childhood, finding my way, home, learning, memories, nature, on closer examination, photography, road trip, simple things, travel

I left my heart…

My home was my world when I was a kid, even knowing that there were places out there out of view, I think I thought those places would look exactly like my world.  I assume that kids see the world a little differently these days, even without traveling the world comes to us so vividly on TV and the computer.  I never appreciated what was around me until it wasn’t around me anymore.  I love the meandering stone walls that seem to be everywhere here.  I’m told that the rocks were unearthed as farmers tilled their land, and so they were used to define their fields.  They look quite random, like they just grew there on their own.  And then there are the cranberry bogs, a familiar sight in my coastal New England travels.  Massachusetts grows half the cranberry crop of the country, I know this since I googled it this morning, and they only grow in four other states.  I didn’t realize how much I liked seeing them until I was away and then came back and saw them again.  I didn’t stop for pictures the other day when the sun seemed to have this bog glowing, which is when it caught my eye.  After a day of rain it was sunny yesterday so I finally figured out a place to park the car and stopped for a few minutes.  Spotting scenes I’d like to take pictures of isn’t the problem, finding a place to pull the car over is the real issue.  If I’m now a snowbird I can truthfully say that my two worlds look nothing alike.  Florida has the sun and palm trees, and I love it.  But New England has the charm, and my heart…12-29bogs12-29bogs212-29bogs3

childhood, connections, friends, kids, life goes on, memories, nature, on closer examination, photography, road trip, simple things, unintended images

The Nip…

They called it The Nip.  A small pond, as it was described to me by my old friend.  Playmate really, since we were children when we last saw each other.  Until a year ago when a Facebook fluke reconnected us.  We took a ride to the Nip yesterday and I didn’t think it was so small.  He described camping there as a boy.  Canoeing and fishing also.  There was a little beach too, but it was barely there yesterday.  Someone had left a chair at the edge of the water, and they had a campfire set up and ready to go too.  And there is an island out in the water also.  Of course there is, what a perfect setting for childhood adventures.  “Shh”, he said, but there may or may not be several beloved dogs buried on that island, but you didn’t hear that from me.

I moved away from the neighborhood we shared during the summer that I turned nine years old, so the memories made in that neighborhood stood alone to me.  Wonderful memories of all the fun that we had.  People our age know exactly what I’m talking about.  But now I’m getting to hear about how the adventures continued on without me.  I’m still seriously annoyed that I didn’t get to ride an inner tube for miles down the river, but I also missed the having to trudge those same miles carrying the inner tube home part.  Maybe I left at the perfect time.  Soon enough it wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to be tagging along on the adventures he was having.  But it sure was fun while it lasted…12-27thenip12-27thenip212-27thenip4 He made sure I saw this before we decided we’d had enough of the cold.  This was taken right there by the little beach.  Mr. Darling was the principal of our elementary school when we went there, and to find that he was buried there was a surprise, to me at least.  Apparently the fact that kids were out in nature and having adventures didn’t start with us…

adventure, childhood, connections, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, photography, road trip, travel

Reliving your childhood…

I don’t know about you, but when I had a chance to have another adventure with a childhood friend I took it.  I had faith.  A camping trip, a chance to go back to favorite camping spots, only I got to go along this time.  I imagined a hike along a trail through the woods, a camping spot with scenic views, so I was lugging my camera bag, which I came to regret.  The reality was that I had to stick to using the iPhone for photos because what we wound up doing was blazing a path through the woods because there was no trail.  And we crossed the river several times, which required picking your way over and around the boulders that filled the river bed.  This part of the river didn’t always exist, a flood rerouted the river, downing trees and depositing these huge rocks.  And the campsite was pretty much gone.  Now that I know that we survived with only minor scrapes and bruises I can say that it was fun.  I could just imagine how much fun it would have been 60 years ago.  We would have scrambled over those rocks as if it were nothing.  I can see us now…7-16openroad7-16rock37-16rocks47-16rockw

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, childhood, connections, family, finding my way, friends, home, loneliness, memories, photography

Where am I?

I see that there are some new people who have found this blog in the last couple of weeks, and I thought I ought to explain that the ‘nature coast’ in the title of the blog refers to the several counties along the Gulf coast of Florida just above Tampa Bay.  And, obviously, that’s not where I am at the moment.  This blog came about a year ago due to a coincidence of a class I took and a new camera I had just purchased, not really out of a need to share any profound thoughts or with an agenda of any kind.  I had settled into a comfortable routine in my widowhood, and felt almost smug as I spent my evenings alone at home doing whatever I wanted to do.  And I went on like that for quite a while, until I started needing people again.  My people, my ‘home’, New England, where I grew up and never failed to feel like I belonged when I visited.  People, old friends, family, grandchildren, I needed them all.  So I have thrown caution to the wind and left my little part-time job, and my snug little Florida house, and even the new friends I was just beginning to make, to take a road trip.  And I will stay until my heart, which had felt so empty, has filled back up.  Or until they all get sick of me…7-5church7-5farm7-5shack7-5shack27-5shack37-5townhall

adventure, childhood, friends, fun, life goes on, memories, moments, photography


Dog ownership comes in handy sometimes.  Like when your son comes home all excited and babbling, and the gist of it is there’s a ramp, and kids are riding their bikes off it and flying into the lake, and there are adults in charge, and can he ride his bike into the lake?  That he was asking permission instead of just doing it made me at least consider saying yes, but not having the least idea what he was talking about made me say no.  And he was off, and after a minute or two I was right behind him, walking the dog was my excuse, but the thought process was that I wasn’t so sure he’d be able to resist whatever was going on and I needed to see for myself.  It was a bike club, matching tee shirts and all, but why they were having the kids fly down the hill and sail through the air into the water, with an adult in the water to retrieve the bike, remains a mystery to this day.  Kudos to Mike, I don’t think he did it, probably because he didn’t have a matching tee shirt.

I thought of this on Monday because while we were enjoying lunch at this cute little river front restaurant, what we were seeing out the huge windows were four boys taking flying leaps off the bridge and into the river below.  Three at once got a running start and leaped together, and seemed suspended for a second with their arms and legs all going in different directions, a perfect photograph which, sadly, exists only in my head.  Another family was seated next to the window and watching, a mom, dad, and two little boys.  I wondered if those boys lived nearby, and how much time would elapse before they were jumping off that bridge.  I spend so much time reliving the past lately, enjoying my memories of the free-as-a-bird childhood that I treasure, and I don’t even have to ask myself if we would have been jumping off that bridge.  Of course we would have…5-28kayakmyHDR5-28Guy.jpg5-28myriverratsHDR5-28myriverratsHDR25-28myriverratsHDR35-28mural.jpg