It was a day to celebrate a family. Not my family however, I have no idea who these people are except that they are exceptional. This was a photo shoot at Pine Island, the first time this family had all gotten together for a family photo, because this is a new family. Two parents, four biological children, and four siblings who had newly joined the family. I was told that they lost their mother a year and a half before and had been placed in foster care. They kept telling their social worker to call this family, they knew the family from bible camp, and they were sure that this family would take them. And once they got a social worker to listen to them that’s exactly what happened. It was a nice story, and the sunset that I didn’t expect to be much wound up to be as heartwarming as I could ever hope for…
I don’t mind seeking out new places to see and take pictures, but I also appreciate when a photo op comes to me. Right in my own back yard, or front yard, or even across the street. I was outside sitting and chatting with my aunt when company dropped in. He was on the run as he turned the corner of the walkway in a hurry, like he was late. He probably heard our voices and thought we might be sitting and eating, and inclined to share with him.
He wandered off and returned several times as we chatted. No, we don’t feed him, and it bothers me that he is so comfortable with people. We are probably his worst enemy. And he wasn’t the only recent interloper. The other day I heard the sandhill cranes unmistakable call, and as I wondered where they were I saw them walk past the window where I was sitting at the computer. I picked up the camera and went out and sat on my front stoop, where they stopped to look for a handout, and then, surprisingly, they began to dance.
Even as I took these pictures I lamented that my car was parked in the driveway and there was just no way give the dancers a prettier backdrop. But I thought it was nice of them to drop by to entertain me for a few minutes. Then I went inside and sat back down at the computer…
I will be among the missing for a day or three while I catch up with an old friend in a perfectly delightful setting. This is new territory for me and I’ll be taking lots of pictures, but I didn’t bring my laptop so for now I’ll just pass along an iPhone photo from our walk on the beach. My young self would never have imagined that Maddie and I would be spending this day in this place all these years later, but here we are, and how lucky we are to be here.
The other day I read a Facebook post from a friend that featured a spectacular gingerbread house that someone had spent 3 weeks making. It was amazing, it really was, but I had the thought as I looked at the pictures that I hadn’t ever made a gingerbread house. But that’s before I found a box out front on my doorstep yesterday morning. My daughter said that when she saw a gingerbread kit and the ‘house’ was actually a camper she had to buy it for me. So I was tickled to see what this gift was, but totally intimidated to think that you were supposed to assemble it first and decorate it second. I knew enough about cake decorating from my job at Publix to know that that wasn’t going to work, but I figured that if I decorated the front first that the chances of actually assembling it without everything falling off was going to be slim to none. But I wanted to send my daughter a picture of the finished product so I took a deep breath and started in on it this morning. And as it progressed I was no less anxious about the actual construction.
As you see in the feature photo the camper did survive the construction process, much to my surprise. Actually using that little tube of icing did prove to be as frustrating as I expected it to be, but it stayed put when I assembled it and seemed to work pretty well as glue also. I’m not sure what made me turn Santa around and discover that he is on holiday, but I’m sure he’ll be visiting your houses very soon!
Exactly what makes a trip to ZooTampa most pleasant even when it’s hot outside is what can frustrate a person when they are taking pictures. The shade, so welcome in the summer, but so frustrating when the adorable young orangutans are playing so delightfully, only doing it when they are in deepest shade and/or facing away from you. These young ones are usually my favorite subjects, but of course on this trip I was totally infatuated with that new little one month old baby boy. He doesn’t even have a name yet, one of the keepers said that they will have a naming contest soon. It might have been a less enjoyable day had I not had that distraction because the other toddlers (?) were so hard to capture.
But even big babies still need their mommies now and then.
The two mothers were nursing their babies side by side when the bigger baby reached out, clearly interested in the little new comer.
Dear old dad wasn’t totally ignored, by me or by his little one.
Even granny got into the act, this according to another observer who did seem to be very informed about these orangutans. She knew their names, dates of birth, and their relationship with each other. The mom, I was told her name is Randy, brought the baby over and sat beside her mother for a while.
But mostly the day was about this new mother and child. I really couldn’t tell if I was getting the baby’s face, or if he’d be noticeable at all, so I just kept shooting. There is so much that is familiar in the interactions between these beautiful creatures. But I guess that shouldn’t surprise me since we share 97% of our DNA with them…
I do have to wonder though, what is she thinking?
We were at Palmer Park, my two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law, reminiscing while the sun came down on a very nice day. We heard a few fireworks in the area, but no 4th of July fireworks display was planned. The town tradition is to have an old fashioned parade on the 4th that is very well attended, and of course that was canceled too.
It had been a great day of hiking, 7 miles, all uphill. Okay, maybe it only seemed to be all up hill when I wasn’t acclimated to the altitude and was out of breath most of the way. We cut the hike short while thunder rumbled and we got drenched on the way back to the car. We made a few stops for photos before our hike, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I got, but exhaustion is winning this battle.
Seems like life has been all about reconnecting with people these last years now, and it means the world to me…