the ground again before it rose toward the sky. At the base of the trunk a succulent garden has erupted.
This angle didn’t show that last tree the way I hoped it would. Possibly the plants are bromeliads.
I wonder what they feed their cows at USF?
“Study nature. Love nature. Stay close to Nature. It will never let you down.”
When I took this picture I thought I’d comment that no one was home. But seeing it in the computer has me seeing two eyes, a nose, and a great big yawn.
You never know who you’ll meet when you head out the door.
Angle Trumpets fascinate me.
I satisfied my curiosity about what the inside of the flower looks like by taking a ‘selfie’ of it.
This is my favorite from the orchid garden.
Hibiscus is always tempting to photograph.
Loved this pretty flower.
Not the best picture of this tiny white butterfly on an equally tiny white flower. But on closer examination I was amazed to see the the ‘eyes’ on the wings.
My current idea of a dream home is a little cottage on a lake. Maybe looking like one of these.
Blue sky, a shady path, and a lovely gazebo to call your name.
a second look, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, butterflies, Florida landmarks, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, perseverance, photography

Back to the botanical gardens…

Thankfully I still have my desktop computer to use while I figure out the laptop, iPad, and external drive. Which is why I didn’t worry about it and headed to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden yesterday. The first thing to see is the crane carving that is still under construction. It seemed more detailed to me, but while I was taking pictures I was hearing some loud chattering in the nearby trees. It sounded like I was being scolded, and I had to hunt before I saw who was unhappy with me. You can see him too, that’s the squirrel in the feature photo. Maybe the tree that is being carved into the statue used to be his home.

I hope they will be able to take down this yellow tape eventually, though I’d hate to see the statue damaged.
I haven’t caught a pagoda flower in it’s full glory for a while. I thought they were a particular favorite of the butterflies, but not that day.
Butterflies were in abundance though.
They didn’t pose for photos very often though.
I love these tiny purple flowers on the stalk of the plant. This moth seemed to like them too.
I know we were disappointed to not see more waterfalls while we were away last month, but the waterfall in the botanical garden seemed to be extra pretty yesterday.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky

A short visit to Chassahowitzka…

You know how it is. You head out the door intending to do one thing, but the conversation leads you in an entirely different direction. That’s what happened yesterday when we set out to see and take photos along the back roads of ‘old Florida’, but we wound up at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Preserve instead. I’ve been there before, but I’ve always been the passenger tagging along with friends who know the park backwards and forwards. Which means that I have no idea how to get around in there so I wasn’t the best guide that a person could hope for. In fact we never did see the scenery I expected to show him, but that was okay, we’ll find that next time. And next time maybe there won’t be bow and arrow hunters in the woods, a fact that kept us close to the road as we got out for pictures. Not that we are hikers. As you can see from the feature photo we found lots and lots of butterflies in the thistles at the side of the road.

There was a lot of competition over this flower.
I love the detail in the thistles.
Rain was expected later on, but for the most part the skies were pretty.
And the rains we have had meant that we had to drive through puddles that took over the road in spots.
Trees and sky are your companions as you drive the winding road.
The sky seemed threatening at times, but mostly it was pretty.
Then on the way home we saw this rain falling in the general direction of where we were heading, but we seemed to drive around it. Then it started to rain as soon as we got home. Perfect timing.

The wildlife was keeping a low profile as we drove through. Of course it was afternoon and there is usually more action in the morning and at dusk. Still my friend was happy to see the Florida landscape as it was before people decided to ‘improve’ it…