'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, courage, facing facts, foggy sky, friends, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Greeting the day…

It was back to the bridge along the side of the highway for the sunrise this morning. When I walked out my front door I saw a lot of low, dark clouds, but I decided to head the few miles to see what I would see. It’s a busy road, a major north/south route, three lanes in each direction with a median. The sidewalks have cement barriers, so it doesn’t feel as reckless as it might sound. And speaking of sounds, you know what I hear as I look at the scene and plan my shots? I hear a rooster, sounding as out of place as he could be.

This was my first shot. Actually a 5 shot HDR image. Enough color to make me glad I headed out.
As time passed the color mellowed out.
I walked to the far end of the bridge to see these boats better.

The rooster wasn’t the only thing I heard this morning. Across the road, so across all six lanes of traffic from me, was a guy having an argument with someone. Himself? Was he on his phone? I couldn’t tell, and I wasn’t hopeful that the color would magically become amazing, so I walked (fast) down to my secluded parking spot and headed home. It was the first time I’ve ever felt uncomfortable when I’m roaming in the morning or at sunset. My house is ready for the possible storm that’s coming. It’s sure nice to have friends because I wouldn’t want to ride one out in a mobile home.

courage, death, exploring new places, facing facts, fences, history, learning, lest we forget, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Gettysburg…

If you ever get a chance to go to Gettysburg don’t do what we did. We were going to ‘see’ Gettysburg, only an hour from where we had stayed the night before, and then be on our way back home to Florida. We arrived at a little after opening, around 9:30 AM, seeing the Cyclorama (amazing) and the museum, and then heading out for the auto tour which we only finished by 5PM by rushing a bit at the end. I didn’t ever understand the impact of that battle on the outcome of the war, and my head is spinning as I look at the pictures and try to remember where each one was taken when we have just arrived home this morning. I was as much taken with the beautiful landscape of Pennsylvania itself, as I was by the historical significance of the scenes before me. And yet there are monuments to be seen in the pictures. Three days of battle leaving thousands of soldiers dead and dying in these fields, and a townspeople of less than 1300 to cope with the aftermath. This place is beautifully preserved lest we forget…

'scene' along the way, adventure, chickens, courage, exploring new places, friends, fun, history, just imagine, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pigs, road trip, travel

Oconoluftee Visitor Center…

This feature photo needs a title. How about “The Little Outhouse in the Smokies?” We were still on our first full day of our trip, and we had heard that this visitor center had a great farm display, as well as occasional visits from elk. We thought we could plan our trip, acquire some maps, and, hopefully, see some elk. We didn’t see them that day, but stay tuned because we did eventually see them. I look at these scenes and think of how hard life must have been in those days…

Here you have the farm house, amazingly devoid of tourists. Like us! LOL.
The house again. It was explained that the owner split the logs and used the halves on opposing walls. A skilled technique.
Further signage pointed out that pigs were essential on a farm in those days. They had large litters of piglets and they provided sustenance.
This rooster really did seem to be ruling the roost, but he did tolerate all the visitors well.
I liked this view of the barn from the walking path better than any of the other photos of it that I took.
Here we have the barn and some of the equipment that might have been used. The fencing surrounded the corn crop, another essential to the quality of life in those days.
More farm buildings, those are corn cribs in the back.
Flowers along the river.

Another objective of the trip was to practice using filters to improve your landscape photos as well as to photograph falling waters and make the water appear more silky. I was new to long exposure photography, but I did manage to get a couple of pictures. I had to toss most of the ones I attempted to take. It seemed that every bend in the road revealed a scene that made you want to stop the car and take pictures. And we were still on our first day in the park.

It will take a lot more practice to figure out this technique.
There were rocky little waterfalls in every stream along the roadside. Many opportunities to take even more pictures.
'scene' along the way, adventure, antiques, attention to detail, backyard visitors, courage, exploring new places, fences, finding my way, friends, history, just imagine, learning, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Thoughts of the past…

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers more than just the fabulous scenery at their stops along the way. Sometimes you find a preserved example of an Appalachian Farm to explore. It was nice to get out of the car for more than a minute or two, to walk a little, and to think of what challenges people faced not too long ago, to make a living in this quiet place.

If you stop to think for just a moment you realize that each section of fence was the result of hard labor on someone’s part. The lovely tree we can attribute to God’s handiwork.
Simple home for simple living.
The barn, to shelter the animals who depend on you and also provide their labor as well as food.
We didn’t talk with these photographers, though now I wish we would have. They had a nice camera/lens set up, and a tripod, and they seemed intent on the flowers behind the fence. Or was it something else?
The root cellar, preserving the fruits of your labor for the long winter days.
And the outhouse. We all know how necessary that is.
a second look, blessings, connections, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, history, leap of faith, learning, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset, technology

Things have changed…

I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.

But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…

connections, coping, courage, death, faith, family, grief, healing, saying goodbye

My sister…

She was a kind and generous soul. She went the extra mile for her friends and family. Her daughter and grandchildren were the loves of her life. She is gone now, quite unexpectedly, despite a long history of health issues. She was my sister. I was in NH visiting when it happened, so I was grateful to be able to be with my niece and her family as this new reality set in. I’m back home now and settling back into my routines isn’t coming easily. It seems I just needed to say a simple goodbye to a sweet soul who asked little and gave much. She is at peace now…