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