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…

connections, courage, facing facts, faith, finding my way, leap of faith, let it go, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, One-Foot Fred, perseverance, photography, sunset

Recalculating…

Life is funny. It operates in it’s own time, on it’s own schedule. Like this picture of One-Foot Fred that I came across this morning. It was taken at sunset and I never go to Aripeka at sunset, but obviously I did that day in 2018. Every now and then you wake up in the morning with your head on straight, or so you think, your ducks in a row, you think, and you are in charge of things and know which end is up. And by that evening your there has been a sea-change in your perspective. I’ve experienced this in it’s saddest form, and finding my way from there has been quite the process. But you muddle on and eventually you get yourself together, you know where you stand and how your life is going to be. And that’s when life might just decide to throw you a curve ball in the most unexpected and welcome of ways, and your heart warms to new possibilities. If this blog is among the missing while I savor this new reality then please be happy for me, I know I am.

a second look, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, following the rules, go with the flow, growing old, life, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, road trip, say goodnight, sunrise, sunset, travel

The beginning and the end…

I spent a day concentrating on my various twinges and trying to decide if my second Moderna shot was giving me side effects. I decided that I was fine, but I was home all day while I made up my mind. Packing actually. I’ll be riding up to a cousin’s house in Charleston tomorrow and family will be more on the agenda than photos. Of course I had the TV on as I packed, and my current binge watch of Criminal Minds came through with a charming quote today, from Mark Twain. I had to look it up;

“When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not, but my faculties are decaying now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember anything but the things that never happened.

How charming is that? But sad because it’s true. And as a person who has lots of experience with her mother, and then her daughter, correcting her memories I think I can relate. The same episode ended with another quote that had me grabbing my phone to look it up;

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Kierkegaard said that.

The day began when I ran out front and took the feature photo at 6:30 AM. And this last I took at 6:45 PM. We will turn the clocks ahead tonight. Sunrises will be easier to get to, and sunsets will have me out later than I care to be.

'scene' along the way, Camping, courage, finding my way, go with the flow, leap of faith, learning, life, life goes on, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Places to go…

Now that I’m home I can say it was a good trip. But maybe I should have given a second thought to a nearly 10 hour drive followed immediately with having to set up the camper. Setting up while trying to beat the sunset. We knew ahead of time that the weather would be good for one day, and then followed by two days of rain, but I didn’t think about cancelling. Reality hit after a day of taking photos that first day, and we again tried to beat the sunset while taking the camper back down that night. And another nearly 10 hour drive home the next day. On the way home I wondered if this was all too much for me, if maybe this camping thing had run it’s course for me. But I’m rested now and I have to think I’m not done yet. There are still places to go, things to see, people to meet…

adventure, Camping, changing times, courage, learning, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Mean and Menor…

This interest in photography has led me to take a closer-up view of the natural world, and to face the facts that life for the birds and animals that I photograph is a day to day struggle to stay alive.  As opposed to the Disney-like view of how pretty all the creatures out there are, which is about as deeply as I thought about it in the past.  But this rugged Wyoming landscape has given me a new appreciation for what it must have taken for people to come and settle in such a beautiful but harsh climate.  To have had to go out and gather food, or not eat.  To have to build shelters for themselves that would keep them alive through harsher, and longer, winters than I would have imagined.  And to  discover ways to provide services to your neighbors that would allow you make a living.

These are the things that crossed my mind as I visited Menor’s Ferry.  In a non-Covid year there would be displays in the general store, and opportunities to ride the ferry across the river, and a bit more information about life in those days than just taking a self guided tour and trying to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

07-28-20menorssign

The replica of the ferry itself…07-30-20theferry

The general store…07-30-20generalstore

The home in which a meeting took place which led to the eventual founding of The Grand Teton National Park.07-28-20menorshouse

07-30-20oldwestview

I love this sign…07-30-20menorsign

And the Chapel of the Transfiguration.  It’s altar window frames the highest mountain peak, but I didn’t get to see it since it’s not open this year.07-28-20chapel.jpg

I looked this information up this morning to be sure to be more accurate.

Historical Timeline of Menor’s Ferry

Menor’s Ferry
Menor’s Ferry once belonged to William D. Menor who came to Jackson Hole in 1894, taking up a homestead beside the Snake River. Here he constructed a ferryboat that became a vital crossing for the early settlers of Jackson Hole Valley.

Jackson Hole was isolated by its surrounding mountains and had such a harsh climate that it was one of the last areas of the lower 48 states to be settled. Homesteaders came here, mainly from Idaho, beginning in the late 1880s. Most early settlement in the valley took place in the south, or on a few scattered areas with fertile soil on the east side of the Snake River. Menor was alone on the west side of the Snake for more than ten years.

Rivers are often important transportation corridors. However, the Snake River was a natural barrier that divided the valley. In dry months the river could be forded safely in several locations, but during periods of high water even the most reliable fords were impassable. After 1894, Menor’s Ferry became the main crossing in the central part of Jackson Hole. Residents crossed on the ferry to hunt, gather berries and mushrooms, and cut timber at the foot of the mountains.

Bill Menor built the original ferryboat and cableworks. Today’s ferry and cableworks are replicas. The ferry is a simple platform set on two pontoons. The cable system across the river keeps the ferry from going downstream, while allowing it to move sideways. By turning the pilot wheel, the rope attaching the boat to the cable is tightened and points the pontoons toward the opposite bank. The pressure of the current against the pontoons pushes the ferryboat across the river in the direction the pontoons point. This type of ferry existed in ancient times and was used elsewhere in the United States.

Menor charged 50c for a wagon and team and 25c for a rider and horse. Pedestrians rode free if a wagon was crossing. When the water was too low for the ferry, Menor suspended a platform from the cable and three to four passengers could ride a primitive cablecar across the river. In later years, Menor and his neighbors built a bridge for winter use, dismantling it each spring.

Menor sold out to Maude Noble in 1918. She doubled the fares, hoping to earn a living from the growing number of tourists in the valley. Noble charged $1 for automobiles with local license plates, or $2 for out-of-state plates. In 1927, a steel truss bridge was built just south of the ferry, making it obsolete. Maude Noble sold the property to the Snake River Land Company in 1929.

Bill Menor and his neighbors homesteaded here thinking of the local natural resources as commodities for survival, but many of them grew to treasure the beauty and uniqueness of Jackson Hole. In 35 short years, from Bill Menor’s arrival until the establishment of the original park in 1929, this land passed from homestead to national treasure.